For the past three years, I’ve been sailing with my brother Chris and my dad in the DC Leukemia Cup. Last year we raised $8600 and came in 3rd place overall.


Commodore Chris in his kilt.

Here’s the writeup from last year’s race:


This was no ordinary race. Tropical storm Lee ripped through Washington just before the start, its flood waters throwing down enormous currents and tree trunks for us to dodge, as well as all the plastic bottles from West Virginia, and all the tennis balls that have ever been lost in the DC metro area. Gusts of wind bared white caps and pushed the occasional sailboat on its ear, their sails dipping low to the muddy Potomac flood.

In the first of two races, our smart crew in kilts and other tartan-wear port-tacked over to the Maryland side of the river seeking shallow waters in order to elude the current. It seemed like a great plan as our boat accelerated into full speed and began pulling away from competitors, but just as we settled in to our groove, three sickening thuds sounded in short succession. Each shook the hull causing the crew to jolt like officers on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. (Those of us wearing red shirts were particularly fearful.) As the last thud rang out, our rudder tore completely free from the stern. We had lost our steering. The thuds were caused by submerged wooden pilings hidden under the water. In an earlier time, they constituted a civil war era dock on the Potomac. In 2011, they were our underwater downfall.

Under sail and hauling ass.

We loosed the sheets and flopped our sails as Captain Chris and I struggled in our fashion-forward kilts to lean over the stern of the vessel and man-handle a 150 pound rudder back into elusive gudgeons to re-attach it to our boat. I’m sure the rest of the crew was traumatized! Four hours later, or so it seemed, we were back in the race and heading around the marks. With our rudder replaced, we made up time and managed to cross the line in 7th place ahead of many strong competitors.

In the second race, everything went perfectly. We took the bullet – FIRST PLACE. So, with our two races combined, we earned a 3rd place

Team Tartan