Re: Skilled helmsman steering downwind in 30-40 knots...
I am a headsail kind of guy off the wind when it is honking. Might be related to relying on a Monitor vane where being pulled by the wind (headsail) rather than pushed (main) is the only way to go. We tend to reef the main earlier and much more than the jib. Might also matter what the boat is like.
In South Africa doing lots of boat stuff. Departure north from Cape Town around December 15th. Arrival in the Caribbean around the beginning of February, after 5300 miles or so.