In the days of early, square-sailed ships, being pushed by the wind was the only choice. Even today, there are two situations when the sail does work by direct pressure instead of lift:

on a run - also known as sailing leeward or downwind. This is where you often see that memorable, balloon-shaped sail, the spinnaker.

on a beam reach - sailing at a right angle across the wind. In this situation, the boat benefits both from direct pressure and from lift. This makes it the fastest point of sail.

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