Re: handling gusts
Last time out I got hit with apparent winds in the 24 to 28 kt range (normal was 16 kts). When a gust hit the boat automatically headed up, and of course heeled.
I should perhaps of let the jib out a bit, my sense is in a puff it generated too much lift and that caused the automatic header.
Just a note, with full sails up the header at some points caused me to almost run out of rudder before I ran out of header. I really should have trimmed out but was enjoying the heel :0
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.