Re: Easing the Mainsheet
I agree with those who say ease the traveller with gusts, although I understand that there is a temptation to just use the main sheet. To some extent what one learns depends on the type of boat one learned on - some don't have travellers, or the mainsheet seems easier.
True easing the mainsheet gives greater curvature in the leech,specifically letting the wind out of the top of the sail, however as I understand it, (although it seemed counter intuitive) it also gives greater fullness to the sail and the wind is actually flowing not horizontally but diagonally up the sail, so it could increase the force. On the other hand letting the main go completely decreases it. I guess it is trim versus OMG.
Releasing the main from the cleat - the angle is easily adjustable. You do have to pull the sheet first but it should be quick to free or latch.