Some avoid heavy weather sailing. Others seek it out. It is full of risk, adventure, a life experience if you make it through.
As a general rule, most sailors avoid heavy weather. They know the cost wear and tear on equipment, the placing of lives at risk, the ability to sit it out in a safe port, all are factors to be considered.
Yet mother nature is not always predictable. Sometimes she pitches a fit when everyone thought she was only going to bless sailors with rays of sun and fair winds.
Nothing makes heavy weather sailing completely safe. Yet, preparation is obviously a key ingredient to getting through tough times at sea. Preparing for the worst case scenario often is what avoids falling into it.