Re: Keel shape and pointing
Sounds like you have your hands full! I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bit of attention deficit on the part of the helmsman too! With all that going on, and green crew it would be tough for the skipper to concentrate on finding and staying in the "groove". It is entirely possible that your keel profile has made that groove narrower, but I'll leave that to the engineers to debate!
One piece of advice that was given to me years ago when I was struggling with pointing problems on my Hotfoot 20 was to stop TRYING to point. Just sail the boat fast and the point will come. It worked! When I stopped worrying about trying to stay as high as the boats around me, (some of which I would never be able to point with,) and focused on my own boat, the problem went away.
You say you are only getting 45 degrees out of her right now...if that is the case you must be getting absolutely buried right at the start! You can't hang with anyone right now?