Jeff, I think you missed my point. It's lose 1/2 mile or not sail. I think you would agree that it is better that people sail. The convenience of roller furling is getting people to use their sails: the ease of reefing is getting them to use their sails and that's what sailing is all about for most sailors - just sailing. The fact that rounding the buoys might leave you behind is of little consequence to the average sailor. BTW, from anecdotal evidence in previous threads there appears to be little difference in performance.
I think that in mast furling is here to stay and you, Jeff, of all people should be working to improve any difficencies so we encourage more people to sail and use their sails.