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A couple weeks ago I was participating in the 61st Annual Mug Race (the longest river regatta in the world at 44 miles long) with my 1976 Chrysler 22, which had moderately strong winds and very rainy conditions. My 38 year old genoa was not feeling it and she ripped apart about 6' down from the head, and tore all the way from the leech to the luff. I had to drop the sail and hank on the storm jib for the rest of the day, which is where my question comes from.

Shouldn't I get more power by elevating the jib off of the deck, by connecting a line from the tack of the jib down to the deck, so i could raise the jib as high as possible? The luff of my jib is only like 20' but the forestay is around 27'. When the jib was flying high it seemed like I actually had less power, then when I had the tack attached to the deck.

My thoughts were the higher from the water the sail was, the faster the air is moving, therefore the sail should create more lift.

Thoughts?

P.S. If you have a good condition genoa that you could send my way I would be greatly appreciative. I do not have the funds right now for a new sail, so hopefully someone has a used one I could buy for not too much money.

As a side note in case anyone cared...
92 boats started the race.
Based on handicap ratings I was the fourth slowest boat so I was the fourth boat to start the race.
I raced my way into 1st place within 45 minutes or so and then my genoa tore apart at about 1 1/2 hrs into the race.
The race is from south to north along the St Johns river and the wind was out of NW at about 15-20mph and higher gusts.
Only 11 boats made it all the way to the finish line 44 miles (probably 80 miles due to all the tacks needed when sailing upwind)
You needed to get to the what they called the Mid-Course Marker by 7:30pm in order for your time to count and for individual class rankings to be decided.
Only 61 boats made it to the Mid-Course Marker and I was the second to last boat to finish in time :D

I consider this to be a pretty good achievement for my very first regatta and making it to the marker with the storm jib, while 31 other boats either dropped out or couldn't make it in time. Based on the GPS we actually travel 35 miles but only made it 24 miles into the course. We just barely made it to the marker in time, so once we passed it we dropped the motor and puttered as fast as we could back to the my dock. 14 1/2 hours on the boat was quite the day.
 
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