Winslow in da Shed

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Tia Maggio and Winslow McCagg are at it again with a beautiful new art show at Blandy Experimental Farm (part of the University of Virginia) near Millwood. Nothing like excellent bone fide local artists to make a community thrive!

The show, called “Reunion,” runs through February 28th. Go see it.

When you go, you can take a gander at the pieces we are adding to our collection. They have red dots. One is called Zane Grey; the other, Mutiny on the Bounty. This time we focused on Winslow’s work since we already have a couple of pieces by Tia. The show is a great pairing, however, with equally good work from both artists. We still think Winslow and Tia make a great pair.

Winslow McCagg

Winslow McCagg

Tia Maggio

Tia Maggio

The space in the Board room at Blandy is a bit crowded when filled with 30-40 people and the mega conference table, so getting pictures was a challenge. Nice to see the place hum though.

Tia's work in pastel

Tia’s work in pastel

Winslow's work

Winslow’s work

Finally some Winslow is coming home to roost. Here is what the new pieces look like.

Zane Grey  by Winslow McCagg

Zane Grey by Winslow McCagg

Mutiny on the Bounty by Winslow McCagg

Mutiny on the Bounty by Winslow McCagg

Our very own Vanna.

Mutiny on the Bounty by Winslow McCagg.

Mutiny on the Bounty by Winslow McCagg.

Photography by Chris McGraw.

Sailing in NOLA

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Our Leukemia Cup fundraising earned us a sailing trip to New Orleans as a reward. This is the first time that all four McGraw sailors have sailed together on the same boat (though we have sailed in all possible other sailor combinations).

We sail in kilts.

Four sailors.

Four sailors.

Walt ponders his fleet.

Walt ponders his fleet.

Grinding in a kilt.

Grinding in a kilt.

Come Water Spouts or Tornados, We Sail In Kilts


The Cup is yours!

In a day that ended in 50 mile an hour winds and a torrential downpour, we stuck it out for all three races, taking second place in our class. Here’s a blow by blow account.

White caps propelled by 15 knot winds roared down the water on both the Virginia side and the Maryland side in front of even stronger gusts. The high seas sent more than 3/4’s of the boats in our racing class back to the docks and to a safe port well before the three races were over—but not Team Tartan! We’re nuts, and we sail to win. (Details here: https://sites.google.com/site/disc2014/race-results/2012-race-results/leukemia-cup/non-spin-b).

We braved the weather in our fearsome Scottish gear. Though we were sailing on our ear most of the time, and drenched by river spray all of the time, we rocketed past the competition to beat every single boat in our class—save one. In the gusty conditions, we sailed at full tilt, recklessly sporting a 150 headsail. Commodore Chris was at the tiller and in calm and cool command, with Kyoko ventilating and angling the mainsail. Anna and Dad were the rail meat (and they have the purple posteriors to prove it). Their job was to lunge themselves over one side or the other to keep the boat’s feet under us without falling into the drink. Gary and Deepak pulled the headsail with hundreds of foot-pounds of pressure on it through furious and relentless tacks. At one point in race two, Deepak splashed into the water with a rogue wave, pulling himself back over the gunnel with super human strength and returning to his crank. In the end, we somehow kept the entire crew on board, though we did see one of our cranks slip the surly bonds of the deck and sink into the silver spray.

We fought the conditions tooth and nail and battled to the front of the pack in each of the three races. After the second race, the weary crew petitioned for relief to no avail. Commodore Chris urged us on to complete a spectacularly strategized set of races. Meanwhile back on land, Faith and Chris V held down the fort, cheered us on, and hoisted a mug or two.

We won a second place on the water and ended up bruised and battered, feeling the race in our bones even two days later. What a day, and what a regatta!

Though we took a hard fought second in the regatta (besting our arch nemesis Captain Bill, but falling to a much bigger vessel), we took first in fundraising. Thanks to YOU, Team Tartan won the major award of the regatta as the highest fundraising boat! Together, 89 of us raised an incredible $20,355 to fight leukemia. (Once again a special Team Tartan thank you to Phil Venables for his $10,000 donation.) We can’t thank you all enough. You rule.

Next year we intend to win both!

Team Tartan Sails Saturday

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Leukemia Cup 2011.

Commodore Chris, Team Tartan, and I are proud to announce that because of your supremely magnanimous generosity we have exceeded our Team Tartan fundraising goal. So far, we’ve collectively raised $20,000 to fight blood cancer. Thanks to all of you, and especially to our longtime supporters who plussed up 10% this year. Awesome.

Donations are still coming in, and are most welcome right up to race time this Saturday! Track the total here

A special thanks to Phil Venables who has been a major donor to our boat for multiple years. This year Phil went above and beyond the call of duty, donating $10,000 to the cause. Thanks to Phil, we not only beat our goal, we clobbered it!

Now it’s up to Team Tartan, sailing in kilts and other Scottish garb, to take to the water and win. Come join us Saturday if you can. Fortitudine!

[For last year’s saga, click here.]

Commodore Chris Sails Again

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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