Is it possible to look ahead a few waves to plan which spot is best to aim for, or does the profile of the wave front change too quickly to make a difference? (maybe to avoid what looks like could be a breaking wave)
Is it the same idea going downwind? Square-up the stern to the wave as you approach the peak, then head back up to your course? (ie:go over the peak perpendicular to the wave)
I think you need to take the waves one at a time, as they come, if you start getting ahad of yourself, the boat will pound...be sure someone else is on lookout duty (as should be SOP), as your world needs to shrink to just the next wave, so its quite mesmerizing...
Down wind your challenge is just to minimize yawing, not pounding, dont correct you angle any more than essential.
FWIW, I have always found getting anywhere in rough water to be more comfortable, and usually quicker, under sail than power, excepting perhaps directly againstboth strong wind and current. The sail pressure greatly limits the violence of the boat motion.