SJ Paddleboard Champs

Beach Patrols compete at the South Jersey Paddleboarding Championships in Brigantine.

BRIGANTINE — The third annual South Jersey Rescue Board Championships at the 16th Street beach featured the talents of the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol, led by Jenna Parker and captain Randy Townsend.

Harvey Cedars, of Long Beach Island, won its second straight team title at the event. Ship Bottom, also of LBI, was second in team scoring, and host Brigantine was third.

Parker started the evening with a win in the women’s 600-meter rescue board race. Townsend followed with a win in the men’s division.

Parker and Townsend were on the same paddleboard and caught a wave at end of the four-person paddle rescue relay to beat Brigantine. The race consists of two parts, and Harvey Cedars also had Kenny Burkhart and Maggie Shaw in the first half of the race.

Finishing second was the Brigantine team of Sven Peltonen and Grace Emig, and Olivia Valiante and Doug Brown.

Harvey Cedars finished by getting second place to Ship Bottom in the six-person paddle relay.

“It was a fun event,” said Townsend, 38. “I’ve always been a paddler, and that’s before I was a rower. The M course (for some of the races, including the paddle rescue relay) was well put together. The event is very well run by Brigantine. They do a great job of highlighting the athletes and their skills on the paddleboard.”

Parker won the Cape May Point Women’s Lifeguard Challenge on Aug. 1. She also helped Harvey Cedars win the Long Beach Island Lifeguard Tournament for the third straight time Aug. 5.

“I was a triathlete, so I’m better at longer races,” said Parker, 33, following the 600-meter race. “It takes me a while to get going. Anything in the ocean is my happy place, whether is rowing or paddling. I started surfing last year.”

Parker lives part time in Los Angeles and is an actress. She was in a movie on Sci-Fi Channel last year called “Ice Sharks.”

“What’s good is that it was the 40th anniversary of ‘Jaws,’” she said.

Brigantine’s Emig won the women’s 10-foot, 6-inch race board M-Shape race. Competitors come toward shore twice.

“I actually like the M-shaped course, and I learned how to do it,” said Emig, 18, the daughter of Brigantine Beach Patrol Chief Kip Emig. “I got second last year in the M-shaped paddleboard race in Ocean City (at the OCBP Women’s Invitational) and won it there this year. You get two chances to catch waves.”

Jonny Skolnick of Ship Bottom won the men’s 10-foot-6-inch board M-Shape race, edging Billy Webster of Harvey Cedars.

“It’s a fun time in the surf,” said Skolnick, 30. “I’ve raced against Billy quite a few times. He’s one of my best friends.”


Women’s 600-meter race-12-foot race board

1. Jenna Parker, Harvey Cedars; 2. Haley Ullinger, Ship Bottom; 3. Brooke Handley, Upper Township.

Men’s 600-meter race-12-foot race board

1. Randy Townsend, Harvey Cedars; 2. Chris Durbin, Ship Bottom; 3. Tom Coleman, Wildwood.

Women’s middle distance 10-foot, 6-inch board M-Shape race

1. Grace Emig, Brigantine; 2. Maggie Shaw, Harvey Cedars; 3. Tracey Hemmerle, Ship Bottom.

Men’s middle distance 10-foot, 6-inch board M-Shape race

1. Jonny Skolnick, Ship Bottom; 2. Billy Webster, Harvey Cedars; 3. Jeff Buyse, Sea Isle City.

Paddle rescue relay

1. Harvey Cedars (Maggie Shaw, Kenny Burkhart, Jenna Parker, Randy Townsend); 2. Brigantine (Grace Emig, Sven Peltonen, Olivia Valiante, Doug Brown).

Six-person paddle relay

1. Ship Bottom; 2. Harvey Cedars; 3. Brigantine.

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I’ve been at The Press since January of 1983. I cover all sports in general, but mostly lifeguard racing, and high school field hockey, football, swimming, basketball, crew, baseball and softball.

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