VENTNOR - The athletes of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol won no races but stayed consistent in a choppy ocean to win their second straight John T. Goudy Memorial Rescue Races team title Friday night.
A.C.'s best finish was a second place by swimmer Tyler Rau and the crew of Mike Flanagan and Dan Ludwig in the combination rescue race.
But Atlantic City was the only patrol to score in every race.
The other Rau brothers did their part, too, as Justin Rau and Joe Welsh took third in the doubles surfboat rescue, and Carson Rau was third in the individual swim rescue. Teammate Mike Santangelo clinched it by finishing fourth in the last race, the individual surfboat rescue.
Atlantic City won last year with a mostly different lineup. Only Santangelo was in the same race as he was last year.
"It feels good to win it again," said Justin Rau, the oldest brother at 22. "I was a swimmer for us last year. The (doubles) went well. It was really sloppy out there, but our flag turn went great."
The Goudy Memorials differs from other beach races because the guards row or swim out to the halfway flags, unhook 50-pound dummies and bring them back to shore, simulating rescues.
With the scoring at 5-4-3-2-1 for the first five places, Atlantic City totaled 12 points. Margate finished second overall with 10. Longport also had 10 points, but Margate took second with a higher finish in the doubles row.
"I thought we had a good chance because this (rescue-style format) is our forte," said Welsh, 26. "Getting third in the first race set the tone. We found out (a few minutes after the race) that Carson got third, and then the combination got third. We knew if Mike scored that we had it."
Ventnor has won its home event 12 times since 1997, and it looked that it would again when its crew of Mike Tripician and Joe Callahan took the doubles surfboat rescue.
"Joe and worked together on the beach a summer or two ago, and we had a lot of practice rescues and also 15 real ocean rescues," said Tripician, 29, the bow. "Joe's a good stern partner to race with. He knows what to do and he's a strong kid."
It was the first win against other patrols for Callahan, 19.
"It feels amazing," he said.
Mike Wheaton of Long Beach Township won the individual swim rescue. The 19-year-old is a rising sophomore for the Lehigh University men's swimming team.
"I did this race when I was 16 and got fourth," Wheaton said. "It was rough with the bag. When you caught a wave, the bag pulled you back. It feels pretty good to win. I didn't know I had won until they told me after I crossed the line."
In the combination rescue, a swimmer goes to the flag and unhooks the dummy. Then a doubles crew goes out to meet the swimmer and they all come to shore.
Longport swimmer Bob Ballance won with the crew of Brian Duffey and Eric Grimley.
"We knew we had a good chance, with Bob swimming," said Grimley, 31, the stern. "In the warmup we (Duffey and Grimley) got crushed by waves, but we got that out of the way. In the race we got a pretty clean start."
Duffey dedicated the win to Dan Adams Jr., the 13-year-old son of Longport Beach Patrol Chief Dan Adams whom Duffey said is in Children's Hospital in Philadelphia with a leg injury.
Mike McGrath won the individual surfboat rescue. Brothers David Funk of Ventnor and Ashton Funk of Margate were second and third, respectively.
"Once I got out a little bit, I had a good stroke," said McGrath, 26. "I got the bag clean, but I wasn't sure where I was (in the lead or not). Brian (Duffey) told me I won (after he crossed the line)."
Ashton Funk might have finished higher, but his boat flipped in the surf and he was tossed out. The real problem was that the bag was under the boat, and with the water suction, Funk had a difficult time lifting the boat and getting the bag."
"It was a bad ocean and I got unlucky," said Funk, 30.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Team scoring (Official times were kept only in the first race.)
1. Atlantic City 12; 2. Margate 10; 3. Longport 10; 4. Ventnor 9; 5. Long Beach Township 5; 6. Sea Isle City 4; 7. Avalon 3; 8. Upper Township 2; 9. (tie) Stone Harbor and Normandy Beach; 11. Ocean City 1; Brigantine, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Cape May, Lavallette and Island Beach State Park did not score.
Doubles surfboat rescue
1. Ventnor (Mike Tripician-Joe Callahan) 3:31; 2. Margate (Chuck Gowdy-Bob Bechtel) 3:41; 3. Atlantic City (Joe Welsh-Justin Rau) 3:58; 4. Upper Township (Jon O'Neil-Joe O'Neil) 4:00; 5. Avalon (Brendan Toolan-Steve Connors) 4:05.
Individual swim rescue
1. Mike Wheaton, Long Beach Township; 2. Blake Trabuchi-Downey, Sea Isle City; 3. Carson Rau, Atlantic City; 4. Casey Powers, Normandy Beach; 5. Nolan Coyle, Ocean City.
1. Longport (Bob Ballance, Brian Duffey-Eric Grimley); 2. Atlantic City (Tyler Rau, Dan Ludwig-Mike Flanagan); 3. Margate (Jeff Flynn, Dan Salerno-Ermindo Marsini; 4. Stone Harbor (Devin McCall, Bryan Wade-Dennis Bakey); 5. Avalon (Ian Keyser, Tyler Wolf-Dylan Hughes).
Individual surfboat rescue
1. Mike McGrath, Longport; 2. David Funk, Ventnor; 3. Ashton Funk, Margate; 4. Mike Santangelo, Atlantic City; 5. Erich Wolf, Avalon.