Re: handling gusts
I agree with the feathering, but it takes a lot of feel. When racing larger boats, 44 ft. we'd have the genoa cranked in tight. In a gust we'd head up slightly so our jib would not be luffing but rather would push slightly in the weather direction. Sorta' forcing more air on the leeward side than normal. This would keep us from being pushed over and also push us to windward a bit. You have to anticipate the passing of the gust so you don't "auto tack". We'd also do this in 14 ft racing dinghies. Works best with a pretty flat cut jib.