I am not a physicist, but it strikes me that from the perspective of sailing, the air-tab proposal is regressive technology. An aeroplane wing is largely a rigid structure and the tabs are included to distort the character of the wing to provide a change in lift or drag.
A yacht's sail is not so restricted and with the application of sheets, a vang, outhaul, furling foils, etc, we can change the shape of the sail to suit the conditions, in an almost infinite variety of ways.
It seems to me that the addition of tabs to a wing, is a very inefficient way of attempting to copy the efficiency dynamics of a sail, albeit in a different plane.
Surely the appropriate way to address the shortcomings of aeroplane wings by comparison to a sail, would be to increase the flexibility and fluidity of the wing's covering in order that it could change its angle, volume, aerodynamicism and length such as is used in the swing wing, in a very limited manner.
Adding tabs to a sail would suggest that we are trying to make sails more rigid and less adaptable to sailing conditions.
But, as I said, I am not a physicist and it has to be said I was already wrong once this year. (Blasted South African RU team)
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!