yes you are right, I am guilty of using the upwind angle as a bit of a safety valve. The speed has freaked me out! I'm 78kg. The mast is slightly forward of centre in the track with the 7.0. I found the board really difficult to control with it anything but forward of centre, and getting into the straps and harness was difficult since the board would really bounce and not track straight. With the mast more forward it the board settles down, tracks much straighter and gives me a couple extra seconds to get settled in the harness and straps before speed really picks up.
yes Ive been tuning the sail - downhaul max and more ouhaul in the stronger wind. I should emphasise the 22 knots would be the gusts, usually its more aroung 15-18. I have some video that my wife took that I might try and post on you-tube for you. If you look carefully you might be able to see the windward rail down slightly. The video has also confirmed to me that my weight is not nearly as 'locked in" and down as I feel it is. Something to work on.