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Surf City 2017 Yearbook

(Download  - Password is Collette's last name, all lower case)

2017 Surf City Beach Patrol season statistics:
Total Rescues – 99
Missing Persons Recovered by the Patrol – 19
First Aid Responses w/EMS – 9
Total Estimated Beach Population – 211,500
Average Water Temperature – 67.9 degrees Fahrenheit
Green Flags - 53 days
Green over Yellow Flags (Limited Bathing) - 19 days
Yellow Flags (Restricted Bathing) - 4 days
Red Flags (No Bathing) - 4 days

2017 Summer Recap

The season started with a warm ocean.  That's nice.  It's not that we didn't have to train in the bay at all this summer but I think I can count the number of days on one, maybe two hands in which we did.  For the most part the ocean was very nice to swim in this summer with an average temperature of 67.9 degrees.  As usual we hired quite a few Surf City lifeguards at the May tryout.  Daniel Adjedi, Julia Fasano, Alyssa Gesek, Andrew Jorden, Josh Clingerman, Matt Ciattarelli, and Gwyneth Lavery.  We also had some in-season hires including Pepper Kolman, Tim Byrne, and Pat Reardon.  All did an outstanding job and I hope they return next season.


Notable Tournment Performances:

Surf City Epic
Charlie O. is slightly behind on the way out of the surf in the Epic Run-Swim.  Charlie catches a wave and outhustles the competitor from Harvey Cedars to be the first Epic Run-Swim finisher!

Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament
Josh, Charlie, Scott, and Max win the Paddle Relay.

LBT Women's Tournament
Gaby and Anna win the Mile Row in absolutely horrendous conditions.  Perhaps the worst conditions I've ever seen a rowing event run.  Only two boats actually made it through the break and Gaby and Anna were the only one able to actually complete the course in a really, really strong wind.
Pepper, Emily, Lauren, and Alyssa come in 1st place in the Paddle Relay.  As above the conditions were really challenging.
Julia R. easily wins the Mile Beach Run after coming in 2nd in the 2000' Paddle about 15 minutes before the run!
Pepper and Maria destroy the field in the Buoy Rescue.

Long Beach Island Championship "Islands"
Dave and Mark win the Mile row and the Doubles row.
Pepper fights back in the Iron Woman to 2nd place after coming in 2nd in the 2000' Paddle earlier in the night.
Maria N. comes in 2nd in her first time swimming the Women's Open Swim.

Island Beach Women's Tournament
Pepper and Maria again destroy the field in the Buoy Rescue.
Julie R. and Kelsey decimate the field in the Paddle Pick-Up.
Emily, Beth, Julia F, and Lauren R. win the Line-Pull.
The Swim Relay Team of Pepper, Alyssa, Emily, and Maria hold off a very talented and determined Lavallette Swim Relay to win this event.

Ship Bottom Barnegat Bay Challenge
Dave and Mark finish in 1st place.

Ship Bottom Tournament

National Park Women's Tournament at Sandy Hook

Bring Your Best Dish

Upper Township 7 Mile Row

Island Beach Open Tournament

Hammer Row





















Surf City EPIC Lifeguard Tournament - Wednesday July 12, 2017

As usual the weather conditions have to be threatening on the day of the Epic.  A storm was predicted later in the day and the water temperature was 61 degrees in the morning.  We waited to make the call at 3:30 and it looked like the weather would hold up and the water actually got warmer.  Thanks to Tony Nitti once again for adeptly handling the MC duties.

For the first time in the tournaments 12 year history the signature event, the Epic run-swim was a co-ed event with Charlie O. and Julie R. competing for Surf City.  Charlie finished the run in 2nd place and by the first buoy passed the competitor who was previously in first place.  The Harvey Cedars competitor caught Charlie by the end of the swim and pulled ahead of him.  In a dramatic finish Charlie caught a wave and it came down to who had gas left in the tank to hustle out of the surf and get across the finish line.  Charlie showed was heart was all about and hustled across the line as the first place finish in the Epic run-swim.  Julie also had an outstanding finish coming in 7th out of the extremely competitive field of 12.  After the cross-country scoring points were tallied Surf City finished 2nd in the event.

Meanwhile, the team of Josh K., Pepper K., Alyssa G., and Max G. were battling it out in the paddle relay.  The Surf City paddlers put in a great effort and Max entered the water for the last leg of the event in 2nd place.  But the Harvey Cedars paddlers closed the gap and took 2nd in this event.  Surf City would have to settle for 3rd in the paddle relay.

Next up was the swim relay Pat L., going first and having a good swim, Pepper was next and also had a great swim.  Daniel A. had some trouble sighting the buoy and had to swim a bit out of his way to complete the course.  It was his first lifeguard race swim and this pretty much happens to everybody.  It’s actually a good learning lesson because you don’t forget to keep that buoy in sight!  Maria N. finished up the swim relay and Surf City still managed a 5th place finish.

Pat and Beth H. would be the team for Surf City in the mixed doubles row with stand drag and they did a great job finishing in 3rd place.  It was an exciting race with some controversy.  Ship Bottom missed the first buoy in the row course and rowed around it in the wrong direction.  The wind was blowing pretty hard from the South and they obviously missed the buoy due to the wind.  This is of course part of showing your skill as rower.  After the head judge disqualified them they complained and were reminded about the many times Ship Bottom voted to disqualify competitors in tournaments for similar rule infractions.  Remember when a Ship Bottom competitor said that Surf City’s board didn’t touch the buoy in the paddle relay at Seaside Park?  We were disqualified in that event, which we won’t by probably 20 seconds, and came in 2nd in the tournament because of the call.  Remember two years ago when the Surf City mile row team went around the mile row buoy the wrong was after the course was changed just minutes before the start of the race?  Ship Bottom voted to disqualify the Surf City mile row team.  I could go on and on with these examples but that’s not the point.  None of this seemed to sink in to the Ship Bottom competitor so in the spirit of competition Ship Bottom was allowed to keep their 3rd place finish and it would mean they would come in 2nd in the tournament instead of 3rd.

The final event of the tournament was the Iron Man Medley which was required to have 3 female competitors and 2 male competitors.  It was interesting to see how each team placed their male and female athletes according to their strengths.  In the run portion of the event there were 3 men and 3 women and Julia R. put in a solid effort to Maria N. into the water for the swim portion of the event in 3rd place.  Maria was able to catch the Barnegat Light swimmer and beat her to the paddle area to tag Josh.  Josh had a great paddle and pulled even farther away from the Barnegat Light team.  Pat and Beth took on the rowing duties and kept is safe and decided just to get from “A to B” since 1st place was out of reach and 3rd place was pretty far behind.  When it was all over Surf City finished in 2nd place in the IM Medley.

When the points were tallied Harvey Cedars won the tournament for the second year in a row with 38 points, Surf City and Ship Bottom tied for 2nd with 21 points but since Ship Bottom won an event and Surf City did not Ship Bottom was awarded 2nd place and Surf City 3rd.  Island Beach State Park came in 4th with 16 points, Long Beach Township 5th with 11 points, and Barnegat Light with 9 points.  Congratulations to Harvey Cedars for not only winning the tournament but for winning 4 of the 5 events.  This is a feat only surpassed by the 2008 Surf City team which won all 5 events and dominated pretty much every tournament that year. 



Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Monday July 17, 2017

Lauren R. and Pat H. were Surf City’s competitors in the beach flags event and while they both have done well in previous years this was not to be their year.  Pat finished in 5th and Lauren in 6th.  One slip in this tight field and you’re out.

Next up was Charlie O. to start the Iron Man Medley with the run.  Charlie had a fantastic run and got Maria N. into the water in 2nd place.  Maria in her first off-island lifeguard tournament had a very good swim and hit the beach in about 2nd or 3rd place before tagging Scott M. for the paddle leg of the event.  Scott paddled well and tagged the boat with Pat L. and Max G. in 2nd place.  When it was all over Surf City came in 3rd place in the IM Medley, a good start on the tournament water events.



Dave B. and Mark D. were up next in the 1000’ Doubles row.  Our first race in 5 years.  The launch was good but Dave and I just couldn't "settle in" and ended up finishing in 2nd place. 



The swim relay was next with Pat L., Pat H., Pepper K., and Maria N. taking on this event.  Everyone swam really well with nearly straight lines to and from the buoys and they finished in 3rd place.

Ace paddlers Scott M. and Josh K. were out team for the paddle pick-up and they did not disappoint with a strong 2nd place finish in their first time in this event. 

Next up was the boat relay with Dave and I rowing the first leg.  We had a good row and got our second crew of Pat L. and Max G. out in 1st place.  They returned to the beach in 2nd place before handing off to CJ T. and Scott M. who finished up the race for Surf City in 3rd place.  Great job boys!  It's been quite a few years since Surf City has placed in the boat relay.

Josh K was the first paddler in the 4x500’ paddle relay and he put in a fantastic paddle pretty much blowing out the field before handing off the board to Charlie O. who caught a nice wave on the way in and opened up the lead even more before handing off the board to Scott M. who maintained the lead.  Max G. brought the board across the line for Surf City’s first 1st place finish in the tournament!


As always the final event of the tournament was the run relay.  Charlie O. started it out followed by Scott M., Max G., Josh K., CJ T., and finally Pat H.  The boys executed all of the starts and tricky buoy hand offs perfectly with Pat H. nearly catching the lead competitor in the final leg.  Another Surf City 2nd place!

When it was all said and done Ortely came in 1st place in the tournament, Ship Bottom 2nd, and Surf City 3rd.  That was the first time the team has placed off-island in a tournament in quite a few years.  It was nice to be "in the mix" again.


Upper Township 7 Mile Row – Wednesday July 19, 2017

Dave and I traveled down to Strathmere to compete in the 25th annual Upper Township Bay Row race.  All of the usual South Jersey competitors were there.  Margate, Longport, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Avalon, etc…  And oh yeah, the green head flies came in massive numbers as well.  It was hot and windy with flies.  Not a good combination for a bay row.  We had quite a lot of problems navigating the tricky course as all of the local boats knew exactly how to efficiently row the course and we did not.  We did not row well but still managed to finish 9th out of 35 boats.  It's a good thing that we competed in this event as we knew exactly what we needed to work on with our rowing...


Ship Bottom Jack Donlon Memorial Lifeguard Race – Thursday July 20, 2017

We’ve never had good luck with the Ship Bottom tournament and right off the bat we’d lost key competitor Pat L. due to other obligations that night.  It’s always rough at this tournament and this year was no exception.  The wind was blowing hard from the SE and the ocean was very choppy.  In addition our lane had a big berm dropoff which would make launches challenging.

The swim relay was first with Maria N. starting it off followed by Pepper K. and finally Daniel A.  The ladies maintained contact with the slower swimmers just enough so Dan could catch a swimmer and finish in 10th out of the 11 teams.  Not bad considering our high school kids are competing against D1 college swimmers.

Dave and I were up next in the Doubles row.  Right off the start we caught a couple nasty breaking waves which sent the boat flying into the air.  We got through them but lost quite a bit of ground.  We managed to make up some of it and finish 4th out of the 11 boats.

Pat H. and Josh K. were up next in the paddleboard pick-up with swim and while Pat is swimming well it’s another case of swimming against D1 athletes.  By the time the swim is finished Josh and Pat were really too far out of it to comeback on the paddle portion or the event.

Next up was the boat relay.  Dave and I were having a pretty good row until a wave caught us at an angle and we flipped the boat!  We both got banged up and were pretty humiliated but that’s how it goes with ocean races.  We’ve probably ridden 50 waves this summer successfully and 3 or 4 that got us.  This was one of the 3 or 4.  As I always say, “sometimes you get the wave and sometimes the wave gets you.”  By the time the boat was retrieved and emptied we were pretty much out of the race.  Nonetheless Scott M. and CJ T. as well as Gaby H. and Anna E. did a nice job competing in the boat relay for Surf City in very challenging conditions.

Coming off of a 1st place finish at Seaside Park the paddle relay team of Josh, CJ, Scott, and Max had high hopes for this paddle relay but it not going to be their night and they finished out of the points.  The final event was the Iron Man Medley with Pat H. running, Pepper swimming, Josh paddling, and CJ and Scott rowing.  The team put in a good effort but again finished out of the points, which are awarded to places 1 through 5.


Long Beach Township Women’s Tournament – Monday July 24, 2017

Last year the Surf City women came in 2nd place in this tournament to a very well-rounded Harvey Cedars women’s team.  The women had been training hard and were looking forward to a good competition.  Well, the sea was angry this day my friends.  Very angry.  Like 20 knot winds from the Northeast, washing machine surf angry.  LBT decided to go ahead with the tournament and incredibly the rowing events…

Emily was up first swimming the line with Lauren and Beth pulling.  I kept thinking they’ll never make it out with the lines with this lateral current.  Either the bow in the line will become so large it will stop the swimmer or the reels will run out of line.  But I was also thinking that if anyone can make it out Emily can as she is very experienced swimming out the line.  She did make it out and she made it out in 1st!  But as usual we didn’t spot her touching the buoy from the beach and waited on the pull so long that we ended up in 2nd rather than 1st.  We are never going to let that happen again.  I should also add that one of the line swimmers never made it to the buoy… or even through the surf.


Next up was Gaby and Anna in the Mile Row.  They had been training hard and wanted to row regardless of the conditions.  Out of the seven teams at the tournament, all of the LBI teams plus Brigantine, only Surf City, LBT, and Harvey Cedars sent out their Mile Row competitors.  The LBT boat got flooded in the surf and they called it quits.  Harvey Cedars got out relatively cleanly.  Anna and Gaby struggled through some big waves but finally made it out.  They caught the Harvey Cedars boat before the first mile buoy and never looked back continuing to open up the lead throughout the rest of the grueling row.  I don’t know the time but it seemed like a half hour before they made it back to their lane and into the surf.  The plan was to ship the oars and get to the back of the boat when they reached the surf zone but they got to the back of the boat a little late, fell out of the seats and rolled to the low side of the boat.  You know what that means, capsize!  They swam to shore and ran across the finish line with an easy 1st place.  Unfortunately Gaby tweaked her back as the boat went over, or during the row, and took a precautionary ride to the ER to get checked out.  Luckily she was fine!  Amazing performance by a boat crew that was as determined as any I’ve ever seen.


Right before the start of the Women’s 2000’ Paddle Board Julia R. asked me if she could do this race since she really wanted to paddle tonight and would be running during the paddle relay.  I said sure.  Gotta love this attitude of going after a 2000’ paddle with the ocean this rough!  Julia was great and brought home a 2nd place for Surf City.

Maria took on the 1000' swim in a very good field in very bad conditions.  She swam well and the finish for the top spots was close.  Maria came in 3rd.

Maria gets out to a good start.  Nice high elbow!

In the next event, the Paddleboard Relay, Pepper went out first and was able to get through the ridiculously rough surf faster than the other women and opened up a large lead for Surf City.  Emily was next and opened up the lead a bit more as did Lauren in leg three.  As the last leg of the relay Alyssa brought home another 1st place for Surf City.  The big difference in this race was the ability of the Surf City women to get through the surf.


In simultaneous "Epic style" event running the Mile Run was occuring during the Paddle Relay.  Julia had a fantastic run and finished in 1st place!


Pepper and Maria were up next in the Buoy Rescue and they increased their lead throughout the race.  Pepper was first to the marks and they were first to the beach.  Well done.

Not even close.  This is a very strong buoy rescue team.

The last event of the night was the Paddleboard Rescue featuring the team of Maria and Lauren.  Maria had a great swim, getting to the buoy first, but unfortunately it was the wrong buoy!  It was nearly dark at this point so that should be kept in mind.  But as we all know it’s not uncommon for new competitors to swim to the wrong buoy in their first few swimming races.  It’s basically a rite of passage.  We eventually sent Lauren out anyway after like a 2 minute wait and they still came back in 3rd place!

In the end Surf City easily won the competition!  The women had been training hard and it paid off.  Like Rip always says "Practice doesn't make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.)



National Park Service 33rd Annual Women's Lifeguard Tournament at Sandy Hook - Wednesday July 26, 2017

As usual we had a lot of our women take the trip to Sandy Hook to compete with women from up and down the East Coast.  I know there were some good finishes butI forgot to write them down!




Bring Your Best Dish - Thursday July 27, 2017

Once again Collette hosted the annual "Bring Your Best Dish" Event.  This year we had a trivia contest.  No cell phones allowed!



Long Beach Island Championship – August 4/5, 2017

The tournament was held in Ship Bottom this year with each of the squads taking on duties to run the event.  Also after many years not competing Beach Haven was back.  Finally all 6 Long Beach Island teams would compete again!

Dave and I were up first in the Mile row.  As is usually the case at the Island tournament the wind was howling out of the South and the ocean was “challenging” to say the least.  We had a “so-so” warm-up row and unfortunately I smashed my knee getting into the boat during our self launch.  In addition, we were in the North-most lane so we could most likely have to get around a couple of boats if we were to do well.  The race started and we got out clean and made up some water on Ship Bottom who were immediately to our left.  By the first mile buoy we passed LBT who started to the right of Ship Bottom.  On the half mile leg of the race we got by Harvey Cedars, Beach Haven, and Ship Bottom.  Only Barnegat Light was ahead of us at this point but we had more than made up the staggered start and were able to win the race.


Meanwhile Pepper was paddling the Women’s Paddle and while I didn’t see the race quite a few people she had a great race and finished in 2nd place.  A very good start of the tournament for Surf City.

The Paddle Relay was next and unfortunately Josh couldn’t attend due to work so CJ would fill in for him in the relay.  Scott had a great paddle and came out of the water with the front of the field.  CJ fell back a bit but we were still in it during Charlie and Max's leg.  The boys ended up in 4th place in a very competitive field of paddlers.

Gaby and Anna were up next in the Women's Doubles and while they rowed well they had some problems making a straight line to the buoy and lost some time on a wide turn.  They also ended up 4th place.  With Josh out of the tournament CJ was unable to row the boat pick-up so Gaby filled in and rowed out to pick up Beth to make sure Surf City got their point for this race. 

Pat L. took on the Iron Man and came out in a very close 5th place.  While Pepper reeled in the field in the swim and paddle portions of the Iron Woman to finish 2nd in her first Island Iron Woman.



The second night of the tournament started with the line-pull and Pat H. did a fantastic job swimming the line.  He reached the buoy in third place and Ryan B. and Charlie pulled him in for a third place finish.  I'm excited to see that team again at next year's tournament. 



Dave and I were up next in the Doubles row.  I think there was a hole or something right where the water started because the launches on the starboard side of the boat fell just as we hit the water and pulled that side of the boat down with them!  Luckily Dave and I were able to pull it together and reel in the field for a 1st place Surf City finish.  Dave and I have had good luck rowing together in Islands winning the both the Mile and Doubles four outof the four times we competed in each event.


Dan A. got the chance to swim with the fastest swimmers on the Island in the Open Swim and did a great job as he maintained contact with the pace throughout the race.  It was great experience for him and I know he'll be going after that swim again next year.  Maria Nitti also put in a fantastic swim in the Women's swim against another very tough field of female competitors.  It was close at the end of the race between 2nd and 3rd but Maria hustled out of the water and up the beach to bring home a 2nd place finish for Surf City.  Doing those "bins" is really important in the swimming races!


Josh and Pat did the paddleboard rescue and finished in 5th place while CJ put in a gutsy effort in the Singles Row and came away with a respectable 4th place finish. 

Gaby and Max also came in 4th in the Mixed Doubles row as did Scott in the 2000' Paddleboard.




The Boat Relay event was moved to the second night and our relatively young team of Dave/Mark, Pat L./Max, and CJ/Scott finished in 5th place.


The team of Julia R, Alyssa., Pepper, and Lauren R. were very strong in the Women's Paddleboard Relay and earned another 2nd place finish for Surf City while the Surf Dash team of Dan A,. Alyssa, and Beth finished up the night with a 4th place finish in the Surf City.




When all of the points were tallied Surf City finished 4th in the tournament just behind Ship Bottom (83 to 74 with 2nd place at 89 points).  A very good outcome for our team of young athletes.

Island Beach Open Tournament - Tuesday August 8, 2017

Unfortunately when it was time for the Island Beach tournament we had lost a couple of our key competitors to school and other obligations.  But it's a great tournament and good experience so we decided to go.  Of course quite a few of our super competitive women came along to help out and prepare for the Island Beach Women's Tournament the next day.

The 8 person boat relay is always exciting.  Here Dave and I battle out the first leg with Brigantine



Dan tags Josh in the Rescue Race while Maria and Pat finish up the Line Pull portion of the race.

Surf City's Island Beach Open Tournament Team

Island Beach Women's Tournament - Wednesday August 9, 2017

The Surf City women on the other hand were at full strength and more than ready for the Island Beach Tournament!

Gaby and Anna kicked things off in the Doubles boat coming in 4th place while Pepper and Maria easily handled the field with a 1st place in the Buoy Rescue.  Julia and Kelsey perfectly executed the paddle pick up for another "by a mile" 1st place for Surf City.  They had the race won even without the wave.  It was really a superbly perfect race effort!


The team of Julia (run), Maria (swim), Alyssa (paddle), and Gaby and Anna finished 2nd in another perfectly executed race, the Medley race while we finally got our Line-Pull together and the team of Emily, Julia, Lauren, and Julia F blew out the field for yet another 1st place finish for Surf City.


Pepper and Gaby had some trouble coordinating their rowing effort and came in 4th in the Boat Swim while the swim relay team of Pepper, Alyssa, Emily, and Maria came in 1st in a hard fought battle with the always strong Lavallette women.  It came down to the last leg and while the Lavallette swimmer did her best to try and regain the lead there was simply no catching Maria!

Surf City won this tournament by a landslide but unfortunately I don't remember the final point totals.

2017 Surf City Island Beach Women's Tournament 1st place team


Ship Bottom Barnegat Bay Challenge - Monday August 21, 2017

This year at the Barnegat Bay challenge besides Dave and I along with Pat and Caitlin rowed while Josh and Scott paddled the event.  We had a good row and won the challenge.






Longport Hammer Row - Thursday August 24, 2017

One of my favorite bay rows on the summer is the Longport Hammer Row.  It's always exciting to line up with 50 Van Duynes for this 4 mile race.  This year we brought two boats.  Daveand myself in one and Pat and Caitlin in the other.  Throughout the first 3 miles of the race things went great for us.  Dave told me we were with the lead boats (I'm not allowed to look).  But then in the last mile or so I began to fall apart, then I really fell apart and we ended up finishing in 6th place! 


Well that's it!  Another safe and fun season in the books!