Hi there "mama" and welcome to the forum
I used to be a short light-weight. Now I'm just short trying-to-lose- weight
I have used the extenders to successfully self-right a 16 on my own when I only weighed in at 130lbs. I use them now on my 17 on which I am typically flying solo at 160 lbs.
First: I am not sure that I understand how you can anticipate that you are going over with enough time to pull the pin.
For one thing, if you come inboard enough to pull the pin because you "think" you are going over, you will lose leverage and you certainly will go over. Know what I mean?
Your first concern is to be actively seeking pre-emptive moves like letting go the main, turning up into the wind, hiking out as far as possible etc. Going over is usually fast and sometimes painful (unless you are doing the agonizingly slow "flying a hull death roll"
Second: I have not figured out an easy way to reach the pin 8 feet above my head. I have found it useful to have the quick release head on the inboard side so that when I do get up to the thing I can pull it downward. But getting up to it is a BEAR. I once tried pulling the pin on the hull at my feet- reasoning that 18" of length from one side or the other didn't matter (true) BUT forgetting that the boat would all but dismast itself when it came up. I have pulled the pin while turtled. That works, but you know how hard it is to get from turtle to edge... I wish I had a better answer, but I don't and it is just getting harder as I get older.
Third: testing in calm shallow waters gives you false hope (sort of like the golf flag on a green 480 yards away). You will never go over in calm water. It also is HARDER to get the boat up without wind and waves working with you. The waves help to prevent your sail from forming a suction on the water and the wind blowing against the tramp and wings help to bring you over. As I have said in other posts on righting, the wind that blew you down will help to blow you upright. Test again in real conditions with a friend nearby.
Anyone else have ideas on how to get to the pin?
Oh- the neoprene is a good idea I think...
And maybe a smaller boat to sail solo on too...