I have long argued that one of the quickest ways to become a better cruiser is to go racing as crew.
It also works the other way around. Brooke (on the left) owns and seriously races a J/109 on Narraganset Bay. So while she was visiting with our friend Ed, she came out sailing on our J/109 and taught me a huge amount.
This was particularly good because she owns the same boat, but even without that added advantage it’s well worth persuading a skilled racer to come sailing on your cruising boat. You will learn a lot.
Pro tip: Racers love beer.