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Surf City 2009 Yearbook

(Click here to download a high resolution 2009 Beach Patrol Photo)


2009 Surf City Beach Patrol season statistics:
Total Rescues � 179
Missing Persons Recovered by the Patrol � 17
First Aid Responses � 7
Total Estimated Beach Population � 193,300
Average Water Temperature � 69 degrees Fahrenheit

2009 Summer Recap
Finally a summer with warm water!  For the first time in quite a few years the water warmed up by early July.  While the average water temperature was only 3 degrees warmer in 2009 compared to 2008 those 3 degrees really made a difference as the water was very swim-able most days as the lifeguards, bathers, and increased number of rescues will attest.  The beach replenishment gave the bathers their beloved sandbars as well as the dangerous rip currents that come along with them.  And rescues increased from 143 in 2008 to 179 in 2009. 

Paddleboard Video
Here is a little video I made of the guards working on the paddleboards on an overcast July morning.  Gotta give the wave riding award on this morning to Steve Welc.
Paddleboard workout - July 21, 2010  -  Be warned this file is 75MB so I recommend downloading it for smooth playback.




In 2009 the Surf City welcomed back veteran lifeguards Ashley Morris and Paul Dungee as well as Adam Podolak, Gavin Marconi and Brett (the jet) Friel for some part time work.  Of course it was great to have the old experienced chaps on the beach helping out on those big wave days.  We also welcomed new lifeguards Christina DeAngelis, Brian Delaporte, and Darian O'Neil as well as late starters Brittany Histing, Caroline O'Conner and Garrett Baker.





2009 Tournament Season Wrap Up
Despite losing quite a bit of rowing talent this summer the Surf City Beach Patrol still managed to put together an impressive string of victories in 2009.   Dave Bonanni and Chris Bigos took a year off.  Collette Pretre and Rip Wagner were both unable to row and Steve Welc and Alyssa DeAngelis both put in their last year in '08.  In all Surf City lost 6 rowers in 2009.  That's right SIX rowers!  In one year the squad went from being literally loaded with gold medal rowers to having only two rowers with tournament experience, myself and Jenn Welc.  I'm happy to report that Matt Kaminskas, Evan Garner, Nick Labita, and Kyle Gronostajski stepped up to fill the vacancies and helped lead Surf City to win the Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament (3rd year in a row), the Ortley Classic Lifeguard Tournament (3rd year in a row), the Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament, as well as third place in the Ship Bottom State Tournament, and a second place in the annual LBI tournament.  Not a bad "rebuilding" year at all!  I should also mention that our "Iron Men" Darren Podolak and Jeff Hahn stepped up big time to fill the void in the boat this summer.

Monday July 13, 2009 - 6th Annual Surf City Epic Tournament - Surf City 1st Place
1st Place Run-Swim - Jeff Hahn/Alan Bakes (flat out unbeatable team - destroyed field two years in a row)
2nd Place Run-Row - Ross Reynolds/Mark Dileo
1st Place Swim Relay - Darren Podolak/Jeff Hahn/Alan Bakes (another unbeatable team)
2nd Place Paddle Relay - Ryan Curtin/Darren Podolak/Ross Reynolds
1st Place Iron Man Medley - Alan Bakes, Ross Reynolds, Darren Podolak/Mark Dileo

Wednesday July 22, 2009 - Ortley Classic Lifeguard Tournament - Surf City 1st Place
2nd Place Iron Man Medley - Alan Bakes, Ross Reynolds, Matt Kaminskas/Mark Dileo
1st Place Swim Relay - Darren Podolak, Harrison Hahn, Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Paddle Relay - Matt Holloway, Kyle Gronostajski, Ross Reynolds, Ryan Curtin
1st Place Line-Pull - Andre Garner, Kyle Gronostajski/Nick Labita

3rd Place Boat Relay - Matt Kaminskas/Mark Dileo, Ross Reynolds/Evan Garner, Darren Podolak/Nick Labita, Kyle Gronostajski/Jeff Hahn

Monday June 27, 2009 - Ship Bottom State Invitational Tournament - Surf City 3rd Place
3rd Place Paddle Rescue - Jeff Hahn/Ross Reynolds
2nd Place Buoy Rescue - Andre Garner/Alan Bakes
3rd Place Boat Swim - Darren Podolak/Matt Kaminskas

Tuesday July 29, 2009 - Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Surf City 1st Place
1st Place Iron Man Medley - Ryan Curtin (run), Alan Bakes (swim), Ross Reynolds (paddle), Matt Kaminskas/Mark Dileo (row)
1st Place 1000' Row - Matt Kaminskas/Mark Dileo
1st Place Swim Relay - Darren Podolak, Harrison Hahn, Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn
1st Place Run Relay - Kyle Gronostajski/Jeff Hahn/Nick Labita/Harrison Hahn

Tuesday August 4, 2009 - Island Beach State Park Lifeguard Tournament
2nd Place Swim Relay - Darren Podolak, Harrison Hahn, Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn
2nd Place Paddle Relay - Darren Podolak, Ryan Curtin, Ross Reynolds, Kyle Gronostajski

Friday/Saturday August 7/8, 2009 LBIPPA Tournament - Surf City 2nd Place
1st Place Buoy Rescue - Andre Garner/Alan Bakes
2nd Place Paddle Relay - Paul Dungee/Kyle Gronostajski/Ryan Curtin/Ross Reynolds
1st Place Women's Doubles Row - Jenn Welc/Caitlin Hahn
1st Place Surfboat Rescue - Darren Podolak/Mark Dileo
2nd Place Iron Man - Jeff Hahn
2nd Place Open Swim - Alan Bakes
3rd Place Paddle Rescue - Ryan Curtin/Tim Raimo
2nd Place Line Race - Andre Garner, Nick Labita/Kyle Gronostajski
3rd Place Mixed Doubles Row - Jenn Welc/Matt Kaminskas
2nd Place Swim Relay - Darren Podolak/Harrison Hahn/Jeff Hahn


2009 Surf City Most Valuable Tournament Player - Alan Bakes - 29 Points
Congratulations to Alan, the 2009 MVP for tournaments.  As usual, 1st place finishes are worth 3 points, 2nd place 2 points, and 3rd place 1 point. 
Here are the rest of the top 10:
2.  Darren Podolak - 25 points
3.  Jeff Hahn - 23 points
4.  Ross Reynolds - 21 points
5.  Mark Dileo - 17 points
6.  Kyle Gronostajski - 16 points
7/8. Ryan Curtin/Harrison Hahn - 13 points (tie)
9.  Matt Kaminskas - 11 points
10.  Andre Garner - 10 points


2009 Mike Dunn "Gut Check" Top 5 Countdown
I don't know if I'll be doing this every year but there were a few performances this year that deserve special mention.  Of course the risk in doing this is that I won't mention quite a few other outstanding performances.  Nonetheless I want to honor a few individuals.

5.  Alan Bakes in the Iron Man Medley swim at Seaside Park that resulted in a win for the team.  Alan entered the water 10 seconds behind the leader and exited the water 10 seconds in the lead.  Quite an impressive swim.
4.  (tie)  Paul Dungee earning a 2nd place in the paddle relay and Tim Raimo earning a 3 place in the paddle rescue in the Island Tournament.  On very short notice, two days actually, both Paul and Tim stepped up to fill the place of injured Matt Holloway.  Both guys came through with big performances under tough circumstances.
3.  Andre Garner winning the line-race at Ortley.  Big waves, 10 tough teams, and a swim that literally blew the field out of the water.  I should also mention the fantastic pull of Kyle and Nick of course.
2.  Jenn Welc and Caitlin Hahn winning the Women's Doubles row.  Caitlin Hahn steps up in her first year in the boat and pulls off a victory in a very tough field.  Sure she had a great partner but I can tell you that it's a team that wins any rowing event and if both people aren't doing their jobs it doesn't happen.  And while Jenn has won this event many times (six I think now!) she deserves extra credit for bringing up a first year rower and yet again winning this tough event.
1.  Jeff Hahn's 2nd place finish in the Island Iron Man competition.  Having competed in this event in the past I have to tell you that this was one of the most competitive if not the most competitive field I have every seen in this event.  There was no let up from start to finish with the top four finishers being "all-stars" in their own right.  Kudos to Jeff for this superior effort.


Surf City Epic � Monday, July 13, 2009
Many thanks to Jack Reynolds for the Epic photos!


Warming up...


Surf City�s performance in the Epic tournament would be hard to repeat.  No doubt about that.  In fact, Surf City�s performance in every 2008 tournament would be hard to repeat but more on that later.  Originally Rip was supposed to take the place of Chris Bigos.  Then Rip was injured.  Ross would have to fill in for Rip in the Run-Row.  Filling in Chris Bigos� spot in the Paddle Relay would be Ryan Curtin, just back from his nearly year long world surfing tour.

Head Jugde and Surf City Lifeguard Legend oversees the competition.

For the first time in quite a few years I awoke to a nice sunny day on the day the Epic was to be held.  And even more surprising is the fact that the water was warm!  The Epic would take place on the scheduled date.  The wind was blowing pretty hard from the North and there was a nice chop.  Just enough wave action to make it interesting.

Jeff Hahn and Alan Bakes once again tackled the �Epic� Run-Swim duties and once again they finished �1-2� for Surf City.  With Jeff taking first place honors this year.  Surf City was off to a good start.  Barnegat Light put in a strong showing in this event with a 2nd place overall finish.

Jeff and Alan coming out of the water "One Two."

Can anyone stop these guys in the Epic?  No.  I've been around long enough to answer that question.


I knew the Run-Row would be a tough race since LBT always fields a pair of strong runners.  Ross and I were able to hold off the rest of the field but the LBT duo put about 15 to 20 seconds on us in the run.  Once we got in the boat and started row we felt good though.  And we could tell we were making up ground quickly.  But a navigation miscalculation ended our hopes of coming back for a 1st place finish in the Run-Row.  We�d have to settle for a 2nd place finish this year.  And once again there was Barnegat Light finishing right behind Surf City�

While it was a little harder Ross and I decided to run synchronized.


Next up was the Surf Dash.  Well not exactly a �dash� since the buoys were set about 400 feet from shore and about 300 feet apart.  Darren would lead off for Surf City and battled with the Barnegat Light swimmer for most of the first leg, pulling ahead on the final swim to shore.  Darren tagged Alan and he was off and opening up the lead for Surf City.  But Barnegat Light wasn�t giving up without a fight and they were staying in it until Alan caught a few waves on the way to the beach and opened up a nice lead for Surf City.  Alan tagged Jeff and Jeff sealed the deal with another 1st place finish for Surf City.  And once again right behind Surf City was Barnegat Light.

Darren leading off the swim relay as he's done for just about every relay in the last three years.  He will be missed.

Alan makes the tag to Jeff.  There is no catching him.

Ryan Curtin would start out the Paddle Relay and put in a good performance coming in around 3rd place.  Darren was up next in this very competitive field of paddlers.  Darren put in another good performance in a very long paddle under challenging conditions.  Ross was the final Surf City paddler and ended up finishing in 3rd place.  Unfortunately for Beach Haven two of their paddlers didn�t go around the middle apex buoy and they were disqualified so Surf City moved into 2nd place.  For the fourth time of the night Barnegat Light finished right behind Surf City in 3rd place.  This Barnegat Light team came to compete!

Ryan leads off the paddle relay. 

Ross enters the water in second a bit behind BL.  Not to fear he passed BL.

A little strategy planning and another Surf City legend in the stand, Sean Gordon.

A total team effort - Caitlin on the scoreboard.

The final event of the 2009 Epic tournament was the Iron Man Medley.  Alan was up first in the swim.  It was a hard fought battle with the Barnegat Light swimmer but Alan managed to come out of the water just a few seconds in 1st.  Ross held onto that lead for the paddle leg of the race and got me and Darren launched in the boat in 1st place.  Barnegat Light put in a solid row but Darren and I were able to hold them off for the third 1st place finish for Surf City in the 2009 Epic Lifeguard Tournament.  Barnegat Light finished 2nd in this event, right behind Surf City for the fifth time of the night!

Alan doing what he had been doing for the past 3 years...putting us in position to win yet another Iron Man Medley.  Gonna miss this guy.

And Ross keeping us in front of another IM Medley.  As he's been doing for the past 7 years!  Don't leave Ross.

Darren off for the boat on the tag with BL right behind.

Darren crosses the line in 1st place.

When all of the points were tallied Surf City came out on top with a score of 36 points.  The strong Barnegat Light team came in 2nd place with 26 points, Long Beach Township 3rd, Ship Bottom 4th, Beach Haven 5th, Island Beach State Park 6th.  Congratulations to all of the competitors in the 2009 Epic Tournament. 


The 2009 Surf City Champion Epic Team.  Alan Bakes, Jeff Hahn, Ryan Curtin, Mark Dileo, Darren Podolak, Ross Reynolds.




Ortley Beach Classic � Wednesday, July 22, 2009 


Pre-Tournament Team Meeting



Surf City had won the Ortley Beach Classic Lifeguard Tournament in 2007 and 2008 so hopes were high for a good team performance in 2009.  The number of invited teams for 2009 was up from 8 to 10 from the previous year so the competition would be stronger than ever.  We were in the middle lane with Ortley to our right and Lavallette to our left.  Matt Kaminskas and I were up first in the 1000� Doubles row.  The shore break was huge as usual for this tournament and we got off to a shaky start in Matt�s first race in the boat.  Coming down off a big wave in the launch we stalled for a second before getting into our normal rhythm.  Our line to the buoy was a little zig-zaggy as well but despite those errors we still managed to place 4th in a very competitive field. 







Next up was the Iron Man Medley.  As has been the case for the last three years Alan would handle the swimming duties and cut a perfectly straight line to and from the buoy.  He was able to out swim everyone in the field except for the standout high school swimmer from Ortley.  Ross entered the water just a few seconds behind Ortley and put in a great paddle making up a few seconds on the Ortley paddler to get Matt and I launched just a few seconds behind the Ortley boat.  This time we got right into our rhythm and passed the Ortley boat about three quarters of the way out to the buoy.  The turn was good and we had a boat length on Ortley as we approached the boat.  But the waves weren�t with us as the Ortley boat caught a runner while we were kind of stuck in the dead zone between two waves.  Surf City would have to settle for 2nd place in the Iron Man Medley.  Ortley now finished 1st in the first two events of the tournament and was looking to dominate their tournament.

Alan and Ross handle the Iron Medley swim and paddle duties

Just ahead of Ortley on the way in with Island Beach heading trying to get out of our lane!

Heading to the back of the boat on the shore break.

 The swim relay was next.  Darren Podolak started and put in a dead straight swim to the buoy to hold off all of the other nine teams and get the torp to Andre Garner in first place.  Andre had a solid swim and was able to hold off the field, handing off the torp to Alan with a slight edge over Sandy Hook.  Alan�s swam just a bit off course but still managed to hold onto 1st place as he handed off the buoy to the final leg swimmer Jeff Hahn.  It was a close race between Sandy Hook and Surf City as they entered the surf, with Lavallette not far behind.  Then all three swimmers caught the same wave and hit the beach at nearly the same time.  Jeff out hustled them to the finish line and Surf City earned a hard fought 1st place in the swim relay.

Andre beating out Lavallette in the second leg of the swim relay.

Jeff coming out in first place.

Matt Holloway was up next in the first leg of the 4x500 paddle relay and put in a perfect paddle handing off the board to Kyle Gronostajski in first place.  Kyle was digging hard and caught a beautiful wave 50 or so yards from shore and rode it directly to our lane, handing off the board to Ross Reynolds with a large cushion for first place.  Ross opened the lead up a little more on the third leg of the paddle and handed off the Ryan Curtin.  Ryan never looked back and despite a few harrowing moments in the shore break came across the line for another 1st place finish for Surf City.

Matt kicking off the paddle relay.

Kyle getting on a wave in leg 2.

Ross heading out in the third leg while Ryan digs deep.

Ryan drops in on a BOMB!

I don't have the next shot but Ryan comes up with the board and wins the race for Surf City!

The gold medal line pull team of Andre Garner, Kyle Gronostajski, and Nick Labita were next in the always exciting line-pull race.  The surf was huge and the drag on the line would be enormous for the line swimmers.  Kyle and Nick fed the line to Andre like pros.  Kyle was in the water to his neck, sometime going under with just his hands visible, but still feeding that line!  The race was close with the Ortley line swimmer until about halfway to the buoy when a huge set came though and really pulled on all the lines.  The other swimmers slowed considerably while Andre just kept going, putting quite a bit of distance between him and the field.  Andre hit the buoy a good 10 seconds in front of the next fastest swimmer.  Kyle and Nick put in a fantastic pull, strong from start to finish and sealed the deal with a dominant 1st place finish for Surf City in the line race.

That's Kyle under that wave in the left picture.  Giant waves pulling on the line.  Perfect for Andre...

Seriously, pulling line is not fun.


The final event of the night would be the 8 person boat relay.  Although Surf City had statistically won the tournament, and the shore break was huge, the event would go off.  Matt and I were up first and we decided that due to the huge shore break I�d row bow and he�d row stern.  We had a good row and brought the boat in third place behind Lavallette who had caught a nice wave and was way out front, and Ortley who was just a little ahead of us.  The rest of the field was far behind.  Ross and Evan Garner got in the boat next and despite a strong current pulling the boat North at the launch managed to get back on track and keep Surf City in third place.  Darren and Nick rowed the third leg and caught a nice runner on the way to the beach rowing it straight into our lane holding onto third place.  Kyle and Jeff Hahn would finish the boat relay and rowed a solid leg to finish the boat relay with a 3rd place finish for Surf City.

Matt heads to the back of the boat while Lavallette (on left) bails for their lives.

Matt's turn to drag it in for me!

Ross and Evan on the way back in the second leg.

Darren and Nick in leg 3.

When the scores were added up Surf City won the tournament with 36 points, Ortley was second with 26 points.  Sandy Hook came in third and Lavallette fourth. 

2009 Surf City Champions at Ortley (Kyle, Darren, Ryan, Matt K, Mark, Matt H, Jeff, Evan, Andre, Alan, Ross, Nick)

Surf City's Ortley win in the Asbury Park Press, click here for fully story.  Click here for the APP story.



Ship Bottom State Tournament � Monday, July 27, 2009

Eleven teams competed in the State Tournament this year including Ocean City, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Bradley Beach, Ortley, and Sandy Hook.  It would be a super competitive tournament.  The buoys were set even farther out than last year.  I would estimate 900 feet so the events would be long.  The surf was big and the tide was low.  Luckily the sandbar was pretty even for all of the teams but the break was different North and South.  We drew lane 9 on the South end.  Bradley beach was on our left and Ortley on our right.  Ocean City was on the North end.

Jeff and Ross were up first in the paddle rescue and Jeff had a good swim to the buoy coming in third place.  Ross paddled out and on the way in they managed to catch a wave for a hard fought 3rd place finish.  Ocean City came in first and Bradley beach came in second.

Andre and Alan finished third in this event last year and we were expecting them to be a strong team this year.  They didn�t disappoint.  Alan got out to the mark in second place just behind the Bradley beach swimmer.  Andre ran out over the bar, fins in hand, donned the fins and got to it, swimming a perfect line to the buoy.  At this point they were a few seconds in second place behind the Bradley beach team. But by about halfway in they caught the Bradley team and it was a neck and neck race to shore!  They both stood up in on the bar at the same time and the Bradley team was just able to out hustle Andre and Alan to the line.  Third place was far behind.  What a race!  Nice job Alan and Andre.

The boat swim was next.  Matt and Darren rowed a good line out to the mark and Darren entered the water in about second or third place.  After a solid swim he crossed the line in 3rd.  The Iron Man Medley was next.  Ryan Curtin took care of the 800m running duties getting Alan into the water at the front of the pack.  Alan came out in fourth and tagged Ross who then headed out for the paddle.  Ross came back in fourth and Matt and I headed out in the boat.  It would be a 4th place finish for Surf City in the Medley.

The paddle relay was next and as always Matt Holloway would lead it off.  The South end had some waves to get through on the first leg while the North lanes pretty much got out clean.  Matt hit the buoy about third or fourth place.  Kyle was up next and almost caught a way on the way in.  It was so close.  Ross headed out for the third leg in fourth place and maintained that position as he handed off the Ryan Curtin.  Try as he might Ryan also just missed a wave on the way in.  We�d have to settle for a 4th place finish in the paddle relay.

The final event of the night was the 6 person boat relay.  Matt and I started it off, this time with me rowing bow.  We had a great launch, row to the mark and turn.  It was us Atlantic City and Ocean City at the front of the pack.  Then we got into a nice was and rode it all the way to shore.  The waves were breaking at an angle to the shore so we came in a few lanes North of our lane, but even after skimming the boat back to our lane Darren and Nick were launched well ahead of the field.  It was looking really good for Surf City in the boat relay.  But as often happens in lifeguard races the ocean often throws you a curve.  This �curve� was a set of about 8 waves, one of which actually drove Darren and Nick back to shore with a boat full of water.  The best we could do now was finish the race and that�s just what we did, quickly emptying the boat and getting it back out there.  Ross and Evan Garner rowed a thankfully uneventful last leg of the boat relay.

When all was said and done Surf City ended up 3rd overall in the State Tournament for 2009.  Not a bad finish to be sure but disappointing as were in it nearly to the end.  Ocean City ended up winning with 32 points.  Bradley Beach came in second.  Hopefully we�ll get another chance at the �States� next year.



Seaside Park � Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Seaside Park lifeguard tournament is one that slipped away from is twice in the past three years.  After finishing in second place in 2006 and 2007 the squad was determined to finally win this tournament.  This year the women would also compete in some of the events, women first then men.

The first event was beach flags.  Christina DeAngelis competed for the women and Kyle Gronostajski for the men.  Kyle ended up finishing in 4th place after being called out on a minor mishap.  Next up was the Iron Man Medley.  Christina ran for the women, Ashley swam, Valerie paddled, and Jenn and Caitlin rowed.  The team put in a solid effort but came up just short of placing.  For the guys Ryan Curtin took care of the run and was able to get Alan into the water just 9 seconds behind the fastest runner.  Alan made quick work of the swim and came out of the water in first.  Ross extended the lead and Matt and I were launched in the boat with a comfortable lead which we were able to hold for a 1st place finish in the Iron Man Medley.


The 1000� Doubles row was next and Jenn and Caitlin had a great row finishing in 2nd place behind the always strong Lavallette women.  Matt and I also finished 2nd but later learned that the Ortley boat was DQ�d for missing the buoy and we were bumped up to 1st place in the Doubles.

A second place finish for Caitlin's first rowing race.  Nice job!

Matt and I head out in the Doubles.  A first place finish since Ortley was DQ'd for missing the buoy.

The swim relay was next and Ashley, Valerie, Katie, and Amanda came in a close third place finish while Darren, Harrison, Alan, and Jeff were able to keep the Surf City swim relay undefeated for 2009.  Matt Holloway and Ryan Curtin came in 5th in the Paddle Rescue after Matt caught a pretty good set on the way out on the South end of the tournament.

The Woman's Swim Relay.

Almost unbelievably Matt and I missed the buoy on the first leg of the boat relay.  We had to circle back to turn it the correct way but there wasn�t much Ross/Evan and Darren/Nick could do so the boat relay finished out of the points.  Jenn, Ashley, Amanda, and Valerie came in 3rd in the Paddle Relay for the women while Matt Holloway, Kyle, Ross, and Ryan Curtin came in 4th for the men.

Darren and Nick in the Boat Relay.

Coming into the last event, the 4 person run relay, Surf City was tied with Seaside Park for 1st place.  Once again after getting out to a commanding lead the Surf City team had stumbled and the outcome of the tournament was in doubt!  But fear not reader, the running team of Kyle, Nick, Harrison, and Jeff would not be denied.  Kyle got out to an early lead and after a perfect exchange to Nick the boys had a solid lead.  Harrison and Jeff extended that lead to secure a first place finish for Surf City in the run relay, and a 1st place overall finish for Surf City in the Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament.




Tuesday August 4, 2009 � Island Beach State Park Lifeguard Tournament

We knew going in to the Island Beach Tournament that the purpose of this tournament was to prepare for Islands.  Matt K, Matt H, and Andre couldn�t make this one so it was going to be tough to put in a competitive team.  But then again we won this one last year 55-32 so it�s not like we hadn�t won it before.

The first event was the 1000� Doubles Row and Nick and Evan got a chance to row their first no relay rowing race.  It was a tough field and they put in a good effort.  Next up were Darren, Harrison, Alan, and Jeff in the swim relay.  The previously undefeated swim relay team suffered their first loss of the season and came away with a 2nd place finish.  It�s not that bad though because the winning team had a Nationally ranked swimmer that just started guarding that week.

Darren, Ryan Curtin, Ross, and Kyle put in a good performance for a 2nd place in the paddle relay.  I�m not really sure what happened in the Iron Man Medley but I know didn�t end up with any points.  Alan swam, Ross paddled, and Darren and I rowed.  We also came up without points in the boat relay with Nick and Evan going first, Ross and Darren going second, Kyle and Jeff third, and me and Alan last.  Now that was fun!

The last event was the big rescue race.  Jeff swam out the line with Alan being the victim.  Kyle and Nick pulled them back in 1st place.  Ross and Ryan caught some dead water in the paddle rescue and then Evan and I finished it up.  Not a fantastic tournament finish but we had a good time and a lot of guys got some much needed competition experience.



Friday/Saturday, August 7/8 � Long Beach Island Beach Patrol Association Tournament

In the first event the Mile Row Matt and I caught a good amount of water in the boat during the row out to the buoy.  Now you�ll often hear people say �I got a boatful of water!�  Or something like that.  Well that can happen but usually it�s 4 or 5 inches.  That�s how much we got in the boat and believe me, it�s enough.  It might only be 100 or 150lbs of water but when you lean back (towards the bow of the boat) it moves to the stern and vice-versa!  Not fun.  The end result was a 5th place finish.  Ashley took on the Women�s Paddle for the team to secure what can always be a crucial point.

Uh oh

Same thing happened to me in 1987.  Makes for a good picture at least!


The second in the State Championship team of Andre and Alan won the Buoy Rescue.  Nice job guys.  Next up were Paul Dungee, Kyle, Ryan Curtin, and Ross in the Paddle Rescue.  The boys had a solid race and finished up in 2nd place.  The 1st place team (on the end) got some nice waves and got out where no one could catch them.  Kudos to Paul Dungee for filling in for an injured Matt Holloway.  Paul learned that he�d be in the relay just a day before the race.

1st Place in the Island Tournament, 2nd Place in the State Tournament


Paul has a picture perfect paddle.

The handoff to Kyle.

Ryan takes a look back at the field.  Great conditions huh?

And Ross brings it home.


Jenn Welc and Caitlin Hahn up next in the Women�s Doubles Row.  This was Caitlin�s last year on the patrol and what a nice way to end it with her first race in the Island Tournament.  The women trained hard and I knew they�d be in the thick of things when the boats headed back for shore.  They got a good launch and Jenn kept the boat on course while the women set a nice pace.  By the time they got to the buoy 3 of the boats were already out.  After a nice turn it was down to Surf City and another boat.  Jenn and Caitlin pulled away, caught a wave, and won the race!  Nice job!  For the record I believe that is 5th time that Jenn has won that race.  And more amazing is the fact that most of the times she didn�t win she came in 2nd.

The always nerve wracking pre-race meeting.

Nothing to say here.  Awesome.



Darren and I were next in the Boat Rescue Race.  Darren had a good swim and got to the mark about even with the BL swimmer.  I�m not sure who got launched first but I remember having a really good rowing race with the BL rower to the mark and we hit it about the same time.  My turn and Darren�s entry into the boat was worse than any time we�d practiced it.  My oar got hung up on the buoy, he didn�t have a great entry into the boat.  Just not good and the end result was us coming off the buoy a bit behind the BL boat instead of ahead.  We rowed our butts off, caught a little runner and managed to beat the BL boat for a 1st place SC finish.  I distinctly remember Darren saying �We won� when he noticed the BL swimmer jump out of the boat early.

I shouldn't be to tense.  Should be more relaxed.



And as usual the last event of the first night of the tournament would be the Iron Man.  The field of Iron Men is always stacked but this year it was even more so.  Jeff had a great run and swim, exiting the water with a huge lead over the field.  He maintained the lead in the paddle and entered the boat still in the lead.  Then just as the launchers let go the boat popped over a wave and Jeff fell out of the seat into the bow of the boat.  Although he only lost 5 or so seconds, which is actually quite a bit of time, more importantly he lost the momentum of the launch.  This is extremely critical when you�re already exhausted and counting on that push to get you up to speed.  It was still a FANTASTIC performance and Jeff ended up in 2nd place. 

Heading out on the board after finishing the swim in 1st place.

Still in 1st getting launched in the boat.

Tough break! (literally)

Finishing a tremendous race.


When all was said and done after the first night�s events Surf City was in 1st place with 39 points.  Barnegat Light was in 2nd with 36 points.  Unlike most years I knew that the first night would be our strong night and we�d have to really come on strong to hold onto the lead.

Nick and Evan ended up in 5th place in the 1000� Doubles Row.  In that race if you don�t get into your rhythm right off the launch there really isn�t time to recover.  The Open and Women�s swims were next and Ashley and Alan came in 5th and 2nd, respectively.  Unfortunately the lead had slipped from our grasp.

The start of the Doubles Row.

Now that is a close finish.


Ryan Curtin and Tim Raimo came up with a nice 3rd place finish in the Paddle Rescue.  Like Paul, Tim only found out that he�d be in the Paddle Rescue a day or two the event.  Nice job stepping up and winning a medal in an extremely competitive event.

John and Jeff giving words of wisdom to the Paddle Rescue team.

Holy crap!  Those guys are ripped to shreds!

The gold medal line pull team of Andre, Kyle, and Nick were up next defending their title.  After a hard fought battle they ended up in 2nd place to the team with the parasailing line. 

Bad race conditions for Andre.  We need it overhead with tons of drag on the line!  This was a lake race.  Who would use the line in a lake?

As usual no lack of effort from our line team.


Evan Garner would be the man for the 1000� Singles Row for Surf City in 2009.  It was a good race and Andre must have lost his voice cheering on his younger brother!  When it was over Evan ended up just out of the medals with a 4th place finish.  That�s a really good finish for your first singles row.

The launch.

And the finish.


Matt K and Jenn came away with a third place in the Mixed Doubles while Ross finished up 5th in the always variable 1000� Paddleboard.  The last race of the night, the Surf Dash, would be handled by Darren, Harrison, and Jeff.  After a very exciting and physical race the Surf City boys ended up with a very respectable 2nd place finish.  Well there you have it.  After winning the Island Tournament for the past two years Surf City finally gave up the title with a 2nd place finish.  Congrats to the winning team and we�ll see you next year!

A little problem with the landing.


The 1500' paddle.

According to Harrison the Surf Dash was quite physical this year.


Tuesday August 11, 2009 � The Third Annual Surf City Lifeguard Banquet

This year was the third annual Surf City lifeguard banquet.  Replete with all of the fun, dancing, and drinking (for those 21 and older of course) as with previous years.  Well on second thought not as much drinking.  Johnny wasn't there.  Thanks to the Garners for letting some of us meet up there before heading over to the Hotel;)




Thursday August 20, 2009 � Ship Bottom 5 Mile Surfboat Challenge

Since Matt and I had worked pretty hard in the boat this season I thought it would be nice to finish up the year with the 5 mile row.  It was only Matt�s first year in the boat and we�d had a bunch of nice finishes but there�s nothing like a 50 minute rowing race to fine tune your rowing teamwork.  It was a Thursday night and the wind was blowing strong out of the Southeast.  We got off to a good start and for the first mile just kind of hung in the lead pack while we found our rhythm for the night.  Around mile 2 or 3 some of the boats started to fade and we moved into 3rd place.  With about a quarter mile to go we made a run at the second place boat but then both boats ran into a bunch of anchored spectator boats just 100 or so yards from the finish.  I don�t know who got hung up more but when it was all over we finished up in 3rd place.  My thanks go out to Evan, Brit, and Alan for cheering us on from Evan�s boat during the race.  Oh yeah, and we also had a great time at Lex Mex for dinner that night!



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