The comparison you saw was to square-rigged ships (think Mutiny on the Bounty) which did not go to windward at all well. There were some junk-rigged sailboats in the 1960s - the most famous was called Jester which did a number of trans-Atlantic solo races. The junk rig was quite easy to handle but had a lot of chafe too. Modern sail handling innovations eg furling jibs and mainsails and large winches have made 'regular' rigs much easier to handle and very efficient too.
In South Africa doing lots of boat stuff. Departure north from Cape Town around December 15th. Arrival in the Caribbean around the beginning of February, after 5300 miles or so.