Are you racing? If not.. Then WHY NOT pitchpole that thing!!!!
It is like learning to ride a bike... If you want to be able to ride in all conditions in full control.. Ya can't be afraid to find the limits once in awhile.. Getting rid of this fear will FREE you to move up your learning curve exponentially faster.
Find a 'safe' place to drive the boat hard
stay clear of the shrouds
and let it rip!
If you go out in moderate conditions.. Just play with the thing.. Adjusting sail trim, then and crew weight fore and aft... and watch how it reacts. This will give you a sense of how the boat will react in heavier air... Then just keep working your way up...
The most likely point of sail to pitch the boat is going to be from a broad reach.
And sometimes that rouge gust can just nail ya on a shifty day....
(winds 20-25mph+ and shifty in this video) Good times!!!!!! Stayed tune for the laughing!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV1aGyLLMw4