And this link demonstrates that a sailing yacht can do surprisingly well at keeping her bow into breaking waves on a bar, although CLEARLY it's not something to make a practice of doing
I post this here to try to argue a point: As long as you have enough manoeuvrability to make a turn in the trough (which may require picking a wave it is safe to broach on, and using that to start the turn early), and provided you have enough urge from a reliable donkey, you may be better off aborting and going back out through what you've just endured coming in, than carrying on.
I say this for the case where what you see, having gone partway in, gives you any doubt about the location of the channel: often things look very different once you're approaching the crux than they did when you were standing off. Even from up on the spreaders it can be hard to decode where the channel is.
Channels can shift quickly in onshore or along-shore conditions.
The other problem is if the waves are not running square to the channel (which, if the channel has winding turns, is unavoidable)
In this event, you may find you're not able to steer a course to stay in the channel, because you'd be too far out of square with the waves, and hence risk broaching (and probably getting squirted out of the channel).
This is another situation where you need to be prepared to get the hell out, quick smart, lick your wounds and go somewhere else.
The problem is, at least in this part of the world, "somewhere else" (ie somewhere without a dangerous bar in the prevailing conditions) may be many hundreds of miles away, or more.
It's just another one of those 'tests of character' which, as adults, we are supposed to be able to pass.
Oh, and here's the promised link:
waikiki harbour sailboat - YouTube