As for not being an experience sailor unless you've been in a knock down, I find that comical. I think a good sailor always expects the unexpected and is as ready as he or she can be with a well thought out plan before it happens. Is that to say you need a plan for everything no, but you should have things on board to impliment them. Do you have to loose a rudder, tiller or a rig
to be experienced, that's B.S. It's being able to execute a back up plan properly that makes a seasoned sailor. Do you have to go though the experience physically to be experienced no, I ll be it it would help for next time. hell I hope I'm never an experienced sailor.
How did you deal with it I've never had one. Liked to hear. PEACE