sail before the wind

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sail before the wind

To achieve something easily. This nautical phrase refers to the ease of sailing in the same direction as the wind. I don't understand people who just sail before the wind and get great grades without ever opening a book, when I study really hard and am just an average student. I hardly studied, and I still got A's on all of my exams—I really sailed before the wind this semester!
See also: before, sail, wind
References in classic literature ?
Canoes, many canoes, urged by paddles or sailed before the wind by the weight of the freshening South East trade on spread fronds of coconut palms, moved across the smooth surface of the lagoon.
As the girls grew warm and accustomed to the exercise they laughed, jested, screamed recklessly when they came into collision, and sailed before the wind down the whole length of the pond at perilous speed.