ATLANTIC CITY - Chuck Gowdy's rowing double gave the Margate Beach Patrol enough points to win the Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic on Friday evening.
Add Pat Flynn's win in the swim to Margate's total score, and it wasn't even close.
Gowdy and bow man Ashton Funk won the doubles row by perhaps 50 yards in a rough ocean that took the next three boats past the northern judges stand out-of-bounds line. Gowdy returned 15 minutes later to execute a near-perfect singles row victory.
Margate won the 23rd annual Classic with 21 points, and Ocean City was second with 12. Brigantine took third place with 10 points.
"We (Margate) feel very good where we're at," Gowdy, 30, said. "With the main part of the season coming up, all the guys in the patrols bring their all. We're happy with the way we've done so far, and we plan to keep it going."
Funk and Gowdy had no problem winning the doubles. Their time was 10 minutes, 38 seconds.
The next three boats - Ocean City, Atlantic City and Avalon - all drifted to the wrong side of the judges stand boundary and were disqualified. They were well behind Margate anyway. That made Cape May's Chris Vittese and Anthony Onimus the second-place crew, and Wildwood Crest's Brendan Cunningham and Terry McGovern third.
"It felt good, and it was good to see all 14 teams," Funk, 31, said. "It was a good row, but it was sloppy. We knew the race was to the flag (meaning that the first half of the race was the key). It was quick coming in, and there were a lot of swells."
Flynn got up in the surf after the swim behind Brigantine rookie Shane McKenzie, but Flynn outran him to the line to win by one second. Upper Township's Kevin Gill was third, 12 seconds behind McKenzie.
Last week, McKenzie beat Flynn in the Captain Michael D. McGrath Longport Memorials. Flynn, a recent graduate of St. Augustine Prep, will swim at Johns Hopkins University (Md.) this winter.
"At Longport, he caught me and passed me, so I tried to keep up with him on the way in," Flynn, 18, said. "I wouldn't say I'm a good runner, but I can run fast when I have to.
"I feel like we have a special team this year. Ashton and Chuck are legendary rowers, and it's great to part of it with them."
Ocean City's 29-year-old rookie lifeguard, Brian Pasternak, won the paddleboard race that began the evening. He had a 15-yard lead as he rode a wave to the shore, and he ran to the finish line to win in 6:03. Atlantic City's Carson Rau, last year's winner, was second in 6:19, and Tim Schwegman on Longport was third.
"I went to the outside after the first turn and I tried to get to the lead," Pasternak said. "We (Pasternak and Rau) were pretty much neck and neck, and I caught a wave and able to get ahead."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Team scoring (Scoring was 7-5-4-3-2-1 for the first six places)
1. Margate 21; 2. Ocean City 12; 3. Brigantine 10; 4. Wildwood Crest 7; 5. Stone Harbor 6; 6. Atlantic City 5.
1. Brian Pasternak, Ocean City 6:03; 2. Carson Rau, Atlantic City 6:19; 3. Tim Schwegman, Longport 6:23; Kevin Kelly, Wildwood Crest 6:29; 5. Sven Peltonen, Brigantine 6:42; 6. Jeff Buyse, Sea Isle City 6:44.
1. Margate (Ashton Funk-Chuck Gowdy) 10:38; 2. Cape May (Chris Vittese-Anthony Onimus) 11:30; 3. Wildwood Crest (Brendan Cunningham-Terry McGovern) 11:33; 4. Stone Harbor (Zac Campbell-Dennis Bakey) 11:42; 5. Wildwood (Tom McLaughlin-Brandon Joyce)11:55; 6. Ventnor (Sean Slattery-Joe Callahan) 11:56.
1. Pat Flynn, Margate 12:37; 2. Shane McKenzie, Brigantine 12:38: 3. Kevin Gill, Upper Township 12:50; 4. Anthony Czar, Ocean City 12:59; 5. Hayley Edwards, Stone Harbor 13:08; 6. Sean McCall, Stone Harbor 13:17.
1. Chuck Gowdy, Margate 5:38; 2. Erich Wolf, Avalon 5:55; 3. David Funk, Ventnor 6:01; 4. Sven Peltonen, Brigantine 6:19; 5. Kevin Perry, Ocean City 6:22; 6. Steve McGuinn, Wildwood 6:35.