Thanks guys that was very helpful. It looks like I'll keep trying it and figure out what it is I'm doing that works or doesn't.
JohnR you may be right about the slot. I usually get to this state by pointing the boat allowing it to speed up , trim the sails, point it a little higher, trim the sails, etc., until we seem just perfect - then I start screwing around. The main thing I'm trimming is the genoa and it is possible I throw off the slot at that point.
Nolatom since this is a lightish air thing for me I'm pretty sure I have the outhaul eased and the main sorta full. I think I loosen the mainsheet a little and move the traveler over and then tighten the mainsheet to see if I can bump up the knotmeter a little. It usually gets a couple of tenths. If the wind is too fresh we heel too much and stay the same or slow a little.
I have a cruiser mentality but I appreciate keeping up or passing even with the dink in tow. But I have never studied the nuances that racers deal with. Looks like this year I'll be getting some lessons on J-24's and all its going to cost me are Tuesday evenings and a few beers.
It's better to have your enemies inside your tent pissing out than outside your tent pissing in...