If the wind is shifting or the course isn’t square, which happens often, I always ask myself, “If I were to tack or jibe right now, would I be aiming more toward the mark?” This helps me make sure I am always on the long tack. If I am not sailing the long tack, I make sure there is a very good reason. Actually, because I adhere so much to the above rules, an internal alarm goes off when I’m not sailing toward the mark. “Warning, warning, you are not sailing towards the mark. You better be right because this is often bad!” The longer I sail away from the mark, the louder the alarm.