WILDWOOD - The circumstances were a bit different this time, but the Margate Beach Patrol won its second team championship within a week by outscoring 14 other patrols at the Dutch Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships on Friday.
Margate did it without a victory in any of the four races.
Once again, Chuck Gowdy earned the clinching points in the singles row, but this time he took second to Atlantic City's Jim Smith by one second. The Margate crew of Chris Graves and Bob Bechtel took third in the doubles row, and teammate Pat Flynn took fourth in the swim race.
On Sunday, Gowdy won the singles at the Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic to lead Margate to that title.
Margate won the Dutch Hoffman team championship with nine points, getting four from Gowdy, three from Graves and Bechtel and two from Flynn. Scoring was 5-4-3-2-1 for the first five places.
Longport and Atlantic City each totaled seven points, but Longport got second place overall due to a higher finish in the doubles row, which is the South Jersey Lifeguard Chiefs Association tiebreaker.
"We didn't know for sure if we won it or not until they announced it because we weren't sure where Chuck finished," Margate Beach Patrol Chief Rich Kugel said. "Chuck didn't have a (wave) or a wake" near the end as others rode waves.
"The two points in the swim were big. Until this year, the last swimmer to score points for us was Tom Swift (in the 1990s). and the singles, but we'll take it."
Smith was in his first singles race against other patrols.
"It feels phenomenal to win," said Smith, a 22-year-old Marietta College graduate and former Holy Spirit High School rower. "I was cooking burgers (for the fans) at the Atlantic City Classic, but Mike Santangelo (who rowed the singles at the Classic) was already rowing doubles (at the Dutch Hoffmans) and he thought it would be good for me to row singles."
The evening began with a surprise as the Cape May crew of Chris Vittese and Anthony Onimus upset a lot of more established teams. Vittese and Onimus won in 9 minutes, 11 seconds. Longport's Mike McGrath and Sean Duffey were second in 9:13 and Graves and Bechtel third in 9:14.
"It feels awesome to win it," said Onimus, 19, of Fleetwood, Pa. "Nobody thought Cape May could win this. We had to catch a wave to win it, and we pulled hard and got in the back of the boat early."
Stone Harbor rookie Devin McCall won the swim by 33 seconds. He had finished third in the A.C. Classic in his first lifeguard race.
"The lieutenants really helped me with this race," said McCall, 18, a rising senior at Gloucester Catholic High School. "I had a crooked course in Atlantic City, but this was straighter."
Margate's Flynn finished fourth behind runner-up Sean Regan of North Wildwood and third-place Bobby Ballance of Longport.
"Before the season, my goal was to get in the top five, because I didn't do that last year," said Flynn, 17, a rising senior at St. Augustine Prep. "Margate has always had good rowers, and I think of myself as an asset to (help) win the team award."
Upper Township's Ford Palmer, a Monmouth University runner, won the 2-mile beach run in 9:46, beating Wildwood's Mike Syrnick by 6 seconds.
"That was much longer than the distances I'm used to," said Palmer, 21. "That's the first 2-miler I ever ran that hard."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Team scoring (Scoring was 5-4-3-2-1 for the first five places.)
1. Margate 9; 2. Longport 7; 3. Atlantic City 7; 4. Cape May 6; 5. North Wildwood 6; 6. Sea Isle City 5; 7. Stone Harbor 5; 8. Upper Township 5; 9. Wildwood 4; 10. Cape May Point 3; 11. Ocean City 3; Brigantine, Ventnor, Avalon and Wildwood Crest did not score.
Mile doubles row
1. Cape May (Chris Vittese-Anthony Onimus) 9:11; 2. Longport (Mike McGrath-Sean Duffey) 9:13; 3. Margate (Chris Graves-Bob Bechtel) 9:14; 4. Atlantic City (Mike Santangelo-Mike Flanagan) 9:20; 5. North Wildwood (Joe Taylor-Marty Hagan) 9:22.
1. Devin McCall, Stone Harbor 8:44; 2. Sean Regan, North Wildwood 9:17; 3. Bobby Ballance, Longport 9:20; 4. Pat Flynn, Margate 9:27; 5. Blake Trabuchi-Downey, Sea Isle City 9:42.
Two-mile beach run
1. Ford Palmer, Upper Township 9:46; 2. Mike Syrnick, Wildwood 9:52; 3. Sam Weintraub, Cape May Point 10:01; 4. Josh Frake, Sea Isle City 10:01; 5. Greg Thomas, North Wildwood 10:07.
1,000-foot singles row
Jim Smith, Atlantic City 3:40; 2. Chuck Gowdy, Margate 3:41; 3. Kevin Perry, Ocean City 3:43; 4. Chris DeFoney, Sea Isle City 3:44; 5. D.J. Draus, Cape May 3:45.