By BRIAN CUNNIFF
STRATHMERE — The Upper Township Six-Mile Bay Race had been held 25 times prior to this year’s event.
For the first time, a crew from the host patrol emerged as winners.
Ryan Fisher and Kyle Rumaker beat a field of about 30 boats to win Monday’s event in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 16 seconds.
The event, as well as its accompanying paddleboard race, is held as a fundraiser in the fight against multiple sclerosis. The start and finish is staged in the waters off the dock of the Deauville Inn.
Fisher and Rumaker are both graduates of Ocean City High School, where they rowed together on the crew team. Fisher currently rows at LaSalle University, while Rumaker is a member of the crew team at the University of Delaware.
The win added to a strong summer for Fisher and Rumaker, who also won doubles races at the Cape May County Championships, Tri-Resorts Race and the Atlantic City Classic.
Cape May’s John Knies and Rob Moran placed second in the bay race in 1:11:50. Wildwood’s Brandon Joyce and Steve McGuinn, last year’s bay race winners, were third in 1:12:16. Surf City’s Chris Bieds and Mark Dileo were fourth in 1:12:42 and Ocean City brother tandem Bob and Matt Garbutt placed fifth in 1:13:42.
Ocean City lifeguard Bryan Pasternak was the winner of the four-mile paddlebaord race.