If you start your circles with a tack, your tack will be at full speed. Coming out of that tack, your boatspeed will be less than if you bore away, which means you won’t be sailing downwind as far before you jibe. For example, if you were in a Melges 32, sailing in 12 knots of wind, and simply bore away, you would be going downwind at 9 knots. But if you tacked first, then bore away, your speed downwind before the jibe would be 5 to 5.5 knots. Once you jibe, you can do a powerful turn up with speed, accelerate for 2 to 3 seconds, and then start your second circle with a tack (see the diagram above). It’s important to understand what the rules say about penalty turns. The turns must be started “promptly” in the same direction, but don’t necessarily need to be in a continuous motion. In other words, you don’t need to roll right into your second turn immediately after the first. I typically do one turn, accelerate briefly—one to two boatlengths, not 10—then start my second circle. This enables the boat to get back to speed before driving it through the next circle. A lot of this depends on wind velocity and the boat. In a dinghy, you can often spin within the length of the boat. Use your body weight to steer, coupled with rapid easing and trimming the sails.