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More press (post-race)

Postby fleck » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:53 pm

Boston sails past field at Macatawa's S2 Regatta
Perennial power guides Frequent Flyer to victory at racing event in Holland

By ALAN BABBITT

Second place was good enough for local sailor Jeff Padnos at the S2 7.9-Meter International Regatta.
When you finish behind the best in your class, it's hard to get upset.

"It's like coming in second to Tiger Woods," Padnos said of being runner-up to skipper Spike Boston Saturday after the regatta's final race.

"How can you complain about that?"

Boston, a perennial S2 champion, led his boat Frequent Flyer to victory at the three-day event hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club. He gained a first-place total of 16 points over seven races on Lake Michigan, finishing comfortably ahead of the K-2 of Padnos, who had 31 points.

Dan Cherrish's Love Boat Captain came in third with 34 points.

The S2 7.9-Meter is a 26-foot sailboat that has ties to Holland. Of the more than 500 built between 1982 and 1994, all but 10 were built in Holland.

Frequent Flyer sailed away from the competition by winning a regatta-best three races, including the first of four held Saturday. That proved to be a turning point, Boston said.

"It was tight going into today," said Boston, who lives in Sarnia, Ontario. "We had a couple-point lead, but we went out and did what we had to do. You win the first race and that takes the pressure off the second one. After that, we had to be sure we stayed second."

Frequent Flyer also posted two second-place finishes and one ninth. It built such a big lead it didn't have to race the final event.

Local sailor Justin Hood helped Frequent Flyer win. He joined Boston's crew today after Brad Boston, Spike's son, had to leave for a wedding.

Frequent Flyer made sailing look easier than it was, Padnos said.

"It was a very challenging event," said Padnos, whose five-person crew on K-2 included his brother, Doug. "We ended up starting in the morning with so much wind, we used a little sail. By the end, it got so light (the race committee) shortened the last race. That's a complete range, even with one day.

"I think most people would say we got a very good test."

The uncertainty of the number of races that would be held added to the challenge, Padnos said.

Five races needed to be completed in the S2 Regatta in order for boats to be able to toss out their worst finish. After Friday, only three had been finished.

"The boats behind us were going to gain a lot if there was a throwout," Padnos said. "It was important we stayed consistent."

K-2 placed in the top 10 in five races and finished third three times.

Contact Alan Babbitt at alan.babbitt@hollandsentinel.com or (616) 546-4271.
Bob Fleck
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