Thankfully, Alex Schlegel, the proprietor of Hartge Yacht Yard in Galesville, Md., took pity on me and asked me to come out racing on his Melges 24 last week. Alex has been sailing his entire life and knows the waters of the West River better than anyone I have ever met. He likes to do things right, and like the rest of the world likes to win, but he is also pretty calm and easygoing as a skipper, so it's always a fun evening on Bufflehead. Racing with Alex were his two sons, Sterling and Xan, and a friend of theirs, Kelsey Averill. They are all good sailors, and didn't really need any help from me. But with the wind blowing 10-plus out of the west-northwest at the start with some nice gusts, my extra weight on the rail came in handy.