Pearson 30 reverse problem
Well, yes and yes.
The underwater geometry of the Pearson 30 rudder is swept back, which gives the pilot great leverage on the tiller. While this takes the pressure off while sailing in a forward direction, the effect when in reverse is just the opposite.
If it is any comfort, I had much the same experience myself when I was getting acquainted with Pilgrim. Now I move much more cautiously in reverse! I have heard of some skippers who flip the rudder around backwards when in reverse, holding the tiller vertical while it rotates.