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Surf City 2019 Yearbook

(Download  - Password is Ryan's last name)

2019 Surf City Beach Patrol Season Statistics:
Total Rescues – 65
Missing Persons Recovered by the Patrol – 20
First Aid Responses w/EMS – 12
Total Estimated Beach Population – 214,750
Average Water Temperature – 68.8 degrees Fahrenheit
Green Flags - 60 days
Green over Yellow Flags (Limited Bathing) - 13 days
Yellow Flags (Restricted Bathing) - 3 days
Red Flags (No Bathing) - 4 days


2019 Summer Overview

I'm happy to report that we enjoyed another safe season on the beaches of Surf City.  This year we welcomed Gianna A., Ava R., Matt V., Jake W., and Tom W. to the beach patrol.  Madalyn G. and Krista R. also came on board later in the summer and were a great asset as we started losing guards.  Weather-wise it was a beautiful summer.  We had very few rainy days and the water was warm for most of the summer. 

Surf City also came on strong in the lifeguard tournaments.  The women once again won the Long Beach Township Women's tournament and the Lavallette Women's tournament.  After a five year hiatus from Ortley Classic Lifeguard Tournament the boys came in 3rd place in that one while the mixed Surf City team won the Seaside Park tournament (again) and came in 2nd in the Island Tournament. 

A few words about some of our competitors...

I would like to say a few words about some of our lifeguards who are not only are exceptional lifeguards but are also fantastic competitors who work hard both during the day and after work at tournaments representing the patrol.  I know some of them may not return and I believe their accomplishments should be noted.  If I leave anyone out I apologize in advance.  But I didn't want to not do this for fear of leaving someone out.

The Ladies...
Lauren has been a force on the beach patrol going all the way back to her first year when she came in 2nd in the flags at Seaside Park.  Lauren has always been there for the team whether it be running, pulling line, swimming, or paddling.  She does it all and at a high level.  When her sister Emily came on board the women's team got even stronger.  Arguably the fastest female line swimmer we've ever had and a great paddler.  Lauren and Emily would be joined by their younger sister Julia and the three of them have been dominating women's tournaments ever since.  Julia, like her sisters is a gifted athlete.  Perhaps the fastest female paddler in Surf City history, a fantastic runner, fast swimmer, and developing into a very good rower.  When the sisters are at a tournament it's going to be a long night for the other teams.

Surf City has a history of developing fantastic female rower.  Patti Lockwood and Janet Wagner in the '80's, Patti D'Ambrosio, Michelle Miller, and Collette in the '90's.  Jenn Welc, Alyssa DeAngelis, and Britt Histings in the 00's and '10's.  About five or so years ago Gaby and Anna told me they wanted to be a rowing team.  I always try to be supportive but generally this enthusiam lasts until the first day the water is a little rough and it's not so fun to train in the boat.  After a few weeks I could tell Gaby and Anna were something special.

They trained hard day in and day out.  Year after year.  In all conditions.  They would be the ones to write their name on the board in the morning to reserve a boat every day.  They didn't need an invitation.  And they won.  They won Mile Row events, Double Row events, and Singles Row events.  They have been a huge part of our dominant women's team.  We could always count on them to go out there and get it done no matter the conditions. 

Maria and Pepper.  Our Iron Women.  It's rare for a beach patrol to have a really good Iron Woman.  We've been lucky to have a number of them on the squad lately.  Pepper and Maria are both elite swimmers, paddlers, and rowers.  They have been invaluable to the women's competition team and on numerous occasions swam for us in the men's tournaments.  Super humble, super coachable, and super competitive.  They've won too many events to count but Pepper winning the LBI Iron Woman and the LBT Iron Woman a couple of times and Maria's LBI Women's swim victory just this past summer are a few examples of their talent and hard work.

The Boys
I've been doing this for a long time and it's not often that I get a bunch of guys like Pat, Charlie, Max, Scottie, and CJ.  Affectionately known as "The Boys."  Except for Scottie who lives on the North end of town they all live in the 6th street area.  They of course know the water well and can spot trouble long before it happens.  I remember when they first started as eager 16 year olds looking to continue the winning traditions of their older beach friends and siblings.  After getting a pretty good pounding their first year or two they realized this was going to require quite a bit of work.  But they hung in there.

Scottie would come to me and ask "What do I need to do to get fast on the board?"  And I would tell him and he would do it.  I knew he had talent, but more importantly he has the desire to make the most of it.  In 2018 he won the Island Open paddle and since then has become a standout paddler and rower.  Our go-to guy when an elite paddler is needed. 

CJ is another young man who was always willing to put himself out there.  Not many 17 year old want to row the singles.  But CJ went after it and has continued to improve.  His rowing skill has been a big part of our great performances over the last few seasons.  He and Scottie could be seen out in the boat riding waves many a day.  CJ also developed himself into a fierce paddler and has has many a gutsy performance to "save the day" and win a paddle relay.

Max is the youngest of a family of boys who have all been great competitors for the beach patrol.  Max has worked hard to become a very skilled rower and has paddled many times for Surf City over the years.  And of course whenever there is a block pull event he is nearly unbeatable.

Charlie is the guy that doesn't talk much but let's his performances do the talking.  An elite runner, paddler, and now rower, Charlie has turned into a real force for Surf City's competition team.  Where would we be without Charlie in the Epic Run/Swim?  Or the IM Medley runs?  Paddle Relays?

And last but certainly not least Pat.  Fastest beach sprinter I believe we've ever had on the squad.  Only SC guard to ever win "flags" at Seaside Park, great swimmer and paddler.  Pat is another supremely talented athlete that I've had the pleasure of coaching.  Nobody gets out of the gate in a run relay like him.  And that's saying a lot because the other guys mentioned here are speed demons as well!  Very fast in a 500' swim and a challenger to Scottie in a 500' paddle.  I should also mention that what Scottie and Pat do on the board in the Paddle Relay is phenomonal.  They make it look easy but believe me, it ain't.

I realize that some of you may not be returning to the beach patrol this summer.  As they say, all good things must come to an end.  If that is the case then I wish you all the best and I know that you will succeed in whatever you pursue just as you have on the Surf City Beach Patrol.  I know I can speak for the Lieutants when I say it has been a pleasure and an honor to work with all of you.


Beach Patrol Events

As always between the tournaments and other beach patrol events it was a busy summer!

Surf City Epic - Monday July 8, 2019
Max and Gaby win the mixed doubles row.  Charlie and Julia earn a 2nd place finish in the Epic Run-Swim losing only to professional triathletes.

Island Beach State Park Tournament - Monday July 15, 2019
Pepper and Maria again handle the field in the Buoy Rescue.
Julie R. and Kelsey win 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.

LBT Women's Tournament - Tuesday July 16, 2019
Emily, Lauren, and Julia
win the Line-Pull.
Gaby and Anna win the Mile Row for the second straight year.
Julia wins the 2000' Paddle.
Maria wins the 1000' Swim.
Pepper, Emily, Lauren, and Julia come in 1st place in the Paddle Relay.  Second year in a row SC wins this event.
Katie wins the Mile Beach Run.
Pepper and Maria
win the Buoy Rescue for the second straight year.
Julia and Maria win the Paddleboard Rescue.
Pepper wins the Iron Woman.
Surf City wins the tournament 2017 and 2018!

Red Bull Lifeguard Challenge - Tuesday July 16, 2019
Winners of the paddle relay.  12th out of 38 teams overall.  Congrats to Pat, Scott, Pepper, and Chris!

Ortley Bush Classic Lifeguard Tournament – Wednesday July 24, 2019
3rd place overall!  Highlights include 1st place run relay Pat, CJ Charlie, and Max.  2nd place boat relay, and 3rd place medley relay and paddle relay.

Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Thursday July 26, 2019
Pat H.
is the first Surf City lifeguard to win beach flags at Seaside Park.
Katie wins beach flags.
Scott and Pat H. win the paddle pick-up.
Pat H, Lauren, Scott, Max, CJ, and Chris win the run-relay.
Surf City wins the tournament!
Pat H. earns MVP.

Ship Bottom Tournament - Tuesday July 30, 2019
Not much to say here... the curse!

Upper Township 7 Mile Row - Tuesday July 30, 2019
Hit the bridge... 5th place.

Long Beach Island Championship "Islands" - Friday/Saturday August 2/3, 2019
Julia wins the 2000' Paddleboard.
Pepper wins the Iron Woman.
Scottie wins the 1500' Paddleboard.

11th Annual Surf City Banquet - Wednesday August 7, 2019
Scroll down and check out the video.

Harvey Cedars Cutter's Cup - Thursday day August 8, 2019
3rd place block pull.

Lavallette Women's Tournament - Sunday August 11, 2019
The team of Pepper, Emily, Julia, Lauren, Bella, Anna, Gaby, and Maria win the tournament while winning 4 of 7 events. 

Hammer Row - Thursday August 22, 2019
Chris and Mark 5th place.

Ship Bottom Barnegat Bay Challenge - Thursday August 30, 2019

Last Day Crew - Monday September 2, 2019


2019 Memories






















Uh... 24 to Unit 1,  you might want to come down here...



 Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament - Monday July 8, 2019

The day started out overcast with light rain but in the afternoon the sun was out and the 14th Annual Epic Tournament was on!  All of the Island teams as well as Island Beach State Park and Long Branch has signed up to attend but at the last minute Long Branch and Island Beach backed out so there would be six teams in the Epic this year.


Once again the competitors from Harvey Cedars put in a strong showing in the Epic run-swim and came in 1st place in the event.  Julia and Charlie earned a second place for Surf City and Ship Bottom came in third in this event.





In the paddle relay the team of Scott, CJ, Pepper, and Maria can in third place with Harvey Cedars again winning the event and Ship Bottom coming in second place.



The order of finish in the Surf Dash would be the same for the first three places as the paddle relay with the Surf City team of Dan, Mike, Pepper, and Julia coming in third, Harvey Cedars in first and Ship Bottom in third.



In the always exciting mixed doubles-block pull event Gaby had a good pull finishing at the top of the pack.  Max pulled away from the field enabling the Surf City boat crew to get launched in the boat first.  It was a touch race by they never gave up that lead and won the event for Surf City!


The final event proved to be a battle between Surf City and Harvey Cedars.  Katie handled the running part of the event with Mike swimming and Scottie paddling.  After a back-and-forth battle between us and Harvey Cedars Anna and Gaby were launched just ahead of the Harvey Cedars mixed doubles boat and held them off for the entire row until wave caught the Cedars boat and pulled them up to the Surf City boat.  It’s always harder to ride a wave once it has broken and the wash catches up with you and Cedars maintained a straighter line to the beach and just beat out Gaby and Anna.  It was an nail biting finish to an exciting tournament.



When the scores were tallied Harvey Cedars came in 1st place with 36 points, Surf City second with 28 points, Ship Bottom 3rd with 23 points, Long Beach Township 4th with 16 points, Island Beach State Park 5th with 8 points, and Barnegat Light with 5 points. 







Island Beach State Park Tournament - Monday July 15, 2019

This would be the second year that the Island Beach State Park tournament would be held as a mixed tournament.  The water was choppy at the start of the tournament but there was little surf.  Gaby and Anna were up first in the 1000’ Doubles row and had a great race coming in 2nd place overall out of the 9 teams participating in the tournament.  Things didn’t go so well for Chris and I in the 1000’ as we couldn’t seem to get the boat moving well and had to settle for a 5th place finish.


Pat, Pepper, Julia, and Maria competed in the swim relay and finished up in 6th place.  Pat and Gaby  placed out of the points in the Boat Swim.  Pat had just swam in the swim relay so I think that hurt his performance in this one. 




The paddle relay team of Charlie, Pepper, Scott, and Julia put in a good performance but it was tough on the North end of the course as there were almost no waves (lane 1 for Surf City) and they ended up with a 3rd place finish.  It was breaking much better on the South side of the course.



Gaby and Anna went first in the boat relay followed by me and Chris.  I really didn’t know how we did until Pat R. came up to me and said “Nice job, you guys went out in 5th and came back in 2nd.”  The crews of Conner/Max and CJ/Scott maintained our second place position and we finished in 2nd.  Our boat relay team is looking solid this year.  Wonder how we'll do at Islands...?




In the final race, the Rescue Relay, Pepper had a fantastic line swim getting to the buoy with the rest of the mostly guy swimming field.  Charlie and Gaby had a great pull putting Surf City in 2nd place going into the paddle rescue portion of the event with Scott and Pat.  They made up a little ground on the second place team so Chris and I entered the water in the boat just a little behind the Brigantine boat.  We had a good row (actually as fast picking up Maria as in our Doubles row earlier in the night) but came up a little short of beating Brigantine so we had to settle for 2nd place.




Overall it was a very strong performance for Surf City.  Last year we only scored points in one or two events in this tournament.  This year we came in 4th place overall.



Long Beach Township Women’s Tournament – Tuesday July 16, 2019

This would be the third year for the LBT women’s tournament with Surf City decisively winning it both of the previous years.  Could they make the “three-peat” happen?  Because the tournament was held at 8AM the ocean was calm with little to no surf.  It was a lake.


As always the tournament started with the line-pull and the team of Emily swimming and Lauren and Julia pulling made quick work of the field.  While Wildwood had a very good line swimmer Emily was too much for her as were her sisters pulling line. 

"Swim that way"



Gaby and Anna rowed the grueling mile again and came in 2nd behind a very skilled Barnegat Light crew.


While the mile row was taking place Julia was again pulling away from the field in the 1500’ paddle for another 1st place finish for Surf City. 



Maria put in a tough swim against a strong field of women swimmers coming in 2nd place behind the a really talented swimmer from Wildwood.


Gaby rowed the singles in a race that as if often the case came down to a scramble to the line.  Lots of credit to Gaby for hustling to the line and bringing home yet another Surf City 1st place finish.


Julia, Emily, Pepper, and Lauren were the team for the paddle relay and they made short work on the field for yet another 1st place finish. 



Ace Surf City swimmers Pepper and Maria were up next in the buoy rescue and made it look easy with another 1st place finish.

Gaby and Anna were up next in the doubles row and while they said they felt fine I know from experience that the mile row definitely takes a lot out of you!  Despite that they still rowed a great race and came in 2nd place.  Maria and Julia also came in 2nd in the Paddle Rescue. 


Kind of looks like Lauren threw the boat out!


In the final event of the night Pepper put on an impressive display of water skills in the iron woman.  She was back to the beach first after the row, entered the swim after the run in first, and then opened up a huge lead in the swim portion of the event making for a somewhat relaxed paddle to win the iron woman two years in a row.  I should also note that Julia, Maria, Pepper, Gaby, and Anna has also competed in the Island Beach State Park Tournament the about 12 hours before this tournament.




Congratulations to the Surf City women for another perfectly executed tournament performance.  What a roll these talented and hard-working women have been on for the last decade or so.



Red Bull Lifeguard Challenge – Tuesday July 16, 2019

It was finally time for Surf City to send a team to the Red Bull Lifeguard Challenge in Atlantic City.  The team consisted of Pepper, Chris B., Pat H., and Scott.  There were 36 teams competing in this event and most of them were very strong.  The ocean was very choppy, mid tide, with some "runners" but no surf with any size or power.  It was the end of a long 24 hours of racing for Pepper having competed in the Island Beach State Park Tournament the night before and the Long Beach Township Women's tournament that morning!  But if you known Pepper this means she was really warmed up...

Red Bull Challenge Video



The first event was a swim relay in which the top 20 teams would move to an “A pool” paddle off with the top 16 teams moving to round 3.  The bottom 16 teams in the swim relay would move to the “B pool” paddle off with only the top 2 teams moving to round three.  The Surf City team came in 29th in the swim relay and would compete in the B-pool paddle.   As you can imagine the competition in the B-pool paddle was fierce because most of these teams were made up of mainly paddle specialists.




Scott was our first leg and got out to his normal blistering start beating the other paddlers through the surf.  After that he never looked back and exited the first leg of the paddle in first place with Harvey Cedars close behind.  Pat H. was up next and he also had a fantastic paddle coming into the surf with about a 25 foot lead on the next paddler.  But as is often the case the paddlers behind him caught a wave that brought two other paddlers and Pat to the beach at the same time.  Chris was up next and opened up an enormous lead on the field.  Pepper grabbed the board and never looked back.  Surf City finished first in the B-pool paddle with Harvey Cedars in second.  LBI paddling is strong!


Round three was a medley race consisting of a m-course (long!) swim and paddle and an 800m apex row.  Scott did well in the paddle as did Pepper in the swim but the male swimmers she was competing against were all D1 distance swimmers.  Chris and Pat got out in the boat in 14th place and were able to pass two boats for a 12th place overall finish in the Red Bull Lifeguard Challenge.



Ortley Bush Classic Lifeguard Tournament – Wednesday July 24, 2019

 We hadn’t participated in the Ortley tournament since 2014 so we were excited to return to this “classic” tournament.  There was definitely some surf and that would make things interesting.  And of course there was some of that “classic” Ortley shore break.  There were eight teams competing this year.


This year the tournament started off with a 4-person run relay.  Our specialty.  Our boys are fast, have good hands, and practice this event.  They are hard to beat.  Pat H. was the first leg and  handed the torp to CJ in 1st place.  CJ had a great run and opened the lead up a bit more for the handoff to Charlie, who again increased the Surf City lead.  Charlie handed the torp to Max.  Harvey Cedars had a really fast anchor leg and he almost caught Max because Max didn't know how close behind he was!  Luckily Max saw him and put on a burst of speed to secure a 1st place finish in the run relay for Surf City.  A nice start to the tournament.  Conner and Max were up next in the boat pick-up and despite Max having a little difficult getting in the boat the guys did a nice job finishing in 4th place.  I should also note that since the row relay was canceled and the boat swim entered in its place Max was put into this race without ever having practiced it!


Since only eight of us were at the tournament, after Pat and Mike it was “determined” that I was the next fastest swimmer and would compete in the surf dash.  Pat got us off to a good start tagging me in 6th place.  Two women pretty much swam right over me so I tagged Mike in 8th place (last!).  Mike did a great job pulling us out of the basement so we could finish in 7th place.  As it turns out this would be the only event where we wouldn’t score points. 





Pat started out the paddle relay and got the to buoy just about even with the Harvey Cedars paddler.  CJ was up next and got to the beach in 2nd place handing off the board to Scott.  Scott got a massive set on the way out but somehow managed to keep us in third place.  The South end of the course had no waves when Scott was heading out.  Charlie anchored the leg finishing up in 3rd place for the team.




Charlie had a minute or two rest and then was running in the approximately 300 yard run portion of the medley relay.  He did well and got Mike into the water in 3rd place.  Mike really swam well and maintained our 3rd place position in the race, as did Scott in the paddle portion of the event.  CJ and Max secured the 3rd place finish in this event in the row portion of the event. 


It's really a brutal run.




CJ would go back-to-back rows in the 1000’ double with Conner in the final event of the tournament.  Except for some oar popping in the beginning of the race they had a clean row.  It looked to me like they finished second but the scoreboard read 3rd.


All in all this was a great performance for our return to the Ortley tournament after a 5 year hiatus!



Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Thursday July 26, 2019


We have always matched up well with the events at the Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament so after having won the competition last year I had a feeling we’d be have a strong team this year as well.  Katie was up first in the women’s beach flags and after a few scary moments in the first round (where three women were eliminated) she cruised through the next few rounds into the finals.  The woman in the finals was fast but Katie was a step ahead the whole way to the hose.  Wow!  A first place finish for Katie in the flags!  Nicely done.



Final round.

 Next Pat H. was up next.  Nobody really wanted to jinx him but I think a lot of us were expecting him to do well since two years ago he came in 2nd and last year he came in first.  The first round was very interesting as the Seaside Park competitor seemed to target Pat about 10 feet into the run and trying to push him out of the competition.  Somehow Pat managed to come up with a hose.   And as luck would have it in the final round it was Pat and the competitor for Seaside Park.  Pat was faster.  No doubt about it.  Another 1st place in the flags for Pat H.  Schadenfreude is the word of the day.  Look it up.  Two first place finished for Surf City is a very good start to the tournament.

Beach Flags Video

Round 1.

Final round.

 The Iron Man medley was next and Charlie ran well getting Pepper into the water in about third place.  Each team had to have one female competitor in this event and we felt our fastest team would include Pepper swimming.  Pepper tagged Scottie in third place who in turn crossed the line in second place.  CJ and Max were launched and finished the race for Surf City in 2nd place.



Conner and I were next in the Doubles Row and we had a good row but got “pushed” a bit off course by the Island Beach State Park team in the lane to the South of us.  Conner had a bit of running to do in order to get back to our line and we finished in third place.  We had a tough set on the way out.  Conner did well keeping us on track through it.


The swim relay team of Pat H., Pepper, Mike, and Maria all put in solid swim legs for yet another 2nd place Surf City finish.  Things were going well for us but Seaside Park was still in it because they were winning the events that we were not.



In the paddle pick-up Scott tied the Seaside Park paddler to the mark but once Pat H. got on the board it was game over.  Another 1st place finish for Surf City.




Charlie and I were the first leg of the boat relay.  We had a decent row during the warm-up but I was concerned because I had only rowed with Charlie once before a few years ago.  But I remember Rip telling me he’s been out quite a bit with Charlie this year and we is doing really well in the boat.  Well I have to say that Charlie rowed amazingly well.  Even our turn was pretty good.  We brought the boat to the beach clearly in first place.  Conner and Max opened the lead up some more and CJ and Scott even more after that.  This was the first boat relay win for Surf City in probably 6 or 7 years and it was a big win.  I think second place was a good 15 seconds behind us.  Nice job guys.



The paddle relay was next and we had a very strong team.  Pat H. started it off and got to the mark just behind the Seaside Park Competitor.  Julia was next and was able to hold on to second place despite going against male competitors.  But Seaside Park was still far ahead.  Scott was able to reel in the Seaside Park competitor so it would come down to a race to the beach between CJ and the Surf City competitor to the shore!  They were neck-and-neck the entire way in right up until the end.  It would come down to who had enough juice to catch a wave.  The Seaside Park competitor couldn’t get on it but with a final push CJ caught the wave and rode it to shore for another 1st place finish for Surf City!  CJ showed some real heart in this one.



While I knew point-wise we were pretty far ahead I told the run relay team it was close.. to keep them motivated.  And what a run they had!  Pat H. handed the torp in first to CJ who handed it in first to Katie, who handed it in first to Max, same for the hand offs to Julia and Charlie.  Each leg extended our lead so that by the end they were half the course ahead of the next closest team.  Kind of like a repeat of the boat relay performance.  All that practice paid off as the transitions were seriously fast and aggressive.  Be aggressive.. B-E - A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E.




Surf City 1st place with 65 points, Seaside Park 2nd with 50 points, Ship Bottom 3rd with 35 points, Midway 4th with 23 points, Lavallette 5th with 18 points, Ortley 6th with 16 points, and Island Beach 7th with zero points.






Ship Bottom Jack Donlon Memorial Lifeguard Race – Tuesday July 30, 2019

I always refer to the Ship Bottom tournament as “the curse.”  We always have a hard time with this one.  Since I was representing Surf City at the Upper Township row I only know that there were 11 really good teams, Atlantic City was constantly in our lane, and that the boys did pretty well.


Pat, Mike, and Maria swam in the surf dash but didn’t earn any points while Conner and Max rowed the doubles and finished in a respectable 6th place.


Pat and Scott came in 4th in the paddle pick-up.  The boat relay of Gaby/Anna, Conner/Max, and CJ/Scott also did a good job coming in 7th place.


Pat, Charlie, Scott, and CJ came in 6th in the paddle relay.  Charlie ran in the iron man medley while Mike swam, Scott paddled, and CJ and Max rowed and earned another 6th place finish.  Believe it or not mid-pack finishes in this field of competitors is very respectable.  Thanks for representing team!



Upper Township 6 Mile Row - Tuesday July 30, 2019

Last year Chris and I came in 4th place in this race by simply following the pack and then passing a few boats at the end.  This year we took a more aggressive strategy.  Unfortunately our lack of knowledge of the course hurt us and we made quite a few incorrect navigation decisions and again ended up in 4th place, although much closer to the winner time-wise this year.  While we placed the same as last year it was strange that the boats that came in 1st, 8th, and 9th last year came in 2nd, 1st, and 3rd respectively.  The top 5 or 10 boats are very fast and course knowledge or just dumb luck on various paths you take can make a big difference in the final result.




Long Beach Island Championship - August 2/3, 2019

Once again the culminating event of the season was held on the 68th street beach and expertly held by the host team from Long Beach Township.  Thanks to both Long Beach Township for hosting and Tony Nitti for taking on the MC duties.  The wind was light and the surf small.


Conner and I opened up the tournament in the mile row and had a good start making up the 4 lane stagger on LBT by the first mile mark.  It looked like we could get by them at the buoy (as they let the other boats go since everyone caught them) but at the last second they pulled left and tied up with us.  And they kept pulling left so it was a good 30 seconds before we got clear of them.  It’s frustrating but sometimes two unexperienced rowers can take out a summer’s worth of training!  Oh well, that’s how it goes in ocean lifeguarding events.  We of course ended up in 4th place. 



While we were busy yelling at LBT Julia was defending her title in the 2000’ women’s paddle.  From what I heard she was in 2nd in the first part of the race but took the lead and never looked back winning her second island title as the fastest female paddler on the island.

It's tough to defend an Island title.


Julie gets tested by the HC competitor during the first half of the race.


But opens it up during the last leg of the race.


Mike and Maria had a well-executed performance in the buoy rescue but the other teams were very fast and they had to settle for 4th place.



The paddle relay team of Charlie, Conner, Adam, and CJ also had to settle for 4th in the paddle relay.





The 1000’ women’s row was a very exciting race with Anna and Gaby coming to the beach in third place, catching a wave and riding it to the beach for a 1st place finish!  The other crews sheared on the wave and it cost them. 



Pat H. and Conner took on the surfboat rescue duties and after a big mix up at the finish of the race it was determined they came in 3rd place.


In the final events of the night Charlie and Pepper competed in the iron man and iron women.  Both did a great job with Charlie just missing 3rd place and defending champion Pepper having to settle for a hard fought 2nd place.  The competition in the iron man/woman is always fierce.  It’s great to have competitors like Pepper and Charlie who step up to the challenge!




At the end of the first night of the tournament Harvey Cedars was way out ahead on points with 54.  Surf City, Barnegat Light, and Ship Bottom were all tied for second place overall with 25 points each.  It was going to be a scrap for second.  Over the past few rebuilding years we’ve gone from last to 5th, to 4th, to 3rd place in the island tournament.  It would be nice to finish in 2nd this year.  It’s been a long time since we’ve finished ahead of Barnegat Light in this tournament…


The night started out with Mike swimming the line pull with Max and Adam pulling.  Mike got to the buoy in 5th place and the boys pulled him in in 4th place.  There were some fast swimmers in that race!  



Chris and I were up next in the doubles row.  The team gave us a clean launch and we had a good line to the buoy, tight turn, and strong row to the beach coming in 1st place. 



Luke Guaracino stepped up and earned our point in the open swim while Maria Nitti really put it on the field in the women’s swim coming in 1st place!  Luke you da man!  Congratulations to Maria on being Surf City’s Island women’s swim champion. 2019!

2019 LBI Women's Swim Champion



Scott and Pat H. had been working hard on perfecting their technique in the paddle rescue and had become nearly flawless with Scott knee paddling while Pat prone paddled.  This is nearly impossible to do on 12’ race board.  I really don’t know how they were doing it on a 10’6” board.  Scott and the Harvey Cedars paddler reached the buoy at about the same and the race to the beach was on!  Harvey Cedars was just a little faster so we’d have to settle for another 2nd place in this event.  Great job though, very impressive.  This was the closest race HC has had in a decade!




CJ was next in the singles row and to put it bluntly his launch was not good.  While the BL rower was “shot” out into the ocean CJ was released with basically no momentum.  His race was over before it started.




Gaby and Max also had difficulty getting going in the mixed doubles and had to settle for a last place finish as well.


Chris and I started the boat relay and were able to hand the boat to Conner and Max in first place who in turn handed it to Charlie and CJ in first place but also with quite a bit of water in the boat!  And BL on their tail!  But they rowed really well and coming to the shore had a good 20 yards on the BL boat.  1st Place Boat Relay for Surf City!




Scott put in a great paddle in the 2000’ open paddle but sometimes the ocean just isn’t with you and he had to settle for a 2nd place finish this year. 


Pepper, Emily, Lauren, and Julia were up next in the Women's Paddle Relay.  It really came down to the waves between 1st and 2nd place they ended up in 2nd place.



Finally in the last event of the night the surf dash rookies Tom W., Jake W., and Matt V. stepped up to represent Surf City and did a great job. 


When all of the points were tallied Surf City finished in 2nd place just 2 points ahead of Barnegat Light!


11th Annual Surf City Banquet - Wednesday August 7, 2019


This video says it all.


Harvey Cedars Cutter’s Cup – Thursday August 8, 2019

The ocean or weather always seems to be uncooperative at the Harvey Cedars tournament and this year was no different with a huge shore break.  Last year I remember there was fog so thick the boats, paddlers, and swimmers would disappear into it!  I was concerned for the safety of my guys and decided that the risk of injury in the shore break was too high and we would not compete in the rowing events.  It was not a popular decision with the team.  They wanted to row.  But it was my decision to make and I wanted to ensure the safety of my guys and gals.


The team of CJ, Pat H., Scotty, and Charlie paddled well in the paddle relay but the waves just weren’t with them and had to settle for a 5th place finish.  The team of Mike, Maria, Pat H., and Pepper came in 4th in the swim relay.  In the block pull Pat H., Scott, CJ, Hunter, Max, and Charlie were leading the race for a while but eventually fell back to finish in 3rd place.



Lavallette Women’s Tournament – Sunday August 11, 2019

Pepper and Maria were the buoy rescue team in the first part of the rescue relay race with Maria swimming out as the victim and Pepper the rescuer.  All of the teams were fast and Pepper and Maria returned to the beach with the other top teams from Lavallette and Harvey Cedars.  Julia and Lauren were our paddle rescue team with Julia swimming out and Lauren acting as the rescuer.  Julia had a great swim getting to the mark first with Lauren opening the lead even more.  Caitlin was then off for the swim in the final boat rescue portion of this event.  Gaby was launched first in the boat by a small margin and got to the marks first.  Caitlin entered the boat quickly and the pair never looked back earning Surf City its first 1st place in the 2019 Lavallette women’s tournament.


With just a few minutes rest Pepper was in action again swimming out the line with Lauren pulling her in.  It looked to me like Pepper got to the buoy just a few seconds after the Harvey Cedars swimmer but on the way to the beach with Lauren pulling Surf City passed the Harvey Cedars team and earned another first place for Surf City.


Gaby and Maria had a nice straight row to the buoy line in the row-out/swim-in and Maria entered the water first.  Maria really turned it on in the swim and put about 10 seconds on the field for yet another Surf City 1st place!


There would be little rest for Pepper tonight as she was swimming again in the Iron Man medley.  She arrived at the beach in third place just a few seconds behind first and second.  Julia was off on the board and made up some time on the teams in front of Surf City.  Gaby and Anna had a fantastic row passing the second place boat for a 2nd place finish for Surf City.  There was never any doubt to the outcome of the paddle relay as the team of Lauren, Maria, Julia, and Pepper led from the start and only lengthened their lead further as the race went on.  Another 1st place finish for Surf City.


Maria was the first leg of the swim relay and made it to our mark first but our other legs consisting of Caitlin, Julia, and Pepper slipped back a bit and we’d have to settle for 4th place in the swim relay.  Keep in mind that the time difference between 1st and 4th was probably less than 15 seconds! 


In the final race of the night Gaby and Anna were out first in the 1000’ doubles row, came out of the turn first, and led the field to the beach winning the final event for Surf City!

Hammer Row - Thursday August 22, 2019

This year Ryan and Conner rowed as well as me and Chris.  After coming in a close 2nd last year we had high hopes.  They were dashed when Chris' seat came unglued.  5th place.


Ship Bottom Barnegat Bay Challenge - Thursday August 30, 2019

We came we rowed.


The Last Day Crew - Monday September 2, 2019

My thanks to every lifeguard for your dedication!