one of the greatest ways to improve your sailing ability is go out there and race YOUR sailboat. For a moment forget about your PHRF rating. What your doing on the race course is learning about sail trim, tide/currents and what they do to your boat. How wind affects your sails, how crew weight affects heel angle, etc. By watching the other boats in your fleet and attempt to follow them (well at least the ones in front of you) See what they are doing correctly and learn from that.
I have been racing my 294PHRF boat for 2 seasons and the first season, I was hard pressed to even finish a race. Last year, I actually one one of the races (although It was still a challenge to finish some of the races). Another sailor in my club who races the SAME boat, has won our divison 3 yeasr in a row. He has the same PHRF # BUT His sails are brand new, mine are 15 yrs old (however I just bought new sails this winter...(watch out Dennis) He has sailed for almost as long as I have been on this earth. He knows the water, what the current does to our boats and where the wind is going to be before it gets to the boat. The point I''m trying to make is, don''t listen to anyone who ios telling you that your boat isn''t good enough to race. It''s not alweays the boat but the person/people sailing it that wins/loses races. Go out there and enjoy yourself. Sure there will be frustrating times (I''ve been there and will be there againg next summer), there will be times when you have been out on the racecourse and it''s 95 degrees and your crew has had enough. Take these times and learn from them. Eventually, you''ll be finishing your races, you''ll understand the fickleness of your boat and you''ll be a better sailor.
only 100 days till the boat goes back in