I agree with all that’s been said. There’s two related issues here, steering in high winds and waves. In high winds I’m sailing on the edge of luffing. As the wind gusts up I’m letting more wind go in the back side if the jib, actually pushing it a small but to windward but not actually luffing. I’m heading up to the point that I feel the boat ease up just enough. This pushes the boat to windward a boat speed to steer well. If you don’t can find yourself falling off then as the wid moves abeam it pushes you over. In these conditions the is in flat with the leading part being backed a bit.
Add waves and you need to keep up steerageway. Otherwise the waves can tack you, or put you in irons or leave you pounding. In waves I’m looking for a path through them that’s flatter. Hard to describe but its always there and it’s always changing. So I’m constantly changing course by small amounts. This makes a big difference in boat speed and avoiding pounding. After a while it becomes a reflex