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Surf City 2008 Yearbook

(Click here to download a high resolution 2008 Beach Patrol Photo)


2008 Surf City Beach Patrol season statistics:
Total Rescues � 141
Missing Persons Recovered by the Patrol � 30
First Aid Responses � 8
Total Estimated Beach Population � 196,700
Average Water Temperature � 66 degrees Fahrenheit

2008 Summer Recap
Another fantastic and safe summer for the Surf City Beach Patrol.  From an ocean conditions point of view  it was definitely an unusual summer.  Extremely cold water right up until early August and very calm "June-like" water  through July and into the first week or two of August as well.  It was almost like the warm water and waves arrived nearly together.  The calm and cold water definitely made the lifeguarding a little easier during the first half of the season but as you can tell by the rescue count the rough conditions in August were challenging and made up for the lull in rescues in the first half of the summer.  But as usual the lifeguards were up to the challenge and provided a safe and fun swimming environment for the Surf City beach patrons.

This year we welcomed four new lifeguards into the Surf City Beach Patrol family.  Tim Raimo, Conner McMenamin, Valerie Clark, and late comer to the squad Chris Campise.  Congratulations on completing your first summer with your Surf City family and we look forward to working with you next summer.

Image to Right - Surf City voted "#5 Sports Win" by Times-Beacon for 2008 season.  Right-Click to download hi-resolution PDF file of the article.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed photos to this online yearbook and especially "squad photographers" Kyle Gronostajski and Matt Holloway.  We are lucky to have two photography gurus with an eye for composition and high quality digital SLR cameras!

2008 Tournament Season Wrap Up
It's pretty simple really.  Surf City dominated nearly every event attended.  Eight tournaments attended, six first place finishes and two close second place finishes.  And most of the wins were dominating.  40 to 17 at the Epic, 27 to 14 at Lavallette, 41 to 31 at Ortley, 55 to 32 at Island Beach, and 35 to 16 at Midway.  This was a fantastic year for the "City."  Lots of hard work, preparation, and training over the last 10 years culminated in the 2008 season results.

Let's see.  Surf City competed in 8 tournaments and in total there were 58 events.  Surf City won 30 of those 58 events.  Came in second in 8 of them and third in eight.  Surf City placed "in the medals" in 42 of 58 events.  That's nearly 80% of the time. 

(Click on a tournament link to go directly to that tournament)

Tuesday July 8 - Surf City Epic - Surf City 1st Place w/40 points, Beach Haven 2nd w/17 points
1st Place Run-Swim:  Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Run-Row:  Chris Bigos, Mark Dileo
1st Place Surf Dash:  Darren Podolak, Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Paddle Relay:  Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos, Darren Podolak
1st Place Iron Man Medley:  Alan Bakes, Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos/Mark Dileo

Thursday July 17 - Lavallette 6-Man - Surf City 1st Place w/27 points, Ortley 2nd w/14 points
1st Place Rescue Race:  Chris Bigos, Dave Bonanni, Ross Reynolds, Alan Bakes
1st Place Boat Swim:  Jeff Hahn, Dave Bonanni
2nd Place Paddle Relay:  Dave Bonanni, Darren Podolak, Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos
1st Place Rescue Race:  Alan Bakes, Darren Podolak, Jeff Hahn, Ross Reynolds, Dave Bonanni, Chris Bigos
1st Place Swim Relay:  Alan Bakes, Ross Reynolds, Darren Podolak, Jeff Hahn
3rd Place Line-Pull:  Alan Bakes, Chris Bigos

Thursday July 24 - Sandy Hook - Surf City 2nd Place with 36.5 points, Bradley Beach 1st with 37 points
3rd Place Swim Relay:  Harrison Hahn, Jeff Hahn, Alan Bakes
2nd Place Row Relay:  Steve Welc/Mark Dileo, Dave Bonanni/Darren Podolak, Rip Wagner/Ross Reynolds
1st Place Iron Man Medley:  Alan Bakes (swim), Ross Reynolds (paddle), Steve Welc/Mark Dileo (row)

Monday July 28 - Ship Bottom - Surf City 2nd Place with 23 points, Bradley Beach 1st with 27 points
3rd Place Buoy Rescue:  Alan Bakes (victim), Andre Garner (rescuer)
2nd Place Boat Swim:  Jeff Hahn (rower/swimmer), Dave Bonanni (rower)
3rd Place Iron Man Medley:  Alan Bakes (swimmer), Ross Reynolds (paddler), Chris Bigos/Dave Bonanni (rowers)
1st Place Paddle Relay:  Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos

Wednesday July 30 - Ortley Classic - Surf City 1st Place with 41 points, Ortley 2nd with 31 points
2nd Place Doubles Row:  Chris Bigos/Dave Bonanni
1st Place Iron Man Medley:  Alan Bakes (swim), Ross Reynolds (paddle), Steve Welc/Mark Dileo (row)
1st Place Boat Pick-Up:  Chris Bigos (victim/rower), Dave Bonanni (rower)
1st Place Swim Relay:  Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn, Darren Podolak, Harrison Hahn
2nd Place Boat Swim:  Jeff Hahn (swimmer/rower), Dave Bonanni (rower)
3rd Place Paddle Relay:  Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos
1st Place Boat Relay:  Steve Welc/Mark Dileo, Chris Bigos/Dave Bonanni, Rip Wagner/Ross Reynolds, Darren Podolak/Jeff Hahn

Monday August 4 - Island Beach - Surf City 1st Place with 55 points, Ortley 2nd with 32 points
1st Place Doubles Row:  Dave Bonanni/Chris Bigos
3rd Place Swim Relay:  Alan Bakes, Harrison Hahn, Andre Garner, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Iron Man Medley:  Alan Bakes (swim), Ross Reynolds (paddle), Dave Bonanni/Chris Bigos (row)
1st Place Paddle Relay:  Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, Chris Bigos
2nd Place Boat Relay:  Steve Welc/Mark Dileo, Ross Reynolds/Jeff Hahn, Dave Bonanni/Chris Bigos, Rip Wagner/Collette Pretre
1st Place Rescue Race:  Andre Garner (line swimmer), Alan Bakes (line victim), Dave Bonanni/Chris Bigos (line pullers), Jeff Hahn (board victim), Ross Reynolds (paddler), Matt Holloway (boat victim), Steve Welc/Mark Dileo (rowers)

Thursday August 7 - Midway - Surf City 1st Place with 35 points, Ortley/Berkeley tie for 2nd with 16 points
1st Place Paddle Relay:  Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, Ryan Curtin
1st Place Boat Pick-Up:  Mark Dileo (victim, rower), Dave Bonanni (rower)
1st Place Swim Relay:  Alan Bakes, Andre Garner, Darren Podolak, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Boat Relay:
  Steve Welc/Mark Dileo, Dave Bonanni/Darren Podolak, Rip Wagner/Ross Reynolds
1st Place Boat Swim:  Jeff Hahn (swimmer, rower), Steve Welc (rower)

Friday/Saturday August 8/9 - 47th Annual LBIBPA Tournament - Surf City 1st Place
1st Place Mile Row:  Steve Welc/Mark Dileo
3rd Place Buoy Rescue:  Alan Bakes, Valerie Clark
1st Place Paddle Relay:  Matt Holloway, Kyle Gronostajski, Ryan Curtin, Ross Reynolds
1st Place Women's Doubles Row:  Jenn Welc/Alyssa DeAngelis
3rd Place Iron Man:  Darren Podolak
2nd Place Open Swim:  Alan Bakes
1st Place Line-Pull:  Andre Garner (swimmer), Nick Labida/Kyle Gronostajski (pullers)
1st Place Singles Row:  Dave Bonanni
2nd Place Mixed Doubles Row:  Rip Wagner/Alyssa DeAngelis
1st Place Surf Dash:  Darren Podolak, Harrison Hahn, Jeff Hahn

2008 Surf City Most Valuable Tournament Player - Ross Reynolds
Congratulations to Ross Reynolds for earning an astounding 52 team points for Surf City.  In this calculation a first place counts for three points, second for two points, and third for one point.  Here are the top 10.  The fact that the point spread is so small shows that the success of the squad this summer was truly a team effort.
1.  Ross Reynolds - 52 points
2. Dave Bonanni - 46 points
3.  Chris Bigos - 45 points
4.  Alan Bakes - 44 points
5.  Jeff Hahn - 41 points
6.  Steve Welc - 35 points
7.  Darren Podolak - 32 points
8.  Mark Dileo - 29 points
9.  Matt Holloway - 16 points
10.  Andre Garner - 11 points


Memories from the 2008 Season








Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament � Tuesday July 8, 2008
(A Clean Sweep for Surf City)
"The Rubber Match"

Since the Surf City Epic lifeguard tournament is always one of if the first tournaments of the season the possibility of extremely cold water is always a risk that has to be taken into account.  The wind had been blowing out of the South for a solid three weeks.  Just two days before the tournament the ocean temperature was in the high 50's it didn't look like the Epic would happen on the scheduled date.  But then the Sunday before the tournament the wind shifted and was now coming from the North.  By Monday morning the ocean temperature was 65 degrees.  But alas the North wind would not last and by Monday afternoon it was blowing from the South once again.  By Tuesday morning the ocean had cooled to 62 degrees but it was decided that unless there was a storm the Epic would proceed.  So despite cold water, a stiff South wind, and challenging Surf conditions the Epic was a go.

Surf City Epic 2008 - Beach Haven Times Article

Beach Haven Times coverage of the Epic.

Just before the start of the 5th Annual Epic Lifeguard Tournament...

   Besides Surf City, competing island teams included Barnegat Light, Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township, and Beach Haven.  Off-Island teams were represented by Ortley and Island Beach State Park.  One of the long time problems with the Epic from a spectator point of view is the amount of down time that occurs when the competitors are completing the long runs in the Epic Run-Swim and the Run-Row.  In order to reduce this down time the Epic Run-Swim and Run-Row events would be the first two events with a 10 minute staggered start.  As the Run-Swim competitors finished the Run-Row competitors would be entering the main course.  But this also meant that each team would need to bring four runners to the tournament.  

MC Extraordinaire - Tony Nitti

This was the 5th Annual Epic Tournament.  Surf City had won the first and fourth tournaments, while LBT had one years two and three.  This would be the "rubber match" that would decide the five years Epic champions. 

DJ 'Dre gets ready.

Ross and Alan checking out the competition.

This year Jeff Hahn and Alan Bakes would take on the tournaments namesake event the "Epic" Run-Swim.  I have competed in this event many times and it is a grueling event not so much because of the 2 mile run and approximately 1500 foot swim distances, but more so by the high level of competition among the field.  Alan and Jeff both did well in the run and entered the water near the top of the 14 competitor field.  Alan exited the water first and said that as he was high stepping through the shallow water he could hear footsteps behind him.  He thought, "Sh*t, I hope that's Jeff."  He turned around to look and yes it was Jeff!  Surf City would finish 1-2 in the Epic Run-Swim.  Nice job guys!

Epic Run-Swim and Run-Row Competitors Cross Paths


Things weren't going so well in the Run-Row.  Chris was running with the frontrunner from Township and actually ended up winning the run portion of the race but I had fallen behind the second Township runner.  We entered the boat about 20 or 30 seconds behind the Township boat, which was in the lead.  It was going to be a race to see if we could catch them.  As we entered the shore break it looked as though Township might hold us off.  Then Chris said, "Township just flipped their boat."  At that moment we hooked onto a wave, I ran to the back and Chris stayed high side so we could avoid the fate of the Township boat.  We skipped into the shallows in an ugly yet effective manner and Chris out hustled the Township competitor to the finish line.  Another first place finish for Surf City.  We were off to a good start.

Run-Row Start and Chris and Mark getting launched in the boat

Jeff and Alan finishing the Epic Run-Swim "one-two"

Darren Podolak, Alan Bakes, and Jeff Hahn would be the Surf Dash team for Surf City.  This is an event that Ortley had dominated since the first year of the Epic but if there was a Surf City trio to dethrone the Ortley swimmers this was it.  Darren went first and came out a close third in a very tough field of "first leggers."  Next up was Alan and he dispatched #2 by the first buoy.  #1 was a harder catch and not until the return swim to shore was Alan able to catch him.  Jeff was handed a lead and never looked back, catching a wave (as usual) to seal the deal.  Three Surf City first places in a row.

Surf Dash Start

Darren tags Alan and Alan tags Jeff in the Surf Dash.  There was no catching this Surf Dash team!

Now it was time for the "Epic" paddleboard relay.  Keep in mind that the buoy was probably set about 1100 feet off shore!  This would be a serious paddle with decent sized surf and a good side chop.  The first paddler from each team was really strong.  It was a battle the whole way and Surf City's Ross Reynolds came out a close second to the Beach Haven paddler.  Chris Bigos was up next and he opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the field, handing the board over to Darren who put in a solid paddle and brought home another Surf City first place.  Four events down, four Surf City firsts.  We were really having a good night of it.


Chris in the second leg of the Epic Paddle-Relay

Ross heads off to start the Paddle-Relay

The final race of the night was the Iron Man Medley and a shivering Alan hit the water for the third time of the night.  After it was all over he came out in third.  Ross took off in the shorter course paddle and put on an expert display of paddling to put the Surf City team back in first place.  Chris and I were launched first and rowed like we were in last to secure the final Surf City first place victory of the night.

The start and finish of the Iron Women Medley - As luck would have it a Tsunami swept through just as the women entered the boats!


Surf City wins the rubber match against LBT

The final tally showed Surf City to have earned a perfect score of 40 points, 8 for each event.  Beach Haven and Barnegat Light tied for second with 17 points but 2nd place overall was awarded to Beach Haven because they earned two second place finishes to Barnegat Lights one.

Congratulations to all of the teams that attended the 2008 Surf City Epic Tournament and see you next year!






Lavallette 6 - Man Tournament - Thursday July 17, 2008
(Surf City Win 4 out of 6 Events for a Dominant Victory, Surf City 27, Ortley 14)
"Unfinished Business - Part I"

Digital Sports Article - Lavallette Tournament

The Lavallette Tournament is always a competitive tournament with strong teams attending from up and down the Jersey shore.  In all 10 teams attended the tournament, Lavallette, Surf City, Ship Bottom, Barnegat Light, Sandy Hook, Ortley, Brigantine, Bradley Beach, Long Beach Township, and   Lavallette has won their tournament for many years and last year Surf City came close to dethroning Lavallette with a second place finish just one point behind Lavallette.  Lavallette always fields a strong team in all of the tournaments they attend, year after year, so we knew this would be a tough tournament to win.  There were quite a few cold and rainy days when the Surf City "6" had trained for this one.  Would their dedication pay off?

Ross gives Jeff a hand with his helmet.  Chris in the 800 run.

The first event was a backwards sort of Iron Man.  The row portion was firstt with one of the rowers having to run an 800 before entering the boat.  Chris Bigos took on the running duties and entered the Surf City boat in 2nd place right behind Lavallette.  The waves were big on this night and all of the boats had a hard time getting out.  Dave Bonanni was rowing with Chris and they hit a bomb of a wave right in the impact zone and flooded the boat with water.  Despite the water they finished the 1000' row and brought the boat back to shore in 3rd place.

Dave and Chris on the way out in the medley

Big surf!  Caitlin and Alyssa supporting the team at Lavallette.

Ross Reynolds was up next in the 1000' paddle portion of the event and did a great job negotiating the large surf to bring the Surf City team back into first place.  Alan Bakes swam the 1000' portion of the IM Medley race.  But this race had a twist as Alan had to swim out to the buoy and pick up a bag to simulate a real rescue, tow the bag back to shore and drag it across the finish line.  Alan held onto the lead from the paddleboard leg and Surf City finished first in the first event of the tournament.

Dave tags Ross in the paddle leg of the Medley while Alan seals the deal for a 1st place finish.

The second event was the row-out/swim-in.  Dave Bonanni would be rowing and Jeff Hahn swimming.  They had a bit of a rocky start with the large surf but once they cleared the break they opened up a small lead on the field before Jeff shut down the rowing.  It was hard to tell who entered the water first but the first three swimmers probably entered less then a second or two apart.  It was a pretty close race right to the finish with Jeff and the guy right behind him catching the same wave and fighting it out right to the finish line.  Jeff stayed a step or two ahead (bin training!) and brought home another first place finish for Surf City.

Dave and Jeff in their first Boat Swim of the season.

Jeff in a close race!  Practicing a little synchronized swimming?

Jeff out hustling the other competitor to the line for another Surf City 1st place.

Next up was the paddleboard relay, always a strong event for Surf City.  The line-up for Surf City would be Dave Bonanni, Darren Podolak, Ross Reynolds, and Chris Bigos.  One of the teams on the South end of the field did a good job getting through the break on the first leg and was able to catch a set on the way back to the beach ahead of the rest of the field.  The Surf City paddlers tried to catch that team throughout the rest of the event but would have to settle for a 2nd place finish this time.

Dave getting ready to start the paddle relay.  Darren bringing home leg 2 to Ross.

Darren hands off the board to Ross while Chris brings it home.

Another new event in the Lavallette this year was the relay rescue race that required all six members of the team to compete.  In the first part of the event Darren swam out to the buoy as the victim.  Once touching the buoy (in first place) Alan swam out with fins and a torp as the rescuer.  The team of Alan and Darren retuned to the beach in first place after this part of the race.  Upon crossing the line Jeff swam out to the buoy, again as the rescuer, and after touching the mark Ross paddled out to pick him up.  Again the Surf City duo returned to shore in first place.  The final leg of the race was a boat pick-up in which Chris Bigos would swim out to the mark and Dave Bonanni would pick him up.  Chris had a hard time spotting the buoy and got out to the mark a big behind the first few teams.  But since the surf was so large the other teams held their boats back waiting for a clear time to launch.  Dave was launched immediately as Chris touched the mark and with some experienced rowing managed to avoid the impact zone of the incoming set.  Once Chris got into the boat it was game over and Surf City claimed it's third 1st place in the 2008 Lavallette tournament.


Dave and Chris finish up the Rescue Race for another Surf City 1st Place finish.

The swim relay was next and the line-up would be Alan, Ross, Darren, and Jeff.  At this point Surf City had 19 team points and the second place team (Ortley) had 10 points.  Mathematically if Surf City earned two points in this event (4th place) then we would win the tournament since even if Ortley wont the final two events (a good possibility with the always strong Ortley team) Surf City would win the tournament.  Alan had a great swim and got the buoy to Ross in first place.  Ross held the lead and handed the torp off to Darren.  Darren opened up the lead a bit more and Jeff sealed the deal for another 1st place Surf City finish.  At this point the waves had grown even larger then when the tournament started and all of the team Captains were polled to see if they wanted to hold the row relay event.  It was decided that the row-relay would not be held in the interest of safety so the final event of the tournament would be the line-pull.

Alan had a tough time spotting the buoy and swam a little bit off course in the line-pull, getting out to the mark in third place.  A pretty good swim considering the talent in the field.  Using the hand-over-hand pulling technique Chris brought Alan back to the beach in 3rd place.

Alan and Chris get ready for the start of the Line-Race.

Surf City had won the Lavallette tournament with a final score of 27 team points.  Ortley came in second with 14 points.  Although the difference in scores sounds large Ortley was right there up until the end.  Congratulations to all of the teams competing in the 2008 Lavallette tournament and special thanks to Lavallette for inviting Surf City to their tournament once again.






Sandy Hook Lifeguard Tournament - Thursday July 24, 2008
(A Close Second Place Finish for Surf City)
One Half of a Point"

For the first time in many many years the Surf City squad ventured North of Seaside for a lifeguard tournament in Sandy Hook.  Although it was a pretty long drive, about an hour and a half, it was worth the time as this was a great tournament.  Special thanks for the Podolaks for making the drive to support the team!  This tournament is similar to our own Surf City Epic Tournament in many ways.  All of the competitors compete around the same marks and the relays are three person teams.  Three sets of buoys are set off of the Sandy Hook protected competition area.  The closest set for the swim, the middle marks for the paddle, and the farthest marks for the row.  Unlike the Surf City Epic Tournament there is no long run before the rowing events to create space among the boats for the boating events.  This made for some interesting events!  Especially the boat relay.

The first event was what I would describe as a "super" Ironman.  Although the swim was a little shorter than the normal 1000' swim the paddle and the row were quite a bit longer.  In all there were eight teams competing.  Surf City, Ship Bottom, Ortley, Bradley Beach, Sea Girt, Sandy Hook, Monmouth Park Lifeguards and one other team I don't remember.  Resident Ironman Darren Podolak took on the Ironman and exited the water in 6th place after a very competitive swim.  During the paddleboard leg Darren managed to pass a competitor and was now in 5th place.  Then as often happens with boats rowing to the same marks the competitors in 3rd and 4th place collided and Darren rowed on by as they tried to separate themselves.  Darren took a little longer route to the beach than the other competitors and ended up with a hard fought 4th place in the Ironman for Surf City.

Harrison Hahn, Jeff Hahn, and Alan Bakes were up next in the swim relay, which was more like a surf dash since it was run on a common course.  This was Harrison's first race and he did a great job with a tough field getting out of the water in 6th place but not far behind the leaders.  Jeff was up next and put in a great swim to pull the Surf City team into 4th place.  Alan was the final leg and quickly passed the competitor in 5th place but competitor in 3rd place was not going to give up without a fight!  All the way from the first buoy to the second Alan battled for third place, and the battle continued to the shore where both competitors caught the whitewater in the same wave.  Who would emerge closer to to the beach?  As luck would have it they both appeared right next to each other but Alan popped up to his feet a step faster and was able to out hustle the other competitor to the finish line for a 3rd place Surf City finish in the swim relay.

Ross Reynolds was up first in the paddle relay and it was really quite a battle.  In the end Ross hit the beach in a close second place handing off the board to Matt Holloway.  Matt had a great start and pulled into the lead right off the bat.  He then extended that lead to about 10 yards by the second buoy but second and third were closing in the final yards and Matt ended up handing the board to Kyle in 3rd place.  Kyle maintained 3rd place right up until the final wave to the beach but a few of the teams behind caught a wave and were able to scramble up the beach, leaving Surf City with a tie for fourth place with Sandy Hook.

Steve Welc and I were up next in the first leg of the boat relay.  We knew that the key to this race would be blasting off and getting away from the other boats.  We were given a great launch and after a few strokes we were half a boat ahead of the field.  We kept the hammer down around the first and second buoys and were still in first place.  But the always strong Ortley rowers were right behind us.  We hit the beach a few seconds ahead of Ortley.  Dave Bonanni and Darren Podolak put in a solid row and held onto the tenuous Surf City lead again hitting the beach about even with the Ortley boat.  Unfortunately we didn't pull the boat far enough up the beach on the changeover and we got some water in the boat that required a dumping... and precious seconds.  Rip Wagner and Ross Reynolds finally were underway and had to row hard to maintain second place in a very competitive field of boats.

The Line-Pull was next and in this event Valerie Clark would be the victim, Harrison Hahn the line swimmer, and Jeff Hahn the torp swimmer.  Matt Kaminskas and Dave Bonanni would be pulling the three of them with one long pull up the very wide Sandy Hook beach.  The swim was very short and the competitors were very close together, if not on top of each other so it was hard to see what was actually going on much less determine the finish.  In the end it was determined by the judges that Surf City came in fourth place in this event.

The final event was the Iron Man Medley.  This is an event that Surf City had yet to lose this season.  We won it at the Epic Tournament and we won it at the Lavallette Tournament.  Alan Bakes would take care of the swimming duties and exited the water in third place just a step behind the second place swimmer.  Alan was about 5 seconds behind the winning swimmer from Bradley Beach.  Ross Reynolds grabbed the board and entered the water in third but after a good entry and a few strokes he was in second and chasing down the first place Bradley Beach paddler.  It was yet another tough paddleboard race and Ross closed the gap on the Bradley paddler but exited the water just a step behind.  The Bradley Beach boat entered the water first followed by Steve and I.  The other teams were close behind.  As we neared the first buoy Steve noticed that Bradley Beach has missed the mark and was just on the outside of the mark trying to row back to the buoy.  We turned harder than we would have liked to not hit the Bradley boat and lost our momentum.  Then the Sandy Hook boat tied up with us.  We were losing time trying to get free while other boats were starting to row around us.  Steve did some quick thinking and pushed off the nose of the Sandy Hook boat while I got in a half a stroke to free us.  We took off and somehow managed to get to the second buoy just barely in first place.  It was an all out race to the beach.  There were boats to the left and right of us just a half boat length behind and Sandy Hook was just a few feet from out stern.  Luckily we were able to get in a few really hard strokes and get some distance on the field to hook into a wave that no one else caught to win the event.

When all the scores were tallied Surf City came in second place in the tournament, tied with Sandy Hook, both teams had 36.5 points.  Bradley Beach won the tournament with 37 point.  We had lost the tournament by 0.5 points!  It was a great tournament and a lot of fun.  I'd like to thank Sandy Hook for the invitation and extend an invitation to them for our 2009 Epic Lifeguard Tournament.






Ship Bottom State Championship - Monday July 28, 2008
(Surf City takes 2nd Place ahead of Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Ortley)
"So Close"

Having won the 2007 Long Beach Island Beach Patrol Association (LBIBPA) Lifeguard Tournament Surf City was invited to the Ship Bottom State Championship Lifeguard Tournament.  All of the strongest patrols in the state were present.  Atlantic City, Ocean City, Brigantine, Ortley, Sea Girt, Sandy Hook, Manasquan, Ship Bottom, Bradley Beach, and Monmouth County Lifeguards among others.  Twelve teams in all were present at the 2008 State Championship Tournament.

The Surf City Team getting their lane set up.

The first event, the Paddle Rescue would be handled by Jeff Hahn and Ross Reynolds.  Jeff made a miscalculation in how hard the ocean was pulling North at the buoys and ended up a whole buoy North of the Surf City mark so he had to swim South to the mark against the current, losing precious time.  Despite this fact Ross had a great paddle and they paddled in well together to finish 7th in the 12 team field.

The start of the Paddle Rescue.

Next up were Andre Garner and Alan Bakes in the Buoy Rescue.  Alan had a great swim to the buoy getting out around 2nd in the competitive field.  Andre also had a great swim handing the buoy to Alan around 2nd place as well.  There were quite a few teams that were very close at the exchange.  It was a battle on the way in with the Surf City duo just getting over the line a fraction of a second behind the second place team for a strong 3rd place finish for Surf City.  Surf City was on the score board.

Andre and Alan in the Buoy Rescue.

Dave Bonanni and Jeff Hahn had been doing a good job with the Boat Swim this summer and had an opportunity to compete in a great field on this night.  Dave and Jeff had a solid row getting to the mark with the top boats.  Jeff was in decent position in the swim in but then a wave came along that only he was able to get into and rode almost all the way to the shore.  It looked as if Surf City had won the race but later we learned that we earned a 2nd place by a quarter of a second to Bradley Beach!

The Iron Man Medley was the fourth event of the tournament and it included a grueling 800 yard run in the quicksand-like high tide beach.  As usual Chris Bigos handled the run well and got Alan into the water at the front of the pack.  Alan had a near perfect swim and exited the water in second or third place before tagging Ross for the paddle portion of the event.  Ross paddled into second place and got to the beach just ahead of the paddler from Brigantine in the lane next to Surf City.  The team in first place was out in front of the pack so it was coming down to a battle for second between Brigantine and Surf City.  Steve and Dave battled with the Brigantine boat for the entire row and ended up hitting the beach basically at the same time but one of the Brigantine rowers was able to out hustle our team to the finish line so Surf City ended up with a hard fought 3rd place in the Iron Man Medley.

Chris running in the Iron Man Medley.  Alan exiting during the swim part of the event.

Dave and Chris in the Iron Man Medley row.

Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, and Chris Bigos were up next in the 4x500' paddle relay.  Matt got the Surf City relay off to a great start hitting the buoy with the top teams.  Steve put in a solid paddle and caught a nice wave to bring the board to the beach with three other teams that caught the same wave.  Ross took the board and entered even with those three other teams but ended up getting out the buoy in first place by a good margin.  Chris got on the board and paddle as if he were in last place instead of first and by the time he was halfway to the beach he had opened up a huge lead on the field.  Then something happened that hasn't happened in a long time, Chris fell off the board in a wave.  He recovered quickly and caught another wave but slipped off again.  Luckily Chris had opened up a large enough lead so that it didn't matter and Surf City was still able to take a first place in the paddleboard relay. 

Chris after a dive across the line to win a harrowing Paddle Relay.

The final event of the night would be the always exciting 6-Man row relay.  Steve and I started off the event with a great launch from Matt Kaminskas and crew.  We were out ahead of the field but that darn Brigantine boat was right on us and had a better turn than got ahead of us by a few feet.  But were were able to close the gap a bit and catch a runner that had turned them sideways and into our lane.  Now we were tied up with Brigantine.  After dislodging our boats we both came into the beach about even with Ortley and Ocean City.  Unfortunately we got some water in the boat in the wash and didn't move it from the wash before dumping it.  Rookie mistake on our parts!  Dave and Chris took off and put in a good row to once again return to the beach with Ocean City, Brigantine, and Ortley.  Finally Rip and Ross headed out for the third and final leg of the relay.  Brigantine managed to pull ahead but it ended up to be a foot race for second, third, and fourth and in this event Surf City came out on the losing side of that race and had to settle for a fourth place finish.

When all of the points were tallied Bradley Beach had won the tournament with 27 points, Surf City was second with 23 points, and Ocean City was third with 17 points.  Congratulations to Bradley Beach on winning the Ship Bottom State Lifeguard Championship Tournament.






Ortley Beach Classic Lifeguard Tournament - Wednesday July 30, 2008
(Surf City "Two-peats" by Winning the Ortley Tournament for the Second Year)

I think Bob Badders from summed up the Surf City's performance at the Ortley Tournament well with the opening paragraph of his article on the event.

"The first race of the evening was a nail-biter with a photo finish. Ortley Beach and Surf City battled each other neck-and-neck from the second their boats hit the water in the 1,000 foot row. It took a dive across the finish line by Ortley Beach to hold Surf City to a close second. It was, however, the last time any team would be close to the defending champions."

After winning the final event the Surf City Crew took 1st in 4 of the 7 events

The first event in the 2008 Ortley as always was the 1000' Double Row.  Dave Bonanni and Chris Bigos have a friendly rivalry with the Ortley crew for the past couple of years and this race is always a highlight of the tournament.  Last year Dave and Chris edged the Ortley crew how would it go this year?  Dave and Chris had a great launch and got off to a great start getting to the buoy first and coming out of the turn first.  The rest of the pack was probably 2 or more boat lengths behind the Surf City/Ortley race on the way to the beach.  Surf City was out in a front by a half a boat length but as often happens in ocean races the Ortley crew picked up a small runner and just barely edged the SC boat to the beach for a 1st place finish.  Dave and Chris would have to settle for a 2nd place finish in the 1000' boat at Ortley this year.

As usual Alan would handle the swimming duties in the Ironman Medley.  It was a close 1-2-3 finish and it looked like Alan exited the water tied for second.  Ross got out on the board with a bit of work to do to catch the team in first place.  And Ross did just that nearly catching the 1st place team by the end of paddle portion of the event.  Steve and I were launched 2nd but the launch was so good that after a stroke or two we were ahead of the previously first place Lavallette team.  We had a good row to the buoy but got hung up on the turn and Lavallette caught up with us and it was a dead heat most of the way to the beach.  But about 50 yards from the beach we were able to put in a couple of big strokes and edge ahead enough to win the event for Surf City.  Whew!  That was a hard fought victory.

Chris and Dave were up next in the Boat Pick-Up.  After another great launch Dave had a fantastic row easily getting to the buoy first.  There really isn't much to say, Chris got in and they hammered it to the beach for a pretty easy 1st place finish.

The swim relay was next and this was a much anticipated event since we had never beaten the Lavallette swim relay and they were in the lane next to us.  Alan was up first and got to the mark just a second behind the Lavallette swimmer.  Jeff maintained the spread and hit the beach just behind the Lavallette swimmer.  Darren was up next in leg three and had a great swim, passing the Lavallette swimmer and handing the buoy to Harrison in the lead.  Harrison was full tilt all the way to the beach coming out of the water with the strap to the buoy around his neck!  After collapsing on the beach all he had so say was "did we win!"  Yes Harrison we won.  Nice job boys.  That was impressive.

Harrison sealing the deal in the swim relay for a Surf City 1st.

No rest for Jeff as he was up next in the Boat Swim with Dave.  Another great launch and a 1st place row to the buoy.  Dave had Jeff ship the oars early so he could rest since they were clearly in the lead.  Jeff jumped out first and the race was on.  Unfortunately the Lavallette boat had shot out their oars and Jeff swam full on into one smashing his forehead into it.  Besides stopping him for a moment it was a difficult swim with his head banging.  He almost caught a wave near the end for first place but just missed it and had to settle for a 2nd place finish.

Dave and Jeff in the Boat Swim.

Yeah, there's a lot of mass pushing that boat.  That would be Ross, Evan, Chris, Matt, Steve, and Darren.

The result of that great launch and Dave and Jeff's strong rowing - Sandy Hook two boat lengths behind.

Our State Championship team of Matt/Steve/Ross/Chris were up next in the paddle relay.  Matt had a great paddle despite being the only paddler in the field to hit some whitewater on the way out.  But even with the whitewater he was out in second place.  Steve was up next and caught some side chop that limited his progress so he got to the beach in the middle of the pack.  Ross pulled the SC team up a place or two, as did Chris in the final leg for a final Surf City finish in the paddle relay in 3rd place.

Ross and Chris in the Paddle Relay.

The final and most likely most prestigious event of the tournament was the 8-Man Boat Relay.  Steve and I were up first and this time there were no problems at the turn.  We caught a little runner and hit the beach first.  After a smooth transition Dave and Chris were on their way out.  Dave and Chris had a perfect row and opened up the Surf City lead a little more.  Another smooth transition and solid row and Rip and Ross opened up the lead to what looked to be insurmountable.  But as we know anything can happen in an ocean lifeguard event.  Darren and Jeff were launched on the last leg and something unexpected did happen.  They each had an 8.5' and 9' oar!  Despite that they put in a good row to easily hold onto the lead and 1st Place finish in the boat relay for Surf City.

Another great launch in the Boat Relay for Steve and Mark in the first leg.

Steve and Mark bringing it to the beach first with Lavallette trailing in second.

The first transition.

Dave and Chris head out in leg two to open up the lead some more.

Rip and Ross opening the lead yet more...

Trademark Surf City double boards - Ross takes flight out of the stern.

Nice job Surf City.  Final result Surf City 41 points, Ortley 31 points.  Lavallette came in third place and Ship Bottom fourth.  Thanks to the Ortley beach patrol for once again inviting us to their prestigious and expertly run event.  I know they will be gunning for us next year.






Island Beach State Park Lifeguard Tournament - Monday August 4, 2008
(Surf City Cruises to Another Dominating Victory - Surf City 55, Ortley 32)
"Unfinished Business - Part II"

The Surf City Beach Patrol had unfinished business at the Island Beach Lifeguard Tournament.  Last year Surf City held a commanding lead going into the last two events when all hell broke loose.  The team scored no points in those last two events and watched their lead dwindle into a 3rd place overall finish.  We were determined that history would not repeat.

Dave and Chris were up first in the all important 1000' Doubles Row.  Another shot at the Ortley crew.  It was a loaded field with 12 teams that included Bradley Beach (with their all-star Iron Man), Ortley, Lavallette, Sea Girt, Sandy Hook, Barnegat Light, Island Beach, Ship Bottom, and Seaside Park among others.  There was little surf to speak of, the buoys were well set, and the beach was even.  In short the conditions were as fair as they can be in an ocean race.  As has often been the case in the boat races this season the race quickly turned into a two boat affair between Surf City and Ortley with both boats coming out of the turn at the same time.  By the time they were halfway to the beach the rest of the field was a few boat lengths behind Surf City and Ortley.  It was a close finish but this time the Surf City crew came out on top with a 1st place finish!  On this night Ortley would have to settel for 2nd place in the 1000' Doubles Row.

Dave and Chris getting launched in the 1000' Doubles Row in Island Beach.

Bringing it home for 1st place in the 1000' Doubles.

Alan was up first in the swim relay and had a great swim getting to the mark first despite the fact that it was nearly impossible to tell one flag from another with the West wind blowing the flags straight out to sea.  Harrison Hahn was up next and put in a great swim straight into the Surf City lane.  Andre grabbed the torp and took off for leg three handing the buoy to Jeff Hahn for the final leg to the beach.  When it was all over Surf City emerged third behind very strong relays from Bradley Beach and Sandy Hook.

Jeff in the Swim Relay.

Surf City had only lost won Iron Man Medley this summer and by "lost" I mean 2nd place.  Alan battled with the Bradley Beach and Sandy Hook swimmers right until the beach getting Ross into the water on the board just a second or two behind the other teams.  Ross was having a good night and that's bad for the competition.  Ross closed the gap on the National Iron Man winner from Bradley Beach and managed to get the Surf City boat crew of Dave and Chris into the water in the lead or very close to it.  Game over.  Another perfect row for Dave and Chris spelled the second 1st place finish for Surf City on this night.

Next up was the paddle relay team of Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, and Chris Bigos.  Matt got out to the buoy at the front of the pack and Steve held that position to the hand off to Ross in the third leg.  Ross caught and passed the field handing the board to Chris for a very slight lead.  There were some very strong paddlers in that fourth leg and they were doing all they could to go after Chris.  But Chris was not getting caught and hammered the entire 500' to extend the lead for another 1st place finish for the Surf City squad.  Things were looking really good for Surf City but this was the point where things started to fall apart for Surf City last year.

Steve hustling out of the shallows in the Paddle Relay.

The hand off to Ross in the third leg of the race.

Chris bringing home another Surf City 1st place at Island Beach.

As has been the case for the last two summers Steve and I rowed the first leg of the boat relay.  It was a tight race but we were just able to hold off Ortley to get to the beach with a very thin lead.  Ross and Jeff were up next and rowed strong in a very tough second leg of boats.  They returned to the shore around second or third place before handing off the boat to Chris and Dave who put the Surf City team solidly in second place behind our arch rowing nemesis Ortley.  The final Surf City leg would be rowed by two time LBIBPA mixed doubles champions Rip Wagner and Collette Pretre.  Rip and Collette rowed a perfect race to bring home a 2nd place finish for Surf City in the Boat Relay.  Statistically Surf City had won the tournament but there was one piece of unfinished business that needed taking care of...

Steve and Mark in the first leg of the Boat Relay.

The exchange to Dave and Chris.

Rip and Collette in the final leg of the Boat Relay.

...and that was the Rescue Race.  This 9 competitor event is considered to be the crowning event of the Island Beach tournament and we wanted to win it.  Andre Garner had a solid line swim with Alan Bakes as the victim.  Dave and Chris pulled the boys to the beach in third place before Ross took off on the board to pick up Jeff Hahn.  Ross and Jeff have become quite proficient at the paddle rescue and passed the second place team to cross the line in second.  Steve and I were launched just behind the currently first place first place Barnegat Light team.  We caught the BL boat by the buoy and thanks to Matt's fast entry into the boat came out of the turn in the lead.  By the time we reached the beach there was no doubt that Surf City would end up winning this event for it's fourth 1st place finish of the tournament.

Dave and Chris pulling line in the Rescue Race.

Ross and Jeff taking on the Paddle Rescue duties while Stave and Mark head to pick up Matt.

On the way to the beach in 1st Place in the Rescue Race.

Matt takes a fearless dive from the front of the boat to secure victory in the Rescue Race.


To quote the Island Beach announcer.  "And in first place for the 2008 Island Beach Lifeguard Tournament.... Surf City with and astounding 55 points."  Ortley came in second place with 32 points. 


Congratulations to Ortley and all of the teams in the tournament and especially to Island Beach for inviting us to their unique and extremely well run tournament.

The 1st Place 2008 Surf City Team at the Island Beach Tournament.






Midway Beach Lifeguard Tournament - Thursday July 7, 2008
(Surf City Wins 5 of 6 Events for another 1st Place Team Victory)
"One More Go Before the Big One"

Midway would be the last off-island lifeguard tournament for the Surf City Beach Patrol for 2008.  Being the night before the Island Tournament there was some debate as to whether it would be wise to attend the Midway Tournament.  In the end, since no one would really have a heavy night it was decided that the team would go for one more tournament.  The first event was the 4x500' paddle consisting of Matt Holloway, Steve Welc, Ross Reynolds, and Ryan Curtin.  As usual Matt got the team off to a great start with a top of the field handoff to Steve.  Steve brought the big old red Marine Rescue board back to the beach with the leaders and Ross handed off the board to Ryan just barely in first place.  Ryan hammered the paddle all the way to the beach extending the lead and insuring a 1st place finish for Surf City in the paddle relay.

Matt Holloway leads off yet another winning Paddle Relay.

Steve in leg 2 and Ryan Curtin bringing home the victory.

Ryan thinking on his feet by bringing that heavy board up backwards.

In the next event Dave Bonanni and I would be defending our first place finish last year in the boat pick-up.  Dave got out to the buoy in first place.  I hopped in and we literally took 8 strokes before hooking into a nice wave for another Surf City first place finish.  Two events down and two first place finishes. 

Dave is launched in the Boat Pick-Up.

Getting in the boat.


Alan led off the 4x500' swim relay with a strong opening swim to put the Surf City team in first place.  Andre returned to the beach and handed the torp to Darren still in first place.  Jeff grabbed the torp in the lead and made sure a wave wouldn't change the outcome of this one.  Another first place finish for Surf City.

Longtime swim pals Alan and Darren get ready for what is most likely their last swim relay together.

The boat relay crews would be Steve/Mark, Dave/Darren, and Rip/Ross.  Steve and I brought the boat to the beach in first place after the first leg of the admittedly short course and the other crews never looked back for the fourth 1st place finish the of the tournament for Surf city.  Mathematically since there are six events in this tournament and we had won four of them Surf City had won the tournament.

The Boat Relay.


Dave and Darren head out on the second leg.


Steve Welc and Jeff Hahn took care of the boat swim in short order with an unprecedented fifth 1st place finish for Surf City.  The final event was the run relay in which Kyle Gronostajski, Jeff Hahn, Harrison Hahn, Matt Holloway, Ryan Curtin, and Dave Bonanni would be the runners.  Only in this final event did Surf City place out of the points.  When the points were tallied Surf City won the tournament with 35 points.  Ortley came in second with 16 points.

2008 Midway Beach Tournament Champions Surf City
(Matt Holloway, Alan Bakes, Ross Reynolds, Darren Podolak, Mark Dileo, Steve Welc, Andre Garner, Dave Bonanni, Ryan Curtin
Kyle Gronostajski, Jeff Hahn, and Rip Wagner)


Final Midway Tournament Results
Surf City - 35 points
Ortley Beach - 16 points
Berkeley - 16 points
Ship Bottom - 14 points







Long Beach Island Beach Patrol Association 47th Annual Tournament
(Saturday August 11 and Sunday August 12)
"The Return of the Team"


Times Beacon Article
Beach Haven Times Article

It had been a great tournament season so far but the final test is always the annual LBIBPA Tournament.  Having won the tournament last year for the first time in 27 years the squad had high hopes for a repeat performance.  The first night of the tournament has always been a tough night for Surf City but this year was different.  As is always the case the mile row would start the tournament.  Steve and I knew we were going to have a tough time of it since we were positioned in the North most lane and we'd probably have to pass a few boats if we were to have a chance at winning it.  From North to South the teams were Surf City, Harvey Cedars, Beach Haven, Barnegat Light, LBT, and Ship Bottom.  We got a clean launch with no water in the boat and the race was off to a pretty good pace.  We reached the first mile buoy and had not passed a boat.  Soon after the first mile buoy I saw the Beach Haven boat appearing to starboard and soon we passed them.  I knew that Harvey Cedars was in the lane next to us so I thought they must have a pretty good boat this year since we had just made up two lanes to pass Beach Haven.  A few minutes later we passed the LBT boat.  Still no sign of the Harvey Cedars boat.  We had to slow down a little bit for the Ship Bottom boat as we came into the second mile buoy and I saw the Harvey Cedars boat for the first time and they were really getting on with it.  Shortly out of the second mile buoy we had made up the 5 buoy stagger on the Ship Bottom boat and passed them.  A minute or so later we passed the Barnegat Light boat.  It was not a two boat race between us and Harvey Cedars.  They turned the 500' buoys just a few seconds before us and the race to the beach was on.  We hammered it to the shore and caught a small runner a few yards from the beach to win the race by a few seconds!  Great race Harvey Cedars.

The launch and finish of the Mile Row.  A first place opener for Surf City.

While Steve and I were battling it out in the Mile Row Jenn Welc was fighting it out in the 1500' paddle.  It's always a tough race when all of the boards race on the same course and this year Jenn came out in 5th place.  Alan Bakes and Valerie Clark were up next in the Buoy Rescue and after a slightly circuitous swim Alan and Valerie brought home a 3rd place finish for Surf City.

Alan prepares for the buoy rescue.


Matt Holloway was up first in the 4x1000' paddle relay and came returned to the beach in second place with the other teams close behind.  My hat goes out to Matt for staying on that strange double breaking wave on the way in!  Barnegat Light was on the South end of the course and had caught a wave to get a pretty good lead on the field.  Kyle Gronostajski was the second leg of the relay and managed to keep the Surf City team solidly in second place.  Barnegat Light was still out in front by a good margin.  Ryan Curtin was up next and had a great paddle catching a wave and closing the gap on the first place Barnegat Light team.  Our ace paddler Ross was the last leg but could he catch the Barnegat Light paddler?  He was probably about 10 seconds behind when he received the board but by the time he reached the buoy he was only 3 or 4 seconds behind.  It was going to be close.  Ross closed the distance on the way to the beach, caught a wave and out hustled the Barnegat Light paddler to the finish line.  Congratulations to Surf City for what I believe is the first Surf City 1st place ever in the paddle relay.

Matt on the way back after the first leg of the Paddle Relay.

Kyle on the way to tag Ryan for the third leg of the event.

Ryan closing the gap on the BL team.

Ross goes out on a mission to catch the BL paddler.



And comes back with a 1st place finish for Surf City.


For the first time Surf City wins the LBIBPA Paddle Relay.

Jenn Welc and Alyssa DeAngelis were up next defending their 2007 win in the 1000' Women's Double Row.  After a great launch the women were off on a perfect line to the buoy.  They reached the buoy at least a boat length ahead of the rest of the field, made a perfect turn and returned to the beach to cruise to another 1st place finish.  Well done ladies!

Jenn and Alyssa cruise to another victory in the 1000' Women's Doubles Row having won it the year before.

Dave Bonanni and Jeff Hahn would defend the Boat Rescue that Jeff and I had won in 2007.  Jeff was off to a great start out hustling the rest of the field through the low tide shallow water.  Jeff has been swimming great this year and was first to the mark with Ship Bottom close behind.  Dave was launched first and never looked back reaching the buoy in first place.  After a few harrowing moments Jeff worked his way around to the back of the boat, hopped in and started rowing.  A few moments later and Surf City had it's fourth 1st place finish of the night.

Dave and Jeff winning the Boat Rescue.  Jeff back-to-backing this event having won it in 2007 as well.

For the third year in a row Darren Podolak took on the Iron Man.  It was a tough field this year with LBT, Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, and Barnegat Light each entering very strong Iron Men competitors.  After a tough run-swim Darren exited the water in fourth place and took off for the paddle leg of this rigorous event.  At this point of the race Surf City, Beach Haven, and LBT were all in position to vie for third place.  Darren had a really good row and secured a valuable third place finish for Surf City.  In a break from Surf City tradition the first night of the LBIBPA races was a good one for Surf City.  Four 1st place finishes, two 3rds, and one 5th.  Surf City was in the lead with 42 points while Barnegat Light was in second place with 35 points.

Darren finishing up his third Iron Man in the medal rounds.

Steve and I were really looking forward to the 1000' Doubles Row this year.  We had a great launch and hit the buoy in first place.  We made a tight turn and just as we began to dig in for the row back to the beach Steve noticed that the buoy popped up on the wrong side of the boat!  We had cut the turn too short and the nose of the boat hit the buoy dead center.  The buoy popped ocean side instead of beach side.  Disappointing of course but there was no time to worry about it as the paddle pick-up was next.

Steve and Mark on the way out in the 1000' Doubles Row.

And that event was the Paddleboard Pick-Up with Matt Holloway picking up Ryan Curtin.  Matt's paddle was a little off and he got out to the mark in third or fourth place, Ryan hopped on and they began the trek back to shore.  When it was all over Surf City ended up in fifth place in this event.  Things were turning bad for Surf City on the second night with a 6th and 5th place finish in the first two events.

Matt takes off to pick up Ryan in the Paddle Pick-Up.

Alan Bakes and Valerie Clark were up next in the Open and Women's swim.  After a knock down drag out battle with the Ship Bottom swimmer Alan finished the open swim just a step behind for second place while Valerie finished 5th in the Women's swim. 

Valerie prepares for the 1000' Women's Swim.

Things were looking rough for Surf City so we came together for a little meeting so that we could get back on track.  We had been winning most of our tournaments so easily this season that we were used to being behind or being the underdog.  It was time for the depth of this squad to show itself when the chips were down.

Time to regroup for Surf City.

Andre, Kyle and Nick had their chance to get up back on track in the line-pull event.  This is an event that Barnegat Light has dominated for the past 4 years.  Could the streak be broken?  Every year the Barnegat Light swimmer seemed to be getting pulled in a full 10 seconds or more than the rest of the field.  The race began and Andre took off for the buoy.  He was having a perfect swim, dead on to the mark and hauling you know what.   It looked like Andre was going to beat out the  BL line-pull swimmer.  You know what?  Andre hit the buoy first.  Kyle and Nick were pulling and the rest of the teams were still watching their swimmers.  Perhaps 5 or 6 seconds went by before BL started pulling their line.  But it wasn't over yet as the BL team is always strong.  Kyle and Nick dug in an pulled for all they were worth to bring Andre back to the beach in first place.  Nice job guys!

Andre readying for the line-pull start.


Textbook display of the line-pull event.  This is how it's done!  Kudos to Andre, Kyle, and Nick.

Line-pull coach Rip keeping the guys coordinated and motivated.

If you've never done it don't ask.  It hurts.  A lot.


The celebration after a hard earned victory.

The boys that broke the 4 year streak.


Surf City was back on track and now ace rower Dave Bonanni was ready to go in the 1000' singles row.  The horn goes off, the flag drops and the rowers are off.  Dave is having a great row and reaches the buoy just ahead of the Harvey Cedars rower.  The turn.  Oh that turn was absolutely nailed.  The rest of the pack is a boat length behind.  It's going to be a two boat race.  They are headed back to shore and Dave is still in the lead.  Dave digs in and cranks it straight to the beach, hops out and crosses the line for another Surf City 1st place finish.

Dave on the way out for a 1st place in the 1000' Singles Row.


2006 and 2007 Mixed Doubles winner Rip Wagner and Alyssa DeAngelis are up next in the Mixed Doubles Row.  After a good start they get out to the buoy in third place.  They're heading back to shore still in good standing when a wave rolls up on the first three or four boats.  Only Surf City and Barnegat Light are able to keep the boats straight on the wave and it comes down to a foot race to the line.  It was hard to tell who had won but in the end the Head Judge decided that Barnegat Light had won the Mixed Doubles Row and Surf City came in 2nd. 

Rip and Alyssa in the Mixed Doubles.

After a great 1st-1st-2nd run Surf City was no only back in the mix but in first place and up next was the 1500' paddleboard race.  Ross had won this event last year so it was looking good for Surf City at this point.  Ross didn't get the best position at the start and got pinched out at the first turn coming into the North to South portion of the race in 5th.  But then Ross turned it on and pulled into second coming out of the second buoy.  He was coming into the beach in second place just out of first place.  But then a wave formed for the paddlers behind him shooting them past him as he caught the whitewater.  After it was all said and done Ross crossed the finish line in 5th place.

Ross in the 1500' Paddle.

So here it is.  Barnegat Light is in first place by one point over Surf City.  We needed to win the Surf Dash to win the tournament.  Barnegat Light has won this event for the past several years and we had earned second place in 2007 and 2006 and third place a few times before that.  Iron Man Darren Podolak would lead off the all important Surf Dash.  Darren entered the water in the middle of the pack and quickly high stepped his way into second place behind... you guessed it the Barnegat Light swimmer.  The Barnegat Light swimmer was swimming for his life and so was Darren.  BL into the first turn first with Darren just a few feet behind.  Halfway between the two marks Darren turned it on almost as if to say "here we go" and swam by the BL swimmer.  They both entered the shallows at the same time but Darren had enough juice to get up and high step it out of the water to tag Harrison Hahn 5 or so seconds before the BL swimmer made the tag.  In perhaps Darren's last beach patrol event he summoned all of his swimming experience and put in a phenomenal swim just when the team needed it most.  Fired up from Darren's gutsy performance Harrison took off like a rocket entering the water at top speed, running out, dolphin diving, and then swimming like a man on a mission.  Try as he might the Barnegat Light swimmer could not close the gap during the swim.  And once they got to the shallows Harrison was up and running in no time.  When Jeff got the tag from Harrison Surf City still had a small but significant lead over the BL surf dash team.  Jeff was all business and literally flew around the course, putting more distance on the BL swimmer, and then in his usual fashion caught a wave near the end of the race to seal the deal for Surf City not only for the Surf Dash but for the 47th Annual Long Beach Island Beach Patrol Association Tournament!  You know what that Surf City Surf Dash reminded me of?  It reminded me of what Max Schmeling's son told reporters after Joe Louis destroyed his father in their second fight.  He siad, "my father told me nobody could have beat Joe Louis that night."  Well I know there was not a Surf Dash team in NJ that could have beat Darren, Harrison, and Jeff that night.

Jeff sealing the deal for Surf City in the Surf Dash.






The Last Day of the 2008 Season

Here is what was left of the 2008 Surf City Beach Patrol after the majority of it's members had left the sandy beaches and still warm waters of Surf City for educational destinations all across the United States.





(Still life by Matt Holloway)


Surf City Beach Patrol, 813 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, NJ 08008
 Surf City Borough Hall (609) 494-3064



Surf City Beach Patrol, 813 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, NJ 08008
Surf City Borough Hall (609) 494-3064