Re: Skilled helmsman steering downwind in 30-40 knots...
I tend to avoid 50 knot winds if I can, but that is storm trysail and storm jib conditions.
When the main starts to blanket the jib, the clew and working sheet start to relax/drop. That is a signal to head up slightly and avoid the gybe. Even with a preventer a gybe can get you into a lot of difficulty.
Hand steering in those conditions is very tiring.
ISPA Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor Evaluator
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising Instructor
IYT Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor
ASA 201, 203, 204, 205, 206, 214
As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)