ATLANTIC CITY — The Longport Beach Patrol won three of the four races and took the team title Friday at the Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic at the Chelsea Avenue beach.
Longport’s crew of Mike McGrath and Sean Duffey won the doubles row by 14 seconds, leading on the way in before catching a good wave for the final 40 yards.
Teammate Joey Tepper won the swim by about 30 yards in the night’s second race. Atlantic City’s Vince Granese captured the singles row by 11 seconds. In the rescue relay, Longport’s Tom Kresz and Tim Schwegman repeated their win of last year to give their patrol the win.
With the scoring at 5-4-3-2-1 for the first five places, Longport, the defending champion, won it with 16 points.
Ocean City made it close with 14 points, as swimmer Frank Brady, singles rower Kevin Perry and the rescue-relay team of brothers Bryan and Shanin Theiss each took second-place.
Atlantic City finished third with 13 points.
Longport, the three-time South Jersey Lifeguard champion, also won the Red Bull Surf and Rescue in Atlantic City on Tuesday.
McGrath and Duffey have won numerous races, but, surprisingly, this was their first doubles win at the Atlantic City Classic in 13 tries.
“We’ve gotten second too many times to count,” said Duffey, 36. “It was good to win it. There were little bumps in the ocean but nothing to really mess you up.”
Tepper won his second straight A.C. Classic swim in typical fashion, leading the pack to the shore by a good margin. His time of 9 minutes, 14 seconds won by 55 seconds.
“There were big waves, but it was not too choppy. Classic conditions for an open-water swim,” said the 6-foot-5 Tepper, 17. “I like to go out quick and avoid bumping into people. I never look around. I just give my best effort.
“I love the ocean and I enjoy each one of the races.”
Granese finished in 3:40 at the northern end of the beach in the singles row, and Perry was second in 3:51. Avalon’s Erich Wolf got turned around by a wave, but reverse-rowed over the line for third in 3:58.
The rescue relay had each doubles crew row to the singles flag and bring back a 50-pound dummy to the shore in a similated rescue. As Kresz and Schwegman hit the beach, Kresz tossed the dummy to Schwegman, who ran over the line for the win.
Granese won the singles row about 25 minutes after finishing third with partner Kyle Deroo in the doubles row.
"I got out clean (in the singles) and pretty much rowed," said Granese, 27. "I turned first, came in straight and won. I feel good in singles. There's three more races (the Dutch Hoffman Memorials, the Margate World War II Memorials and the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships). I'm excited to see how it pans out."
1. Longport 16; 2. Ocean City 14; 3. Atlantic City 13; 4. Upper Township 4; 5. Wildwood Crest 4 (Upper Township earned fourth place due to a higher finish in the doubles row, the South Jersey Chiefs Association tiebreaker); 6. Brigantine 4; 7. Avalon 3; 8. Ventnor 2.
1. Longport (Mike McGrath-Sean Duffey) 15:20; 2. Upper Township (Ryan Fisher-Kyle Rumaker) 15:34; 3. Atlantic City (Kyle Deroo-Vince Granese) 15:41; 4. Ocean City (Matt Garbutt-Paul Boardman) 15:56; 5. Wildwood Crest (Pat Bakey-Jake Klecko) 15:56.
1. Joey Tepper, Longport 9:14; 2. Frank Brady, Ocean City 10:09; 3. Jon Burkett, Wildwood Crest 10:17; 4. Jack Fenton, Atlantic City 10:21; 5. Brendan Finnegan, Brigantine 10:25.
1. Vince Granese, Atlantic City 3:40; 2. Kevin Perry, Ocean City 3:51; 3. Erich Wolf, Avalon 3:58; 4. Ron DeFelice, Brigantine 3:59; 5. Mike McGrath, Longport 4:01.
Doubles rescue race
1. Longport (Tom Kresz-Tim Schwegman) 4:16; 2. Ocean City (Bryan Theiss-Shanin Theiss) 4:20; 3. Atlantic City (Mike Herzog-Tom Muskett) 4:32; 4. Ventnor (Matt Speirs-Jerry Roche) 4:36; 5. Brigantine (J.R. Henry-Scott Betson) 4:37.