One of the great ironies of sailing is that as hard as it can be to get your mainsail up, it can often be just as hard to get it back down. This goes double when tucking in a reef with a slab-reefing system—one reason why so many sailors are willing to sacrifice sailing performance for the sake of in-boom or in-mast furling.
It used to be that sailors looking to keep their boats moving in light air had fairly limited options. A big overlapping genoa flown from a fixed headstay was the weapon of choice when trying to get upwind in a zephyr. Turning downwind, it was a question of setting a balky hard-to-handle symmetric spinnaker on a pole.