The Margate Beach Patrol World War II Memorial Lifeguard Races, the second leg of "The Big Three" of South Jersey Beach Patrol events, will begin at 6:30 p.m. today at the Decatur Avenue beach in Margate.

The Margate Memorials, now in its 68th year, has the standard three races of the South Jersey Lifeguard Chiefs Association, the mile doubles row, the half-mile swim and the 1,000-foot singles row. Those distances are approximations.

All the beach patrols will compete except Cape May Point.

The Margate patrol is hoping that this year's result isn't a repeat of last year. Margate won the Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic and the Dutch Hoffman Memorials in 2012, but got tripped up by Ventnor in the Margate Memorials, taking third behind Avalon.

Margate has done the same so far this summer, winning the A.C. Classic and the Hoffman Memorials in Wildwood. Margate features the doubles crew of Ashton Funk and Chuck Gowdy, swimmer Pat Flynn, and Gowdy in the singles.

Ventnor's David Funk, Ashton's brother, won the doubles row with 6-foot-7 bow man Matt Given last Friday in Wildwood, and Funk also took the singles row.

The Margate Memorials singles race will have nine guards who will be rowing their second race of the day. But David Funk isn't slated to be one of them. Given will do the singles race for Ventnor. The other rowers doubling up are Ocean City's Dylan Kosten, Longport's Sean Duffey, Wildwood Crest's Brendan Cunningham, Sea Isle City's Pat Scannapieco, Upper Township's Dan Palombo, Stone Harbor's Zac Campbell and Wildwood's Brandon Joyce.

Longport's Mike McGrath and Duffey were third behind Ventnor and Margate in the doubles race in Wildwood.

Flynn won the swim at the Atlantic City Classic, but Brigantine's Shane McKenzie won by two seconds over Flynn last week. Upper Township's Kevin Gill was third in both races.

The singles should be close and exciting. Avalon's Erich Wolf isn't slated to row doubles tonight, and should be among the leaders in the singles.

Gowdy won at the A.C. Classic, but lost to David Funk by one second in Wildwood.

The Margate World War II Memorials began in 1946 to honor lifeguards who served in war. It has been held every year since.

Contact Guy Gargan:

609-272-7210