the fastest point of sail; subdivided into close reach, beam reach and broad reach.
Sailing with the wind coming from the side (sailing across the wind). If the wind is coming from directly from the side, it is a beam reach. If the board is pointed more into the wind it is a close reach. If the wind is coming more from behind, it is called a broad reach.
Sailing a course, or point of sail that is not close hauled and not running. A "beam reach" is 90 degrees to the wind direction. A "close reach" is between a beam reach and sailing close-hauled (45 degrees to the wind). A "broad reach" is between a beam reach and a run (180 degrees to the wind). Sailing at any of these angles is reaching.