As an inland sailor myself I know what you mean about sticking masts into mud! Not so much the strength of the gust but the radical change of wind speed.
I have noticed that Nacra catamarans have a mast floatation device on their mast’s as part of their design (entry level cat). Maybe you could consider that. But I would not be too keen on placing any weight on the top of the mast! – not good for the righting moment. Plus drag considerations if you are racing.