It does sound like the wind was funneling down the hills - its the direction change as well as the gusting I guess.
My views are that you are out to enjoy the sail, not have to follow the herd like sheep. Reef if and when you want/need to - It depends on my mood as well -
If I want a quiet slide, listening to Bob Marley or Ceredwen or whatever - I point the boat to the sea and set sail for the breeze, sit in the cockpit and chill out.
Sometimes I get TOLD to put a reef in the sail by my poor shivering, wet companions. I try to always have fastish, safe yachts and used to love cleaning up the 'racing types' who are all ego and mouth. I have grown up a bit and now let it wash over.
The cat grew up on the boat - she has used up a few of her 9 lives already (and so did the idiot who tried to get in front of 17tonnes surfing in!)
Until then, it was a great sail - the boat actually sings when she is flying.
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