I've never been offshore in conditions this rough, but I have raced in conditions with winds > 40 knots and big waves at night. We had the on-watch crew on the rail of a J/120, in addition to one person at the helm and one trimming main when we took a wave that swept everyone off the rail and bent a lifeline stanchion. At that point we sent everyone below except the driver (me), the main trimmer, and the bowman (who periodically went to the low side to vomit).
At dawn we finally gave up and sought refuge in the closest harbor we could fetch, where we found a number of boats that wisely bailed out much earlier than we did. Probably my scariest experience racing.
Have only run under bare poles once before, in a J/105 in 30-40 knots and 10-12 foot seas off California's Pt. Concepcion. In that case, we had torn our roller-furling jib and only had two reef points on the main (which weren't rigged because we stupidly imagined we wouldn't need them). Even under bare poles we were making about 6 knots VMG downwind (in the right direction at least), which is consistent with what it looked like the Dufour 34 "Paula" was doing in the earlier video, under bare poles. When the breeze dropped into the low 20's we put up the .75 oz A-2 and full main and continued racing. One other J/105 was dismasted that evening nearby, but motored safely to port.
I don't enjoy rough weather but I'm not nearly as afraid as I was the first few times. If you trust your boat it makes a huge difference, and J Boats are built pretty tough.