Patience is a very necessary requirement for light airs as everything moves in such slow motion. All tactical and strategic moves must be planned well in advance.
Little games like out-pointing a competitor on your windward hip at the start should be avoided at all costs as the end result is both of you slowing down and the fleet getting away. If you find yourself in this position and you want to tack, then your starting strategy went amiss somewhere. Just settle down and drive the boat for speed.
In most one-design classes like the 1M a good start is critical, and starting with the maximum speed will most likely give you that half a boat length jump to get clear air.