Re: Dinghy sailing - tacking
the accepted slang for the above, if you want to sound cool, is "pinching" versus "footing". The happy medium, of course is in between these two, it's a narrow "sweet spot" indeed, that's why close-hauled/beating is the most challenging point of sail, on the other points the sweet spot is pretty wide.
Often we will "foot off" a little just before the tack, as the extra fwd momentum will outweigh the slightly wider turn you have to make to get her around. Then right after the tack, you'll foot a little to get some speed, and good airflow over your sails, then "harden up" a little to point higher once you're moving. Sort of like shifting from low gear to high.