Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol Cruises to Cutter’s Cup Crown

Aug 23, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

At this time last year, Brady Stauffer was wrapping up another summer as a lifeguard and preparing to get back to teaching sixth-grade social studies. The same is true as of right now, as this season nears its end, but there is one big difference – Stauffer’s concluding his first season wearing the green shorts of Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol, as opposed to the orange of Barnegat Light.

“It’s been great this summer,” said Stauffer, who on Aug. 17 helped the Vikings cap another awesome competition campaign by snaring their own Cutter’s Cup tournament title for an eighth straight year. “Everybody has been super supportive of both me and my son, Shane, and they’ve made us feel like part of the family since Day One.”

Not only did Stauffer help Harvey Cedars amass 47 points to win the Cutter’s Cup, he and Mike Weiler, who had rowed against Stauffer during the previous 26 years, clinched the title by rowing together at the end of the Rescue Relay. During the first two legs Jeff Shanley and Paul Blankemeyer, along with Ryan Corcoran and Randy Townsend, provided a lead going into the final stint.

“It was awesome. Mike and I had fun finishing off that relay,” Stauffer said. “To row with him was an honor. We had a combined 108 years in that boat, so that was cool. It’s been a lot of fun competing with these guys this summer. And my son and I are looking forward to doing it some more.”

After Ocean City cruised to the Doubles Row victory in the first event, the Vikings hit their stride, winning the next four events to distance themselves from the rest of the field.

In the Paddle Relay, Ship Bottom took the initial lead and maintained it through the second leg, but Billy Webster cut the lead to about 25 yards as he handed off to Townsend, who cut the lead further by the time he neared the marker flag. Townsend later caught a little runner that propelled him toward the finish, as he barely won the foot race to the finish line.

Shanley, Blankemeyer, Stauffer and Corcoran teamed to easily win the Swim Relay before Kevin Wessler, Webster, Townsend and Otto Weiler combined to easily win the Singles Row Relay and push Cedars ahead by 11 points heading into the final event, the Block Pull Relay.

While the HCBP crew was disqualified during the event, the six-man Beach Haven squad of Michael Carroll, Gavin Landi, Patrick Gazzillo, Mike Sweetman, Riley Flynn and Nick Gazzillo tugged their cinderblock and raced to a 15-yard victory.

“We have a big block-pull competition in Beach Haven every year, with about 30 guys pulling the block 300 yards,” said Nick Gazzillo, whose team finished with 15 points. “So we’re loaded with block-pullers, and we always look forward to coming to Cedars just for this event. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re really happy about finishing off the season with a win in our best event.”

Behind Cedars, Ship Bottom took second with 42 points, while Ocean City swiped third with 40 points, Barnegat Light grabbed fourth with 39 points and Long Beach Township managed 20 points for fifth place.

“We had a really good season with our competition team,” said Tommy Smith, one of the Ship Bottom team’s captains. “All of the rowers did great this summer, and we had a lot of good paddlers rise up, along with some good, young swimmers. For the most part, we were right there with Cedars in a lot of our tournaments, so we’re happy with how everything turned out.”

— David Biggy


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