flying start

noun
1.
a start, as in sailboat racing, in which the entrants begin moving before reaching the starting line.
2.
a start or beginning of anything, characterized by the participant's vigor and enthusiasm and sometimes by a certain advantage over competitors: She's off to a flying start in her new job.

Origin:
1850–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
flying start
 
n
1.  Also called (informal): flyer (in sprinting) a start by a competitor anticipating the starting signal
2.  a start to a race or time trial in which the competitor is already travelling at speed as he passes the starting line
3.  any promising beginning
4.  an initial advantage over others

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

flying start

see under get off the ground.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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