Honoring a sailing life well-lived

Jan Garrison

Culver hosts Scrappy Regatta


May 21, 2021

Four high school sailing teams from Michigan came to Lake Maxinkuckee on Saturday, May 8, to race in the inaugural Scrappy Regatta. The Midwest Interscholastic Sailing Association tier 3 regatta is named after the Scrappy, a sailboat once owned by Michigan native Seymour Padnos, an avid sailor and father of Mitch Padnos ’69.

With sailing becoming a two-season sport, coach Joe Hanko said Culver Academies added a spring regatta that was not sponsored. The Padnos family, which have been steadfast supporters of both the summer and boarding school sailing programs, stepped up to sponsor and name the event after the Scrappy.

Hanko said the boat’s name also describes the Culver team’s growing reputation in the sport. The Padnos family's sponsorship also included a replica of the Scrappy, a North American 40, which will be displayed in the Naval Building. The model was a present to Seymour Padnos from everyone who appreciated his work on developing and expanding sailing programs in Michigan.


Racing on Lake Maxinkuckee. The Huffington Library is in the background.


From Holland, Michigan, Padnos skippered the Scrappy into his early 90s before selling the boat in 2014. Through the years, several members of the Scrappy’s crew went on to race professionally. In October 2020, Padnos was posthumously inducted into the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Hall of Fame. He passed away in July at the age of 99.

Padnos’ passion was passed down to his children, including Mitch, who also attended one summer of Culver Naval School. At 70, he is an active sailor and competitor. And that love for sailing didn’t stop after one generation. It continues grow in the family’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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