"Luff, if I want to start doing well in Club races what's the most important thing to work on first?" asked Tingle.
"The most important thing" said Luff, "That's easy, keep the boat upright. I'm sure you've heard the old story where someone who knows nothing about boats or sailing, and is watching a race is asked what differences they can see between the boats at the front of the fleet and those at the back. After a few silly remarks like the're in front or the're going faster they will always point out that the ones at the back are heeling over and the ones at the front aren't. When the fleet comes ashore the tailenders will always claim "I was trying to hold her up" or "We were overpowered". It's strange something like that is obvious to people ashore but not to those on the water. It's interesting as well to see a photograph of yourself sailing, sometimes a photo shows your boat heeling over when you were sure you were sailing her upright. I think sometimes you need to sail feeling as though the boat is heeling to windward to be upright."
"So when I'm sailing a dinghy the most important thing is to keep the boat upright"
"Not only dinghies, any boat, just because you don't sit a cruiser out doesn't mean it won't go faster upright. I remember years ago, when I was just a lad, still learning to sail. We were on the deck of the Clubship when old Baggy Wrinkle, who was teaching me called me accross to look at a cruiser sailing past. It was a gusty day and every time the cruiser heeled she slowed down, you could see it and as soon as she came upright she speeded up again. That image has always stayed with me.