I am puzzled on what I could have done better and I would appreciate some salty or expert insight. We had a beautiful day with a good breeze and solid crew but we were rounding up frequently beating to a windward mark.
The fearless crew and I were beating to the windward mark, really flying along with a reef in the main, full overlapping jib out, and the main traveller to windward so that we could have the boom on the centerline with the leech open. Telltales nicely trimmed. We were heeled over quite hard (45 degrees plus) but had manageable weather helm (maybe 10-15 degrees tiller offset max).
Basically we were overpowered on a proper beat, so I helmed pinched or lifted which didn't seem to slow us down at all, and gave us a line on the windward mark without tacking. This was all fine and good, except that every couple minutes the wind would be that little bit stronger where we would heel further and round-up - the rudder had no chance of fighting the round-up, so we would round up a bit, then lose some heel and power, and then bear off slightly to a beat again, heel like a demon, and then a lifted beat until the next uptick in breeze rounded us up again. It turned out to be pretty controlled, but just over the edge. We went fast but I felt like I wasn't sailing well and it really bothered me.
This was in a little Catalina Capri 22 keel boat (club boat) in maybe 14-16 knots, maybe a little more. We had main reefed and the vang the outhaul on and the jib cars were almost all the way back.
My thought is that we should have had the main halyard, the outhaul, and the vang on a wee bit harder, and the jib car a couple inches further back, all at their maximum. But would that have been enough to give us control? I would have taken a second reef in the main and don't think I'd have lost speed doing so - the main had only one reef point.
I wonder: were we totally off base to have the main leech open? We had the traveller high, because to point high and have an open the leech, the traveller had to be to windward. There was no backstay adjuster...
We tried furling a little bit of the jib and it really didn't seem to make much difference, or if it did it was offset by increasing wind.
How would a better sailor have trimmed? Thanks in advance
A picture of these boats on a much lighter day here - this is Potrero Reach in SF bay BTW
Capris on a calm day
This picture was too big for the post - so linking to it