My recommendations would be to thoroughly profile each sail by recording their 'output' versus: BOAT SPEED (VMG), vs. (apparent/true) angle sailed TO the wind, vs winds / seastate (wave height/wave period), vs, RELATIVE humidty and wind temperature, vs OUTHAUL tension (Most important when developing a sailing optimization profile - more below), etc. Once such a 'data set' is established, you can easily 'dial in' the previous settings for basic shape
and trim to arrive at your 'starting point' for then
tweaking for maximum sail 'output' for the current conditions of wind speed and seastate.
Id recommend that you add 'measuring tapes' to boom, halyard positions, traveller etc. so you have a visible measurable indicator to record and return to when those wind/wave conditions are again the same.
Id recommend the installation of a FULL set of tell tales + steering tales and then follow the 'set up' of sail shaping as found in:
Index of /Publications/Arvel Gentry Articles
and then following the serialized articles --->
#12 is a more scientific explanation of how sails/wings, etc. REALLY work; and, not the 'obsolete - since the time of the Wright Brothers' erroneous stuff that is offered in US 'highschools', sailing books, and even flying schools. If you have a foundational grasp of 'circulational flow' you will sometimes SEE that effect when using a FULL set of tell tales - windward tales pointing 'forward
' when your trim/shape are near 'perfect'.
In one of those above listed articles will be found the use of 'barber haulers' - VITAL in correctly adjusting the all important optimization of 'slot distance' between jib & main - smaller slot distance in light winds and more open in heavy winds.
Developing such a 'campaign profile' will be composed and based on 3 elements:
1. Max. developed boat speed (SPEEDO output) due to set/shape/and trim to 'match' the days wind/seastate conditions.
2. Boat prep - smoothness/'fairness' off and 'cleanliness' of the boat boitorsttom, etc.
3. Tactics ... so that yuore always sailing in the correct direction at the highest possible speed and are legally interfering with your better competitors while preventing/blocking gains from 'not-so-good' competitors.
Other articles that may be of benefit:
helm balance and its optimization: How to properly RAISE a woven dacron mainsail - SailboatOwners.com
. get used to watching the turbulence wake from you rudder when you encounter so-called weather helm' as it may NOT be 'weather helm' but a SKID off to leeward.. and ONLY that turbulence angle coming off the stern will show this SKID. (Skidding is usually the result of improper forestay tension or improper jib sheet tension.)
proper/optimized rig/wire tensions for headsails/jibs/genoas: http://www.ftp.tognews.com/GoogleFiles/Matching Luff Hollow.pdf
VERY IMPORTANT ---- Also remember or be aware that what controls the speed/power ratio of sail output when in varying seastates (high gear or low gear) is adjusted by the outhaul
. Once trimmed/shaped to perfection, then readjust the outhaul to set the correct amount of draft to arrive at the OPTIMUM amount of sail draft ... as indicated by the maximum value on the speedo
(or VMG). If you simply 'guess' on outhaul tension, youll not consistently place 'high' in the racing tally results - use your SPEEDO as the final observation for any setting of sail shape or trim. Setting the optimum draft via outhaul while watching your speedo
(in less than survival conditions) will more consistently get you to the front of the pack ... such automatic adjusts and compensates for flat water or heavy chop and all in between. Ultimately youll want that outhaul into the cockpit and at a mechanical advantage of 6:1 or higher!!!!! so that you WILL be adjusting it constantly as the wind/wave conditions change --- that outhaul is really your speed/power control !!!!!!!!
Flat sails for speed sailing
in FLAT water; full drafted sails (power) for sailing in waves .... even when 'reefed'.
Other: learn how to roll tack and also how to power-pinch (hooking the main's leech to windward by STRONG mainsheet tension when going INTO a tack) as in doing so your VMG will not be affected due to the trigonometry at the end of a leg but you will have LESS distance to sail on the 'NEXT' leg. Racing is a game of 'inches' and power-inching INTO a tack will/can save a lot of distance on the NEXT leg ... I used to power pinch into a tack from several boat lengths out, sometimes beginning from the last 5% distance of a leg (depending on wind strength or wave height)
Keep copious records of your practice trials, fully analyzed each race to see what you did WRONG and what steps can be improved - sail SHAPE / trim, tactics, etc.
Keep copious records and develop an 'empirical' profile all based on the accumulated
data so you more quickly develop your sailing 'instincts' and dont have to 'guess'.
Basic Tactics: "Sailing to WIN" by Buddy Melges (long out of print, so may be hard to find) Eg.: Starting a race on PORT TACK always gives you TWO options .... and really pizzes of a fleet when you roll-over them while on 'port' at a 'start'. Buddy is the all time master of the 'port tack start'.
There's a lot more, but this should get you 'started'.
hope this helps. ;-)