If you're really smart, make good decisions, learn fast, and stay calm no matter what, you'll do fine.
I had sailed small boats a lot but I'd never been in waves or out of the sight of land. We haven't had many problems. We wait for great conditions. Period.
The sailing part isn't as much of it as I thought it would be. We taught my wife enough about sailing in a couple days on this boat that she's quite competent and confident now. Her background however, is exceptional. She once rescued Navy Seals
in 35' breaking waves when she was in the USCG and she said it was fun.