Re: What went wrong while sailing downwind?
Nice post.. having a breeze go from 8 knots to 18 in a short time can be quite drastic. Sounds like you handled it pretty well. It can also be pretty sneaky if it's coming up behind you .. by the time you feel the increase in apparent wind it's well upon you.
When death rolls start we always steered more onto a broad reach rather than continue to run DDW, and gybe (or 'chicken gybe' - a 270 degree 'tack) as required to avoid actually sailing DDW. Now that you know your boat is somewhat prone to that you might want to consider that move when the wind pipes up behind you. It's more relaxing than wing-on-wing and you get to practice your gybing.
The other trick you learned was to center (or release) the traveler before a gybe.
We all need more practice.. you done good!
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)