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Surf City 2011 Yearbook

Download full resolution squad photo here.  Password is Harrison's last name.

2011 Surf City Beach Patrol season statistics:
Total Rescues � 44
Missing Persons Recovered by the Patrol � 21
First Aid Responses � 8
Total Estimated Beach Population � 224,000
Average Water Temperature � 68 degrees Fahrenheit

Well we made it through a summer without an epidemic of one illness or another;)  I want to congratulate every member of the patrol on a fantastic job guarding the beaches this season.  We had another safe season in Surf City.  It was a really nice summer from a weather and water temperature perspective so we didn't have to train at the bay as much as usual.  The surf was smaller than normal.  Other than a little wave action early in the summer and the usual swell at the end, there wasn't much to talk about surf-wise.  And it shows in the rescue total.  Only 44 rescues as compared to 144 last season.  Of course there are other factors at work, but I think the surf conditions being a little tamer than last summer is part of the reason for the decrease in rescues.  As for staffing, just about the entire 2010 squad returned for 2011.  We had only two new recruits to add to our Surf City family, JD and Lexi.    I'd also like to once again than our "staff photographer" Merideth H. for most of the following photos.

It was a very good year for the patrol competition-wise as well.  Actually it's been a very good past 5 years for Surf City having won 15 tournaments in that span of time.  Once again we won the Seaside Park tournament and for the first time won the Sandy Hook tournament.  It'll be fun to see "Surf City" in the park flyers next year when we return to defend.  There were also some great moments at the tournaments that stood out in my mind so I've decided to to a "Top 10" List.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Top 10 Most Memorable Tournament Moments for 2011

10. The Run-Row in the Epic.  The memorable thing about this was that Ryan's first reaction when I asked him about doing this race with me in May was, "Shoot, I almost made my whole career without getting in that damn boat!"  We went on to win the event.
9.  Derek catches a bomb in the second leg of the Seaside Park tournament swim relay to move them into first place.  One team was out ahead by a mile after the first leg.  We ended up winning the relay and of course the tournament.
8.  Matt G. smoking everybody in the block pull offs.  And then his older brother nearly equaling his time.  It was quite a site to behold.  I only wish the weather held up so that event took place as planned at the Harvey Cedars tournament.  I later spoke to him Mom about that performance and she said "Hockey."  Ah ha.
7.  Jenn rowing Lexi out in the Boat Swim at Island Beach and still coming in 2nd place.
6.  Kyle, Paul, and Chris coming in 2nd place in the Sandy Hook paddle relay against some of the strongest paddling teams in the state (including Ship Bottom, Bradley Beach, and Sandy Hook) on a 10 year old 30 pound board.
5.  While competing in only 5 of 10 tournaments Jenn made the top 10 "Most Valuable Competitor" list.
4.  The Surf City women coming in 2nd place overall at the Island Beach Tournament. 
3.  Jenn and Brit winning the Women's Doubles Row at Islands.  Trust me, it's amazing for a first year rower to win at Islands.  It's a testament to the skill of both women.
2.  Andre winning the Line-Pull at Islands three times in the last four years.  The fact that we "expected" him to win doesn't make the acheivement any less spectacular.  Winning and event once at Islands is hard.  Doing it three times in four years is nearly impossible.  And I should add the one time he got second we didn't have the cheatin' line and the winning team did.  Of course much credit goes to the pullers as well.

and the most memorable tournament moment for 2011...

1.  The first place Iron Man Medley finish at Sandy Hook which was necessary to win the tournament.  This was nuts.  First of all JD wasn't supposed to swim the medley since he just swam the last event.  After hearing that we needed this event to win the tournament he told me to basically "let me handle this."  He swam against Bradley's top swimmer, who had been hammering the field all night.  Talk about performing under pressure.  JD stayed right with him stroke for stroke.  Paul then had to go against Bradley's top paddler.  He entered the water a step behind and exited a step ahead.  Not wanting to launch their boat second, Bradley jumped the gun and launched ahead of us.  Luckily, we passed their boat after the second turn and won the event and the tournament.  What a night!

Surf City 2011 - Most Valuable Competitor - Dave and Mark (tie)
1.    Dave and Mark (tie) - 24 points
3.    JD, Kyle, Paul (tie) - 17 points
6.    Jeff - 16 points
7.    Derek - 13 points
8.    Harrison - 12 points
9.    Jenn - 12 points
10.  Nick - 11 points
(1st place - 3 points, 2nd place - 2 points, 3rd place - 1 point)

Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday July 7, 2011 - 3rd out of 8 teams
Epic Run-Swim - 3rd place - Jeff and Harrison
Surf Dash - 3rd place - Paul and Kyle
Run-Row - 1st place - Mark and Ryan
Paddle Relay - 3rd place - Kyle, Paul, and Ryan

Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Monday July 18, 2011 - 1st out of 10 teams
Beach Flags - 2nd place - Lauren
1000' Row - 1st Place - Dave and Mark
Swim Relay - 1st place - Jeff, Derek, Harrison, and JD
Paddle Relay - 1st place - Kyle, Nick, Chris, Paul

Run Relay - 2nd place - Kyle, Nick, Jeff, Dave

Ship Bottom Tournament � Monday July 25, 2011
Mixed Doubles - 2nd place - Dave and Jenn

Ortley Classic Lifeguard Tournament � Tuesday July 26, 2011
1000' Doubles - 2nd place - Dave and Mark
Iron Man Medley - 3rd place - JD, Paul, Matt, and Evan
Open Swim - 3rd place - Derek

Sandy Hook Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday July 28, 2011 - 1st out of 8 teams
Iron Man - 3rd place - Jeff
Swim Relay - 2nd place - Derek, Harrison, and JD
Paddle Relay - 2nd place - Kyle, Paul, and Chris
Boat Relay - 2nd place - Dave/Mark, Matt/Evan, Nick/Jeff
Line Race - 2nd place - Harrison, JD, Derek, Matt, and Evan
IM Medley - 1st place - JD, Paul, Dave/Mark

Harvey Cedars Cutter�s Cup � Monday August 1, 2011  
Surf Medley - 3rd place - Jeff, Chris, Derek, Harrison, Kyle, Paul, Matt, Evan
Rescue Relay - 3rd place - Andre, Derek, Jeff, Ryan

Midway Beach Lifeguard Tournament � Monday August 8, 2011
Line-Pull - 2nd place - Derek, Conner, Matt G.

Island Beach Open Lifeguard Tournament � Wednesday August 10, 2011
1000' Doubles - 2nd place - Dave/Mark
Surf Medley - 3rd place - Sean, Paul, Dave/Mark
Rescue Race - 2nd place - Andre, JD, Nick, Evan, Kyle, John, Dave/Mark, Jeff

Island Beach Women�s Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday August 11, 2011
1000' Doubles - 2nd place - Jenn/Brit
Rescue Race - 2nd place - Ashley, Lexi
IM Medley - 2nd place - Caroline, Lexi, Lauren, Jenn/Brit
Boat Swim - 2nd place - Lexi, Jenn
Swim Relay - 3rd place - Katie, Lauren, Lexi, Ashley

Long Beach Island Lifeguard Tournament � Friday/Saturday August 12/13, 2011 - 2nd out of 4 teams
Mile Row - 1st place - Dave/Mark
Buoy Rescue - 2nd place - Andre, JD
Paddle Relay - 2nd place - Kyle, Chris, Paul, Mike
1000' Women's Row - 1st place - Jenn/Brit
Surfboat Rescue - 2nd place - Harrison, Evan
Iron Man - 3rd place - Jeff
1000' Doubles - 1st place - Dave/Mark
Open Swim - 3rd place -Harrison
Women's Swim - 3rd place - Ashley
Paddleboard Rescue - 2nd place - Paul, John
Line-Pull - 1st place - Andre, Kyle, Jake
Mixed Doubles Row - 3rd place - Nick/Jenn
Surf Dash - 2nd place - JD, Derek, Jeff

Note the following events do not count toward MVP scoring

NJ State Rowing Championships - Monday August 22, 2012
3rd place Van Duyne Open Category - 1:10:08 - Dave and Mark

Ship Bottom 5 Mile Row Barnegat Bay Challenge - Tuesday August 30, 2011
1st place - Dave and Mark

4 Mile Hammer Row - Thursday September 1, 2011
7th place out of 50+ Van Duyne boats - Dave and Mark


Memories from the 2011 Season 










Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday July 7, 2011

Is it a curse?  With the exception of the first year of the tournament the Epic tournament has been subject to cancellations or near cancellations for a variety of reasons.  Rain, thunder and lightning, extremely cold water, high winds and big surf, pick one or more and we�ve had it.  2011 would be no exception with the weather prediction being clear until 3PM and then, of course, thunderstorms all night.  Since the weather is always volatile at the beach we decided to ride it out and perhaps we could run the tournament.  Ito got a little hairy but we finished the tournament.  The water was a little cold but the surf was reasonable and the thunder hovered over the mainland with only a light sprinkling of rain now and then.  The eighth annual Surf City Epic Lifeguard Tournament was on.


This year the Epic would return to nearly it�s original format with a few small exceptions.  During the run-swim and run-row there would also be a two person swim relay, and there would be a two person � mile run relay at the start of the Iron Man Medley.



The brother team of Jeff and Harrison took on the �Epic� run-swim event consisting of a 2 mile beach run and a 250 yard swim.  After the cross-country type scores were tallied Jeff and Harrison came away with a 2nd place finish for Surf City in the run-swim.  Ryan and I were to be the competitors for the run-row this year and since Ryan had just learned to row a few weeks before the tournament we knew we needed to get in the boat first.  We stayed together on the run and kept an eye on the only runner ahead of us.  His partner was far behind so we felt as though we were in good shape.  But Harvey Cedars was right behind us the whole way through the row and it came down to a foot race to the line that Ryan won for a 1st place finish for Surf City.


Meanwhile Kyle and Paul came away with a 3rd place finish in the Surf Dash. 


The next event was the Paddle Relay.  Paul, Kyle, and Ryan came away with another 3rd place finish for Surf City.  Going into the final event, the Iron Man Medley, Surf City was just barely in 1st place.  It would all come down to the last event.


Kyle and Ryan ran, Jeff swam, Paul paddled, and Harrison and I rowed.  Things didn�t go our way and we finished mid pack.  Not good enough to hold onto the lead.  We�d have to settle for a 3rd place team finish in the Epic this year.  Congratulations to Harvey Cedars for their victory in the eighth annual Surf City Epic Tournament.




Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament - Monday July 18, 2011

After coming in 2nd in this tournament in 2010 and winning it in 2009 the Surf City team looked to have a good chance in 2011.  As usual the men�s and women�s events would be run one after the other with only the men�s events being scored.


Up first were Lauren and Kyle in the crowd pleasing beach flags event.  Kyle got a rough draw with two the eventual finalists being positioned on either side of him.  Lauren also faced stiff competition in defending the beach flags crown that she captured the year before.  After a hard fought battle Lauren came out in 2nd place this year; another fantastic finish for Lauren in the flags.


With our ace runner Ryan C. being out with an injured knee Jeff stepped up to take on the run portion of the Iron Man Medley.  He had a great run and got JD into the water in about 4th or 5th place.  It�s a tough running field.  It always is.  I've done that run a few times and it's brutal.  JD had a really good swim for his first official lifeguard tournament, losing just a few seconds by having to swim against the current a bit to get to the buoy.  I should also mention that the water was freezing and from what the guys and gals told me, even colder as you approached the buoys.  JD maintained or improved on the Surf City place in the event after tagging Kyle for the board portion of the event. 

Kyle had a great paddle and got the boat into the water in 4th place. 


Matt and Evan closed the gap on the first three boats and just barely missed a 3rd place finish and finished up in 4th place.


Dave and I were up next in the 1000� Doubles row and were hoping to avenge our 2nd place finish in this event last year to the Ortley crew.  We got a fantastic launch from the prime motivators Evan and Matt and when all was said and done brought the boat back to shore for a 1st place finish for Surf City. 


For the women Jenn would be rowing out not only Lexi but Jeff as well since there was a last minute rule change that stipulated a male lifeguard must be in the boat with the women(?), even though he wouldn�t be rowing.  Jenn got the boat out in the middle of the pack, pretty remarkable considering she was the only one rowing singles.  Lexi also had a really good swim.  I not positive about their finish but I think it was 4th.


Jeff was the first leg in the swim relay and for some reason ended up having to start on the Northern most position, putting him at a big disadvantage in a race where controlling the field is important.  One team had a really fast swimmer that must have put 10 or 15 seconds on the field.  Behind him there was a tight grouping of about 5 swimmers, of which Jeff was one.  Jeff tagged Derek and he was off with a great line to the buoy.  Derek stayed on the leader for a super swim, catching a bomb of a wave and riding it to shore tagging Harrison in 2nd place.  The 1st place team that looked unbeatable 30 seconds ago was looking very beatable all of a sudden..  Harrison hit the water and, in the words of Even, �it was on like Donkey Kong.�  Harrison was hawking down the lead swimmer and passed him by the second buoy.  He never looked back and tagged JD with a nice lead.  JD never looked back and sealed the deal with another 1st place finish for Surff City.




Lauren was the first leg in the women�s swim relay and had a great swim coming in 3rd place.  Ashley was up next and maintained 3rd place for the women.  Katie was up next followed by Lexi.  I�m not positive but I think the women finished up in 4th place.


Paul and Chris were up next in the paddle rescue.  Paul was either 1st or 2nd to the buoy but the 10 days out of the water due to his toe injury in the Epic definitely hurt on the paddle back to shore as the boys finished a respectable 4th in an always tough paddle rescue field.


Dave and I were up again in the first leg of the boat relay.  We caught a nice little runner at the end of the row and handed the boat off to Matt and Evan in first place.  Matt and Evan had a great row and extended the Surf City lead.  Unfortunately we got the bow and stern oars mixed up for Nick and Jeff and they also had a little water in the boat.  When it was all said and done Surf City came in 2nd place in the boat relay to Ortley.





Surf City was in this tournament and we needed something big from the paddle relay.  Paddling a board that was� get this, honestly older than every single member of the relay!  Kyle had a great paddle getting to the buoy in a close 2nd place.  Nick was the next leg and with the waves it was hard to tell exactly where he handed the board to Chris but I think it was around 3rd place.  Chris had a fantastic paddle, hawking down the field and handing the board to Paul in striking distance of 1st place.  And Paul paddled with a vengeance; catching the 1st place paddler and securing the third 1st place finish for Surf City.  Surf City was now 5 points in 1st place going into the final event.



The women also did a great job in the paddle relay with Lauren coming in 2nd place in her leg Jenn holding that position back to the beach.  Caroline and Brit were the final legs of the race and Brit put in a gutsy effort for close 4th place finish for the Surf City women on the board.




Kyle was up first in the run relay handing the torp to Jeff in 4th place.  Jeff passed one runner and handed the torp to Nick in 3rd place.  Nick held onto 3rd place and handed the buoy to Dave did his best to pass the two runners in front of him.  The line judge decided that Surf City had finished in 2nd.  It was a very close finish.  Regardless it was enough for Surf City to seal the deal and win the 2011 Seaside Park Lifeguard Tournament with 47 team points.  Ortley Beach came in second place in the tournament with 39 points.




The women also had a great run.  Lauren started it off and handed the buoy to Caroline in 2nd place.  Caroline handed the buoy to Lexi in 2nd place who in turn handed off to Brit.  When all the shouting was over the women finished the run relay in 4th or 5th place.




Ship Bottom Tournament � Monday July 25, 2011

 A few days before the tournament was to be held I received a call from Ship Bottom informing me that a team had dropped out of the tournament and there was room for us to attend.  There wasn�t a lot of time to prepare, and I�d find out that just about all of the events had changed from what they�d been for the past 7 or 8 years, but it was another chance compete so we decided to accept the invitation.

The surf was pretty constant with good sized sets coming through much like has been the norm on our 4th street beach this summer.  As usual there was a big sandbar at one end of the lanes, the South end in this case.  Unfortunately I random draw picked lane 1, which is the first lane to the North and as a result we got smoked on every entry into the water by the teams in the Southern lanes.  Five seconds after a boat launch we�d be nearly two boat lengths behind since our launchers couldn�t run out on the bar and the break was a little fiercer on the North end of the course.  Oh well, that's ocean racing.  You get lemons you just have to try and make lemonade.


Andre was up first in the line-pull.  It was mid tide with lots of white water, a really tough line swim and just perfect for a powerful swimmer like Andre.  Unfortunately there must have a been a last minute rule change as many of the other teams were using the carbon fiber fins, we left ours at the garage since I had been told only �Churchill type fins allowed.�  In the end it didn�t matter since Andre was first to the buoy anyway.  But our spotter was down by the water�s edge and didn�t have a high enough vantage point to see Andre touch the flag!  Ten seconds passed until the pullers were given the signal to start pulling and the result was still a respectable 3rd place finish.  The spotter has to be at a high spot on the beach, especially on a rough day when the swimming is disappearing in and out of the swell at the flag.



The 1000� Doubles was next and as I wrote above right off the launch we were a boat length behind, then we hit a fairly large wave that stopped us in our tracks.  We rowed our race and finished up in 5th place.  JD and Jeff were the buoy rescue team with JD being the rescuer and Jeff the victim, stationed at the mark this year.  After a hard effort the boys ended up in 5th place.

Yee Haw!

Dave and Jenn did a great job in the Mixed Doubles row coming in 2nd place.  Dave again noticed they were far behind shortly after the launch but they rowed their way back to second place.  The paddle relay consisting of Kyle, Ryan, Chris, and Paul finished up at the tail end of a tight grouping of place 2 through 5 and ended up in 5th.




Chris and Lauren stepped up to take on the 1500 paddle for the men and women, respectively.  Needless to say both races, which were long and in very difficult ocean conditions, were a dogfight.  All of the expected common course pushing, pulling, and boxing out took place.  Chris caught a nice wave off the final buoy for a 5thplace finish..  He was within feet of a 3rd place finish in a very tough field.  Lauren prone paddled her way to a solid 4th place finish.  Chris remarked to me that in these conditions neither prone paddling nor knee paddling was particularly effective.  I know exactly since it was hard to get a groove in the boat as well.  The key in these condition is a really long warm up to acclimate to the ocean. 



Dave and I were to row the first leg of the row relay as usual, and as usual in our lane we were a good boat length behind the teams in the Southern lanes after the launch.  But there was no wave on the way out to stop our progress this time and we rowed back to a hand off the boat to the next crew in 2nd place.  Andre was filling in for Matt in the boat with his brother Evan and, as I wrote above, the conditions were challenging even for experienced rowers.  Evan and Andre did a commendable job and brought the boat back for Nick and Jeff in the middle of the pack.  Remember how I wrote that the break was nasty in our lane?  Well Nick and Jeff rammed into a wave that broke directly over the bow of the boat, completely flooding it.   All we could do was bring the boat back to shore, empty the water out and finish the race.



The final event was beach flags with Kyle once again having a go at it.  Kyle got through the first round and then in the second round the starter did something I have never seen before in my 28 years of lifeguarding.  And I should mention that I used to be our beach flags competitor many years ago and even competed in the Nationals in Virginia Beach once.  Normally the starting command is �heads down, heads up, heads down� and then the signal to go.  The competitors were told at the start of the race that the starter may say �heads up, heads down� repeatedly.  Strange.  But now it gets really weird.  During the round Kyle lost the official started the guys after the �heads up� command?  Kyle didn�t expect to go on heads up was eliminated on that round.

Sometimes things just seem to go right in a tournament, as in our win at Seaside Park the previous Monday night.  And sometimes everything works against you.  This was one of those nights.  But looking on the positive side of things,you learn the most from the tough nights.  That being said, the Surf City team still scored points in 7 out of 9 events and are definitely fired up for the Ortley tournament scheduled to take place the following night.




Ortley Classic Lifeguard Tournament � Tuesday July 26, 2011

Since Ortley changed the events in their Classic tournament in 2010 we haven�t matched up as well as we have in the past, having won this tournament in 2007, 2008, and 2009 when the events used to include a swim relay, boat pick-up, and line-pull.  Usually we can count on a huge shore break.  This year the shore break was mild but there was a good amount of wind chop at the start of the tournament which subsided by the end of the night.

Dave and I were up first in the Doubles and unlike the previous night the lanes were even, no big sandbars on one side of the course.  Lavallette was in the lane to our North and Ortley to the lane in our North.  A clean launch and not five strokes into the race Lavallette is in our lane and we�re banging oars with them!  We get away and restart the boat and they move toward us again, and we collide again!  We still make it to the flag in second place just behind the Ortley boat.  We�re closing on them on the way back to the beach but there isn�t enough time and we have to settle for a 2nd place finish in the 1000� Doubles at Ortley.


The Iron Man Medley is next and JD is our swimmer.  He has a better line to the buoy than the previous night but still has to swim a bit against the current to get to the flag.  He tags Chris for a middle of the field finish and Chris fumbles a bit into the water but has a good paddle.  Since Matt was out of town for a few days Evan and I finish up the event with the row but finish out of the points.  Dave and Jeff are up next in the row-out/swim-in and come away with a 4th place finish.



Kyle, Matt G., Chris, and Paul put in a hard effort in the 4x500� paddle but come up out of the points. 


JD and Derek are our swimmers in the open swim which is scored in a very strange manner.  I had assumed since there are two swimmers from each team that the event would be scored  in cross country fashion, as is our �Epic� run-swim.  But in this case only the first five swimmers from different teams would score.  Derek came out 3rd and JD 6th so we came away with a 3rd place finish in the open swim; a strange scoring system to say the least.  I�m not sure about the point in having two swimmers in this event? 


The final event of the night was the row relay.  Dave and I started it out and were first to the beach.  We did end up a lane North of where we should have been and the skimming to our lane cost precious seconds.  Evan and Harrison would be our second boat and Nick and Jeff the third boat.  When it was all over we ended up out of the points yet again.  It was not to be our night at Ortley Beach this year. 





Sandy Hook Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday July 28, 2011


It had been a long week.  Two back-to-back tournaments that didn�t go well for us and the team was tired.  On top of that Sandy Hook has never been a good tournament for us.  Even in 2008 when we had arguably the strongest team in Surf City history we came in 2nd overall.  Last year I believe we came in fourth or fifth.  But after winning Seaside Park the week before we were ready to turn it on.  As Jeff put it �I�m tired of losing.�

Since the first event was the Iron Man and Jeff would be doing the Iron Man, Jeff had the opportunity to do something about it and get the team off to a strong start.  The Sandy Hook Iron Man is a tough course.  No, there isn�t a run but it�s a common course that is progressively longer for the swim, paddle, row portions of the event.  Also the National Iron Man champion would be competing for Bradley Beach.  Jeff had a great swim getting out of the water in third place, just behind second place but a good distance behind the National Champ from Bradley beach who put some distance on the rest of the field in the swim.  Jeff had a fantastic paddle and was able to hold onto second place entering the row portion of the event.  While first place wasn�t a possibility, the fourth place competitor was a threat and Jeff had to put in a very solid row to hold onto third place.  Believe me it was an outstanding performance by and outstanding athlete.  We were off to a great start at Sandy Hook.




Derek swam the first leg of the swim relay.  This is a really tough field and Derek came out in third place.  Harrison was up next and immediately got a bead on the second place swimmer and �hawked� him down just after the second buoy.  JD was the anchor leg and secured a 2nd place finish for the team.


Kyle was the first leg of the paddle relay and held onto first place for about half of the race before sliding back to third just before reaching the beach.  I should also note that our guys were racing our 10+ year old water logged 10�6� board.  Old, beat up, and heavy.  The guys didn�t worry about it and just paddled.  Chris took off on the board and had an outstanding paddle coming on strong at the finish and closing the distance a bit on the second place team.  Paul grabbed the board, had a perfect entry and immediately began closing on second place.  Halfway through the course he moved into second place and never looked back, nearly catching the first place paddler.  The end result was another 2nd place finish for Surf City.  These guys really did a fantastic job on our old 10'6" board.  It was really impressive to watch.






After 3 events Surf City is in 2nd place.

The row relay was next and as is always the case with a common course row we needed a great launch to get out first and control the course.  Matt, Evan, Ryan, and Nick gave us that launch and before we knew it we were a boat length ahead of the second place boat.  We hit the beach and Matt and Evan jumped in the boat and took off for their leg of the race.  They had a tie up with Ortley and came out of it in second place.  Unfortunately during the next transition a fair amount of water got in the boat and Nick and Jeff had to deal with it.  Despite the water they held off the field for yet another 2nd place Surf City finish.


We hit the mark first and didn't look back.

Matt and Evan had a tie up with Island Beach on the way out while they were on the way in.



We get out right with Ortley for the last leg.




Now things were getting serious as we were just a few points behind the tournament leader Bradley Beach.  We were DQ�d in the rescue race last year for pulling before the victim was on the line and we didn�t want to make that mistake again.  Derek was the victim, Harrison the line swimmer, and JD the torp swimmer.  This race is always a m�l�e with all of the swimmers and lines bunched up in about the width of two normal lanes.  JD and Harrison had a great swim, Derek got on the buoy quickly, JD gave the signal, and Evan and Matt began to pull.  PERFECT execution.  In addition, the finish was coordinated perfectly with Matt and Evan stopping just in time for JD and Harrison to carry Derek over the line for the fourth straight Surf City 2nd place finish.


After five events Surf City was in second place, one point behind Bradley Beach.  The tournament would be decided by the final event, the Iron Man Medley.  In order to win the tournament we had to beat Bradley Beach in this event.  JD was pumped and ready for the swim of his life.  He was on fire and didn�t relent, staying on the first place Bradley Beach swimmer around the entire course, exiting the water perhaps three or four seconds in second place.  It was shaping up to be a dogfight between Bradley Beach and Surf City in this last event! 


Paul was off on the board and was immediately on the Bradley Beach paddler.  Paul followed him to the first buoy, around the buoy, between the first and second buoys and then pulled ahead around the second buoy!  They were coming to shore neck and neck!  Paul got out of the water clean and in first place. 

Dave and I were in the boat and set to be launched first.  But Bradley jumped the gun.  Even though their paddler was behind Paul they launched their boat ahead of ours to get the jump on us in the row.  Dave and I stayed calm and just got right on their bow following them around the first buoy and trying to cut the turn tighter than them on the inside.  They moved inside to block up and we tied up.  And third place was closing.  We pushed on the oars to move the boat backwards and away from the Bradley boat.  They took off and we took off.  We�d have to let them turn the final buoy first and then we�d need to overtake them on the final run to the beach.  We turned that final buoy and the race to the beach was on!  We dug in and felt ourselves gaining on the Bradley boat.  When it was all over, Dave got across the finish line first for a 1st place finish for Surf City in the Iron Man Medley and in the 2011 Sandy Hook Lifeguard Tournament.  In all my years of lifeguarding this was the most cohesive total team victory I can recall.  Every single person on the team had to do their part for the team to win. 




They cut the buoy tight.  We tied up and actually had to row backwards to avoid the third place boat from catching both of us.  We have to follow them around the second buoy and explode by them to shore.

It was an exciting finish to the most exciting lifeguard tournament I've ever witnessed.


The 2011 Sandy Hook Lifeguard Tournment Champion Surf City team.


Harvey Cedars Cutter�s Cup � Monday August 1, 2011


This is our first year attending the 2nd annual Harvey Cedars Cutter�s Cup.  The first event was an 8 person relay Iron Man Medley.  Jeff and Chris each ran a half mile on the beach.  Harrison into the water in 3rd place.  Harrison reached the buoy in 3rd place and Derek reached the shore in 3rd.  Kyle and Paul did the same in the paddle portion as did Matt and Evan in the boat for a 3rd place Surf City finish. 



Evan demonstrating the true meaning of cat-like quickness and agility.

Next up was the standard 4x500� paddle relay with the team consisting of Kyle, Ryan, Paul, and Chris.  The competition was fierce among the 9 competing squads and the boys finished 5th in this one.


The rescue relay was next with Andre and Derek taking on the buoy rescue portion of the event.  Unfortunately Derek didn�t have to swim to the mark.  I think we�d have done better if that were the case.  Andre and Derek reached the beach in 3rd place and Jeff took off swimming to the buoy for the paddle rescue portion of the event.  Ryan picked him up and they finished this event in 3rd place.


The row relay team of Matt/Evan, Jeff/Harrison, and Nick/Mark were up next and finished up 6th out of the 9 teams. 

While the weather had been threatening all night the lightning started in earnest and the powers at be running the tournament correctly decided to stop the event.  While I fully understand and agree with the decision it would have been fun to see how we would have done in the women�s Iron Man Medley, the Beach Flags, and especially the Block Pull.  Oh well, there�s always next year�



Midway Beach Lifeguard Tournament � Monday August 8, 2011

For the last few years it�s been our policy to use the Midway Tournament as a training tournament for some of our younger guards and to practice events for the Island Tournament.  Unfortunately due to personal reasons I couldn�t attend the Midway Tournament so the commentary for this tournament is compliments of our own Andre, with a few unforgettable quotes from Evan.  Also thanks to Mrs. Baker for taking photos at Midway.

I certainly was a heated mongrel during the Midway Tournament. I know that Andre and I charged the main judge and then I blacked out in rage. As for documentation, I know that Garrett Baker's mom took a boat load of pictures and a video of me getting mushed by as the gunnel flips on my back on the dry sand. - Evan



I remember Midway as a great learning experience for the younger guards.  I also remember the whole team having to step up and really become a true team. We couldn't lean on the typical superstars, and the senior guards on that roster really had to teach the youngsters how it worked. We forgot the Con (red board) and had to borrow a beater from Seaside Park.  Seaside Park was gracious to let us borrow a board but of course it was a pretty heavy and beat up board.  We made a lot of mistakes; boat handling was tough with large surf and inexperience, and handoffs on the paddleboard weren't particularly clean.  But it was a great learning experience for everyone involved.

The surf was pretty big, head high. It made the boating events pretty hairy.

Event 1, Paddle relay: Considering that we used a busted board, whose nose weighed ten pounds, the guys did well. They all looked the part and paddled hard. There was no give up during the whole tournament. These guys wanted to be there and gutted out the whole thing. Matt G really stood out during the whole tournament. That kid is an animal. Look at his split (It was 10 seconds faster than the next fastest paddler - Mark).

Event 2, boat pick-up: I don't really remember this race vividly. I guess it didn't go well for them, because they didn't score any points. Maybe they got a bad start, or messed up the turn? Ask those gentlemen. A good practice race for them though.

Event 3, Line Pull: Great race under expert tutelage. Derek swam the line beautifully in his first ever line race. He was fast and got out right up there with the best guys. For the pull, Matt G and Connor really gave it all they had. As I said before, Matt was an animal and almost puked at the end. He knows how to give it everything. Connor was his typical strong self and the two did a nice job together.

Event 4, Boat Relay: Big surf again set the stage for a scary boat relay. Jenn and Brit started it off. I think they were the only female competitors in this race and they dominated it. Although Brit looked like a ghost before the race started because of the massive surf, once she hit the water she was all in. The girls did a great job and passed the boat in safely. I just remember the race being more survival than race, and we had to hold our launches because of surf that would have killed the entire crew. We made it out alive.

Event 5, Boat Swim: This would be Evan and my second try at this race, after racing in it together last year. Unfortunately, we never quite made it out of the impact zone. Unfortunately the judge sent us on the first wave of a 4 or 5 wave set that destroyed us. The first wave smoked us and filled the vessel with a ton of water. Evan and I didn't know that this was the first wave and continued our charge out the back. The second wave detonated on the bow and knocked Evan off his seat, smashing his head on the plug and leaving me alone in the stern. When Evan gathered himself he got back into his seat and we tried for a third attempt. Before we could do anything, Evan looked over his shoulder and noticed another bomb; he bailed immediately. I however was still planted in my seat. I at last realized that the race was a lost cause and exited.

The race, however, was far from over. To say the least, Evan and I were pretty fired up after our disaster near shore. The moment that Evan's "undeniables" touched the sand he went into a fury. His arms were waving, hat in hand, screaming at the judge who he "quite upset with." He was in a tirade that would have made Matt K stand down. As Evan was screaming like a baseball manager after a botched call, I made my way towards the judge and gave him a piece of my mind for sending us into the angry sea. While walking away from the judge, I saw Evan storming down the beach. He was in full rage mode and began screaming from a distance and approached the now pissed judge. With this second attack, the judge began cursing and speaking outlandishly, and the Brothers Garner immediately squashed his insults with a few sharp comments of our own. We walked away feeling victorious yet still quite peeved.

Event 6, Run Relay: With the boat relay's energetic finish fueling our team. we moved over to the run relay. The run relay had to be tweaked a bit, and we decided to have Evan and I run in the relay. ( I just remember Derek not wanting to run because he was tired. not sure who else bailed) It probably wasn't our fastest team on paper, but fueled by anger, our team could do anything.

As for the run relay, we didn't get last but finished 2nd; that is if we weren't DQ'd for some reason. I distinctly remember, after I led off down the beach, still completely livid, handing the bouy to Harry alone in first place where he extended it. After Andre got himself stuck in the quicksand, we still had a chance. Matt G brought us back and in a photo finish where we finished 2nd in the run relay. - Evan

The usual speedsters did really well in the race. Evan was impressive and flew through the course angrily. I have never seen a large man move that fast. Though I didn't feel terribly slow, Mike G made sure to let me know that it looked like I was running in slow motion. I couldn't disagree.

Overall I think our team had a fun time at the race and learned a lot about the new crop of guards. I think we all enjoyed the camaraderie and had a good time being the "bad guys."



Island Beach Open Lifeguard Tournament � Wednesday August 10, 2011


After being rained out the previous night the Island Beach Open Lifeguard Tournament was finally on.  After warning the team earlier in the day about the sudden race starts at Island Beach I was late getting into the boat for the first race!  It probably cost us 1st place since we came in a close in 2nd in the 1000' Doubles Row in the 11 team field.  I won't live down that mistake for a long time.  Harrison, Jeff, Sean, and JD swam in the only 4x500� Swim Relay of the season to a just out of the points 6th place finish. 





Sean had a good swim in the Iron Man Medley coming in just behind the leaders.  Kyle took on the paddle duties while Dave and I rowed.  When it was all over Surf City came in 4th place in the Medley.



The paddle relay team of Jeff, Nick, Mike G. and John H. came up out of the points.


With Matt K. off to football camp we had to rethink our boat relay team.  Evan and Andre started the relay with Jeff and Harrison going next followed by Nick and Kyle and finally me and Dave.  It was a long relay with a lot of up and down moments but the end result was a 5th place finish for Surf City.





Yeah... that's going over.


The Rescue Race is the trademark event of this tournament, a Line-Pull followed by a Paddle Rescue followed by a Boat Rescue.  Ace line swimmer Andre swam the line of course with Nick and Evan taking on the pulling duties.  JD would be the victim.  Andre got to the mark in second place just behind Barnegat Light who used the �cheatin� line which was explicitly not allowed at the Captain�s meeting.  Kyle took off for John H. in the Paddle Rescue and hit the beach maintaining second place for Surf City.  Dave and I took off in the boat to pick up Jeff.  We closed some distance on the Barnegat Light team but didn�t have the water to overtake them and had to settle on a 2nd place finish in the Relay Race.







Island Beach Women�s Lifeguard Tournament � Thursday August 11, 2011


The Surf City women had an outstanding tournament at Island Beach this year coming in 2nd place overall to the always tough Lavallette women.  Unfortunately no one that was there took notes after the fact and time has wiped the details of the night from the memory.  I will try and recount what I remember being told by the women that competed. 

Jenn and Brit rowed the 1000' doubles to 2nd place in a very competitive field.  Ashley and Lexi followed that 2nd place performance up with another one in the rescue race (a buoy rescue).  Lauren and Caroline were the paddle rescue team and finished in a respectable 4th place.  I knew that our Surf Medley team would be strong with Caroline running, Lexi swimming, Lauren paddling, and Jenn and Brit rowing.  The the ladies didn't disappoint with another 2nd place finish.  I wasn't there but if I had to guess Lavallette probably won these events that we were getting second.  Our women have a long standing fierce competition with the Lavallette women going all the way back to the now defunct Lavallette Women's Tournament that began in 2003.



Long Beach Island Lifeguard Tournament � Friday/Saturday August 12/13, 2011


After a 2nd place finish in last year�s Long Beach Island Lifeguard Tournament Harvey Cedars offered to host the 50th Annual Long Beach Island Tournament.  With the help of Ship Bottom and Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars set up a beautiful course.   The buoys were perfectly spaced, a nice spectator line, and a fantastic scoreboard.  While there wasn�t any sandbar from lane to lane and there was a good bit of wind chop both nights.  The surf was small.  All of the teams decided there was no need to rotate lanes as had been done for at least the past 25 or more years.  This was a relief to both competitors and spectators since everyone could set up �camp� in their lane and stay there throughout the tournament.  In addition, this meant things moved faster than normal and the tournament finished well before darkness both nights.


As always the first event of the tournament was the Mile Row.  Dave and I were hoping to defend our victory in 2010 and knew it would be a tough race, especially if the wind was out of the South since we were in the North most lane and we�d most likely have to pass a few boats and avoid collisions.  There's so much strategy in that race it's always nice to get on with it.  The flagged dropped and the race was on.  At the first mile mark there was a little collision between Ship Bottom and Harvey Cedars but Ship Bottom made the pass and was off in the lead with no boats to hamper their progress.  We had to wait for Barnegat Light to complete the turn before we could pass them between the mile marks.  Going into the second mile mark we caught Harvey Cedars but again had to wait for them to get around the marks.  Finally we had to wait for them one more time as they crossed our path on the way to the lane buoys.  But we�d made up enough ground and got to the beach for a Surf City first place. 





While I didn�t see the Women�s Paddle I heard that it was a very tough field with Lauren coming in 4th place.  Andre and JD put in a fantastic performance against BL's star swimmer but come up a little short for a 2nd place finish.  The Paddle Relay was a very exciting race with Kyle starting it off and getting back to the beach in a close 3rd place.  Paul was next and made up some ground on 3rd place.  Mike G. put in a fantastic performance in his first Island competition with a great entry for the third leg of the race.  Chris H. was up next in the last leg of the relay and was able to move the Surf City paddle team into 2nd place ahead of Barnegat Light for an exciting finish.







Undoubtedly the most exciting event of the night was the Women�s Doubles Row.  Jenn would be rowing it with first year rower Brit.  Jenn had won it a few times with Collette, I think two times with Alyssa, and once with Caitlin.  And I think just about anything she didn't win it she came in 2nd or rarely 3rd place.  Jenn and Brit had been training hard all season.  All you had to do was look at the buoy off of 3rd Street and you see them practicing the race.  Small waves, big waves, no wind, big winds...they were always out there working on it. 

I remember Jenn telling me in the beginning of the summer, "Just give me someone who is into it and we'll go after it."  Well Brit was certainly into it.  I knew no matter the outcome their hard work would pay off with an exciting race.  The launch was clean and the women were off.  Right from the start it was obvious this was going to be a race between Surf City and Barnegat Light who was in the lane next to us.  Both boats came out of the turn at about the same time, with perhaps Jenn and Brit being a second ahead, and were pretty much even heading to the beach.  About half way in Jenn and Brit pulled ahead and maintained that lead all the way to the beach.  Jenn scrambled out of the boat and across the line for another 1st place finish for Surf City.  It was an awesome race to watch!

Thier faces tell it all.  Brit's anxious to get going.  Jenn's calm and focused.

Surf City (far left) coming out of the turn about a second ahead of Barnegat Light (2nd from left).

Look at those straight arms on Brit!  Very impressive for a first year rower.


Harrison and Evan were up next in the Boat Pick-Up and unfortunately Harrison lost his goggles right at the beginning of the race.  He still had a good swim and made it to the buoy in second place just behind the Barnegat Light swimmer.  Evan was launched and had a clean row for a 2nd place finish.

Hey Harrison, once goggle strap should be high and one low!  Just sayin'...



Jeff would compete in his final Iron Man for Surf City in the final event of the night.  Jeff exited the water in first after the swim but was overtaken by Barnegat Light and Harvey Cedars in the paddle portion of the event to finish in 3rd place in a very competitive field of Iron Men.




When the first night was over Barnegat Light was in first place and Surf City in second trailing by 2 points.

Dave and I were up first again in the 1000� Double Row in the first event of the second night of events.  Evan and Andre gave us a good launch but there was a little double set of waves just off the launch that rocked the boat and stalled our progress a bit.  We made up some time ont he way to the mark and just about caught the first place Barnegat Light boat coming into the turn.  We came out of the turn in first and never looked back, hammering it to the beach for another 1st place Surf City finish.


Harrison and Ashley both came in 3rd place in the Open and Women�s swims in a yet another tough field of swimmers.  There are hundreds of lifeguards on the island.  Lots of them are great swimmers but only the best from each patrol swims this race.  'nuff said.  Paul and John H. took on the Paddleboard Rescue, another LBI dominated off-island race, and came with a hard earned 2nd place. 



Next up was the line pull.  Andre would be defending his first place finish but with two new pullers this year, Kyle and Jake.  The line race is generally over before it starts with Andre swimming if the surf is large.  I simply have never seen anyone with Andre's strength on that line.  But on this day it might be a race since the surf was pretty mellow.  The race was off and Andre manhandled the field to the buoy anyway.  BL did their best but Kyle and Jake sealed the deal for yet another line pull victory for Andre and Surf City.  Nice job guys.


Evan rowed the Singles again this year.  I'm not sure what happened exactly but there was a little bobble off the launch that cost enough time to push Evan out of the medals.  Nick and Jenn rowed the Mixed Doubles to a solid 3rd place finish while Chris H. battled it out with the always tough 1500� Paddleboard field.  The final event of the night, the Surf Dash, would consist of JD, Derek, and Jeff.  We had a strong swim relay but after winning the tournament by beating BL in 2008 in this event I knew it would be a battle.  It was a super exciting race.  The boys from Surf City fought with the Barnegat Light swimmers from start to finish but ended up coming in 2nd place by a few seconds.


When all the points were tallied Barnegat Light came out on top with Surf City in second.  Another Long Beach Island Lifeguard Tournament in the books.

5th Annual Surf City Beach Patrol Banquet - Tuesday August 16, 2011
Mike Nitti Inducted into the SCBP "Hall of Fame"

There wasn't a theme for the banquet this year but there was a little ceremony for the first inductee into the "Surf City Hall of Fame."  Mike Nitti was honored with being the first to enter the SCBP "Hall of Fame."  I had been planning to start a "Hall of Fame" for Surf City for quite a while and am happy to finally get it off the ground.  To be considered for the Hall of Fame retired guards will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

        At least three years of service on the Surf City Beach Patrol.
        Demonstration of professionalism, integrity, and leadership while carrying out the duties of a lifeguard for the Surf City Beach Patrol.
        Dedication to the mission of the Surf City Beach Patrol and unique contributions to the organization and community.
        Achievements in the areas of beach patrol training, fitness and competition.


NJ State Rowing Championships - Monday August 22, 2012

Dave and I decided to enter the 7 mile row that takes place in the Seaside bay.  We got off to a slow start and never really got into a groove.  We finished in 3rd place in the Van Duyne division with a time of 1:10:08, 31 seconds behind the 1st place (John Swift and Mike Cote) boat and 11 seconds behind the second place boat.


Ship Bottom 5 Mile Row Barnegat Bay Challenge - Tuesday August 30, 2011

The conditions turned out to be perfect for the Ship Bottom 5 mile race.  Besides Dave and I Evan and Nick also decided to row.  John Swift with his partner Mike Cote were hot off thier NJ State Championship victory, carbon fiber oars in hand.  The race was off and after about a mile or so it was us and the Swift boat with us getting the lead around Flat Island.  They made a few attempts to pass on the row back to Surf City but mainly they just drafted us.  I was worried that we wouldn't have the energy to hold off the charge I knew they'd make at the end of the race.  After coming around the Dutchmans we were still in the lead and a few hundred yards before the small bridge the race was on.  They made up some ground to the finish line but we were able to hold them off and win the race.


4 Mile Hammer Row - Thursday September 1, 2011

As usual the Hammer Row started with boats spread all over the place.  We weren't in a great position at the start but not a bad one either.  After about three and a half miles of rowing the boats started to line up for the final row around the pier (it's a strange finish) and suddenly Jon Swift and his new partner Dave Funk pull up behind us.  Seems like we're always stuck with John.  Instead of rowing around the pier with the rest of the boats they took a detour through the harbor and popped out just in front of us near the end of the race!  Very clever.  We ended up in 7th place overall.


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