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Mackinac race crew in peak form thanks to fitness expert

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The J-Hawker crew may have been the fitness winners in last weekend's Port Huron to Mackinac race.

Although they only placed fourth in their division in the three-day event, all 11 on board were feeling shipshape as a result of following nutrition and conditioning advice of friend and fitness expert Cyndi Targosz, who is a former Southfield resident and Detroit WNIC-FM radio personality.

Crew member Jim Gates, a retired Detroit police officer, spoke from Mackinac Island on Monday, where the yacht finished the race in the morning along with about half the fleet. The boats left Port Huron on Saturday.

Gates has been on about 30 Mackinac races and said that thanks to Targosz, they ate better this time and had more agility and endurance.

Gates, the sail trimmer and "food and beverage manager" said they had fruit on board for the first time, ate tasty meals with more vegetables, and left the soda behind in favor of water and flavored water drinks.
"We used to just eat candy bars," said Gates, who also lost 30 pounds following her program.

Kathy O'Sullivan, who works the foredeck, said "I don't like to exercise but tips from her program help to make staying in shape on the boat effective and fun at the same time."

The boat is owned by David Sandlin and skippered by Ken Brown. The boat took the longer, 270-mile Southhampton course.

Gates said they made good time this year thanks to stormy weather on the lake Sunday. "We had good wind. We got to 30 knots on Sunday afternoon."

Targosz said she enjoyed helping. "Sailing in a long distance race is demanding," she said, and proper diet and exercise is important.

Targosz said she advocates daily small, manageable workouts, which she writes about in her book, Ten Minute Tone-Ups for Dummies. Her workouts and stretch moves can easily be done anywhere, including on the J-Hawker, she said.

She is also elated that her new '40s pinup-style poster, by artist Kent Steine, was adopted as the official flag of the J-Hawker. The flag -- which isn't used during races -- was raised for the first time while docked during pre-race festivities at Port Huron.

Targosz saw the crew off in Port Huron and then was there to meet them at Mackinac. She said she's thrilled that people have been asking her, "Aren't you that girl on the flag?"

Targosz now lives in California. Her poster helps raise funds for veterans and armed services groups. She is president of her own company,

The Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race is one of the greatest freshwater long distance yacht races in the world. The winners are determined based on a handicapping system that considers each boat's capability. Approximately 3,000 sailors, aboard 234 boats, participated this year.