Re: Over Powered in 30 knots?
What 26 footer has nearly 7 foot draft?
I'd tend to agree you'd have had better luck with a reefed main, and also you'd have been wiser to head upwind first.. but you already know that.
The option to gybe all the way around was always there for you too. I suspect your boat's just too light to maintain momentum through a tack in waves and wind, probably worsened by trying to do so without adequate boatspeed in the first place. As SF indicated, reaching off to build speed and then quickly turning into and through the tack may have worked.. but then again in certain conditions even that might not do the trick.
Some boats handle fairly well with headsail only.. primarily those masthead rigs with most of the working sail area in the genoa by design. Others not so much.
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)