If he has a wheel, what would it take to convert it back to a tiller? If I remember correctly, the P30 was a tiller boat originally, no? It'd be well worth the 75$ for the piece of wood for sure, and have the huge benefit of actually being able to 'feel' the boat.
I feel your pain on the beer cans though Bubble. We went from 2nd in our series and only needed to finish mid pack to have 2nd or 3rd overall. 2 no shows, regular crew out on Vic Maui,weddings out east, etc... Pooch screwed, pups will be for sale shortly.
Ironically, we had 3 bow people on the boat and no regular trimmers. All the bad stuff happened in front of the mast. Oh well. That's why it's best not to get too caught up in weekday racing results. In the end, sailboat racing after work is a luxury and kind of a crap shoot.