Additionally, they seemed to be sailing in the same direction as the storm front, and it appeared as if they were making a fair amount of speed with just a storm jib. While I have, admittedly, absolutely NO bluewater sailing experience, I have researched the subject extensively over the past three years. From nearly everything I've read it is foolish to run with a storm, or to attempt to outrun a storm. If you're running with the storm you are essentially extending the time you will be exposed to those conditions by a significant margin. Trying to outrun the storm is nearly impossible, and pretty much accomplishes the same as running with the storm--you'll just get the hell beat out of you and your crew.
Presumably, there is an advantage here with the JSD, in that, it can be launched and recovered easly enough to deploy to eat lunch (lunch launch). Maybe this would also would be more of a problem in 50kt winds.
Also, if the winds are going in the direction they want to go, it is nice to keep going that direction. The storm will pass a little faster with the JSD that if they were going hull speed down wind. No idea what the weather was like out there, but, they might have expected one storm after another, so, it wouldn't really help to stop to let it pass.
Let's see if we can get someone from Practical Sailor to go out in the next tropical storm with a few drag devices.