In light and flukey conditions, I tend to bear away a little in the gusts, easing the main slightly to get maximum boat speed, and as the gust dies, I point up, pinching or even going as far as heading dead upwind, if there was any wind .. the theory being that in still air, you might as well use the boat speed in the direction you want! it also means you are a little more to windward when the next gust hits, so you catch it a bit earlier, get more speed as you bear away and stay with it longer …
Use no or very slight kicker, just enough to keep the boom down, watch the sail shape and tweak for maximum draft somewhere around 40% back. I tend to use a little less jib tension than usual.
Sit well forward in the boat, you want the transom clear, almost like you would downwind. Steer using a little heel and less rudder. Heeling the boat slightly, to allow the sails to rest “set” ready to work when the gust arrives works well.
gentle rounded tacks, roll tack each one, a good roll tack will not only save you a lot of rudder work and hence loss of speed, but give you a nice little boost of speed, which can be a huge bonus if done right.
I can’t quite decide on how much board to use, but as the air gets light .. half board seems to be enough.
thats what I do anyway, but I’m a newbie to dinghy racing .. so it could be a bit worng.