Wide in, tight out

Old racing hands know that the quickest way to round a mark of the course is to approach it wide, then tighten the turn as you round. Not only does this prevent others sneaking inside you as you turn, it also keeps you closer to the mark than it you’d aimed at it then shoved the helm down when it was close alongside. The same holds good for any manoeuvre under sail. If you’re rounding a beacon in a river, or cutting in tight around a mooring or navigation buoy, you can save half a boat’s length by coming in wide. Watch out for the tide if it’s setting you on, though!