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Team Tartan 2017: The Cup is (Virtually) Yours!

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Woo hoo! Team Tartan Sails (Kinda)

Today Team Tartan sailed a virtual Leukemia Cup one week early since we’ll be scattered to the winds during the actual race next week. The good news is that we won the race! Sadly, we also came in last.

We’ve been raising money for the Leukemia Cup for nine years. This year, with your help, we set a new Team Tartan record. So far we’ve raised $101,635.01! But we’re not done yet. Donations are still being accepted on our webpage http://bit.ly/team-tartan-2017 through Saturday 9/9 at 12:00am. Every dollar goes to fight blood cancer. Our donations are making a BIG tangible difference in leukemia research.

Team Tartan’s Best Burgee

Special huge Team Tartan thanks are due to Phil Venables who started things off this year with a massive $75,000 donation and then topped us up another $8000 when we were just shy of $100,000. Phil, Team Tartan couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you again!

This year since our race was virtual, Faith and Anna joined the seasoned crew on the water.

Headed out to win and also lose.

Brothers from the very same mother

Our canine crew was the most helpful since they were not all that interested in the champagne we popped as we approached our first buoy.

I got the jib, guys

Champagne? Nah

In an exclusive video, we now let you aboard the Team Tartan vessel as it executes an exceptionally outstanding turn round buoy one. Watch this action.

Just like last year, we were hampered by sea grass fouling our rudders, keel, and engines. We would have definitely placed exactly the same if not for the grass.

Our Nemesis is Nature

Burgees and an Airplane

Seasoned Crew of Team Tartan

Thanks from Team Tartan!

Thanks to all of our supporters! Fortitudine!

Sailing in New York City

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Sailing was just what the doctor ordered on a sweltering day in the city (90 degrees in mid May!). Gorgeous and fun. Amy captained the boat under sail as we cruised up the Hudson.

 

Jack took the helm at the top of the ride.

 

 

 

Champagne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Barley at the helm.

 

 

 

 

No fun was had!  No fun at all.

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Leukemia Cup is Yours! Team Tartan Sails Again

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We’ve been sailing the Leukemia Cup for 8 years in a row now as Team Tartan and raising lots of money to fight blood cancer. We’re super pleased and proud to report that because of you, our 106 donors, the 2016 Leukemia Cup is yours!

Together we raised $59,729 this year. Just wow.

Team Tartan Takes the Cup

Team Tartan Takes the Cup

Extra special thanks is due to Phil Venables who donated an incredible $40,000 this year. Phil has been our major supporter for four years running and has a collection of red hats to prove it. Thanks Phil! You can sail with us anytime!

The Leukemia Cup Trophy

The Leukemia Cup Trophy

Many of our steady supporters were kind enough not only to donate again, but to raise their 2016 ante. Andy and Heather Steingrubl are a prime example. They doubled their donation this year to a whopping $2000. Everyone should emulate that behavior next year.

Kilts!  We Sail in Kilts!

Kilts! We Sail in Kilts!

Together as Team Tartan we’ve all raised $186,053.60 since 2012. Here’s how that stacks up as a bar chart.

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We certainly love to break fundraising records, but we also like to win in the water as well. This year we took 3rd place in our class (non-spin)! So we’re back in the big league standings which is not bad for a bunch of sailors in kilts.

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Here’s what Commodore Chris had to say about the 2016 race itself.

Team Tartan on the Water

Team Tartan on the Water

We sailed this year with one new crew member. Amy Barley took Eli’s place as Eli is off at college now. There were four of us on board, Chris captaining, Esther, Amy, and Gary grinding and acting as rail meat. And there was Stretch, our one-year-old rescue puppy mascot, who either scampered along the deck, tail wagging and jogging from sailor to sailor in search of dog treats or curled up in the jib sheet taking a nap between races.

Stretch the Team Tartan Mascot

Stretch the Team Tartan Mascot

With only moderate 5 knot winds and temperatures in the 90s, Team Tartan lumbered out to the start line for the 2016 Regatta in the weathered 25 foot Catalina Rebecca. It was hot, and a far cry from last year’s soggy race.

Race 1: Not Fast

Race 1: Not Fast

The first race was as tight as the winds were moderate. On the two mile “course D” we took around 40 minutes to pull in third across the finish line. We were only seconds behind our on-the-water nemesis Captain Bill. The general rule of thumb is if you beat Bill you can actually win the regatta. So we were feeling pretty good about race 1, but we knew we had to do better.

Race 2: Real Winds

Race 2: Real Winds

As the winds picked up well past 7 knots for race 2, the members of Team Tartan found their groove. Winds hit a day long maximum of 12 knots during the race, and creaky old Rebecca found enough uumpf to pull ahead of the fleet. Team members were straining hard on each tack keeping as much weight on the windward side to keep the boat’s keel under her. The tactic worked, and we won the bullet in race 2! Yep, we even bested Bill. Now things were going our way.

Team Tartan 2016

Team Tartan 2016

Sadly as the gun for race three sounded, the winds died down and so did our boat’s speed. Unbeknownst to us, as we traveled through the shallows, our keel and rudder snagged long green masses of hydrilla grass from bottom (something we only discovered after we limped across the line in 5th place). Race 3 was devastating to our overall ranking.

Pro Tip: Attack Grass Slows You Down

Pro Tip: Attack Grass Slows You Down

Attack grass and lame winds aside, as race scores were tallied in full, we won third place in the fleet! Go kilt sailors.

Commodore Chris Sails Team Tartan to 3rd Pace

Commodore Chris Sails Team Tartan to 3rd Pace

Team Tartan 2016

Team Tartan 2016

We celebrated with dark and stormies as we were reunited with Faith, Anna, Chris G, Gary Sr and Laura (the land bound part of Team Tartan) after sailing. During the race, Faith checked in visitors to the spectator boat, and Team Tartan members and supporters Gary Sr., Laura, Anna, Carly, Maggie, and kiddos all loaded up on a packed spectator boat to see the races.

There Be Pirates!

There Be Pirates!

Your Faithful Crew and a Bunch of Burgees

Your Faithful Crew and a Bunch of Burgees

BTW, donations are still being accepted for the 2016 Leukemia Cup. Want to put Team Tartan over $60K? We’re all for it! Donate here.

Team Tartan: Practice Makes Perfect, but Nobody’s Perfect, so Why Practice?

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Or something like that.

Team Tartan Commodore Chris and mascot Stretch

Team Tartan Commodore Chris and mascot Stretch

For the last eight years, my brother Chris and I have been sailing the National Capitol Leukemia Cup regatta. We mostly do this to raise money to fight leukemia (a disease that killed our mother), but we also like to win the race on the water.

Over the years we have done just a smidge better raising money than we have sailing the race. We were number one in both a few years back. But since then, our sailing has become a bit rusty even while we have taken home the fundraising Leukemia Cup for many years in a row.

This year we’re kicking ass on the fundraising front (thanks to our many donors, but especially to phil venables). So far we have raised a collective $56,207. That is a major record for Team Tartan.

If you would like to donate, you can do it now on the net.

In order to up our game on the water, we did some practice this weekend.

Sailing Practice with Team Tartan

Sailing Practice with Team Tartan

The jib pole is always a challenge.

The jib pole is always a challenge.

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Sailing practice can be tiring. Here is our mascot Stretch ready to jibe.

JIBE! Er, sleep.

JIBE! Er, sleep.

See you on the water.

Fin.

Fin.

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO TEAM TARTAN

Team Tartan Wishes You a Happy New Year

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Team Tartan gathered over the holidays to celebrate our year. Thanks to all of our sponsors and donors! Together, we’re defeating blood cancers.

Team Tartan

Team Tartan

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Cheers!

Cheers!

You can read about the race here.

Team Tartan on the water: 2015

Team Tartan on the water: 2015

The 2015 Cup is Yours: Team Tartan Takes the Leukemia Cup

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A huge thank you to our 93 Team Tartan supporters for 2015! We did it again! The cup is yours. This year we raised a record $45,499 thanks to you.

YOU GUYS ROCK!

Sunrise on Leukemia Cup day

Sunrise on Leukemia Cup day

A wet morning on the water: The Team Tartan Crew

A wet morning on the water: The Team Tartan Crew

Special thanks to Phil Venables who this year upped his donation to a jaw dropping $30,000. Thanks as well to our major donors Linda Cancro and Andy & Heather Steingrueble who donated $1000 each, and to Paul Kocher who gave us $600.

Team Tartan sails in stormy weather

Team Tartan sails in stormy weather

Team Tartan on the water (and in the water). We got soaked.

Team Tartan on the water (and in the water). We got soaked.

Rebecca on the water between races

Rebecca on the water between races

Here is the story of our very soggy race.

A misty cold front moved through the Potomac as Team Tartan’s racing team took to our venerable sailing vessel Rebecca—a 25′ sloop. She’s a fine boat, though a little shaggy on the bottom and showing a few cracks about her bulkheads and a few signs of extra character in her sails from the strains of hard service. (Perhaps that’s a reflection of a couple of us who sail her?)

Donning our kilts since we crushed our fundraising goal, we set out on the water early in the morning with a real sense of possibility. We were damp before we even got out on the water, but that was only the tiniest taste of things to come.

The supporting team cheered on from a split level observation boat—Carly and Maggie with kids in tow, Gary Sr, Laura, and Faith wearing Scottish gear and leading loud cheers. Meanwhile way up the river, Ana was cheering from a race committee boat in the flying scots class.

We haven’t spent as much time on the water recently as we have in past years, and unfortunately it showed. Despite adequate starts on the line as the regatta horn sounded during all three races, our nemesis Captain Bill, who has won 13 or so previous races bested us around the combined courses as did two other vessels.

Just before the final race of the series, a menacing bank of dark rain clouds with rumbles of distant thunder appeared from the South. Many boats radioed in their retirement from the race well before the starting sequence. After some debate, we decided to press on, but made a strategic error, replacing our 150 jib with a 130 at the very last minute. We were expecting a major storm to blow. It didn’t, and our little jib did not give us the power we needed.

Though we’d bested a majority of our peers on the race-course and managed to avoid hitting a pier this year, we only secured fourth place on the water. But then, though we love winning on the water, winning on the water is not really what our efforts are all about.

A novel use for a sporin: beer holder

A novel use for a sporin: beer holder

ARGH! Pirates party again.

ARGH! Pirates party again.

Team Tartan takes the Leukemia Cup

Team Tartan takes the Leukemia Cup

We sail in kilts: even in the rain

We sail in kilts: even in the rain

Team Tartan Breaks Fundraising Record (More to Go Tho)

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We’re sailing the Leukemia Cup in kilts for sure again this year since we trounced our $30,000 fundraising goal. So far we’ve raised just over $43,000 and our NEW GOAL is $45,000!

Sailing our way to $45K! You can help…

GIVE TO TEAM TARTAN!

We have one week to go before the race. In fact, we were sailing this morning getting ready for the big race. Now we’re wiped out.

Some boat instrument maintenance was in order today.

Chris adjusts the windicator

Chris adjusts the windicator

Hoist that Chris!

Hoist that Chris!

Meet Team Tartan’s sailing squad.

Commodore Chris: Our fearless captain

Commodore Chris: Our fearless captain

Eli: Our 18 year old Ace in the Hole (grinder)

Eli: Our 18 year old Ace in the Hole (grinder)

Captain Esther: Our second captain (our trick is to have two)

Captain Esther: Our second captain (our trick is to have two)

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