Re: Over Powered in 30 knots?
The key is balance. It sounds like you were unbalanced. Too much sail forward, and none aft.
I would have flown the smallest jib, and reefed the main to it's smallst dimension. This would place the center of effort where it belongs instead of all the way forward, generating the lee helm.
You mentioned not wanting to dip the rail in the water by raising the main. If you're getting knocked down, you're sheeted in too hard. Either play the mainsheet when the puffs come, or feather up into the wind. Or both.
The boat will remain on it's feet, with the proper amount of weather helm.
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255