Re: handling gusts
In almost all winds, when sailing closehauled, I follow the wind in steering the boat. Whether lifted or headed, or in gusts or lulls, I steer the boat so as to keep the sails in trim and the telltales streaming. The only exception is in an overpowering gust. When a gust is so strong as to be overpowering, then I pinch to windward slightly, because, even though the sails might be fluttering out of trim slightly, it is more important to keep the boat on it's feet than to keep the sails driving at full power.