One hundred chapters compete for coveted title in juniors, men’s, women’s and team competitions, Aug. 8-11
The United States Lifesaving Association National Lifeguard Championships will return to Cape May Beach with more than 1,000 lifeguards and junior lifeguards from across the country competing for individual and team honors, Aug. 8-11.
Admission is free for the three-day competition, hosted by the Cape May Beach Lifeguard Association. For more information, visit www.uslanationals.org.
Professional Lifeguards ranging in age from 17- to 75-years-old and Junior Lifeguards from ages 9-17 will compete in water- and beach-course events that challenge their lifesaving skills in a myriad of events from surf swims to beach runs; paddleboards to surf boats. A few of the highlights include the Landline Rescue Relay, Ironman and Ironwoman events and Beach Flags, a shuttle-run-style competition that is called “the fastest event on sand.”
“Bringing the best of the best from across the country, we are thrilled to have the 2012 USLA National Lifeguard Championships culminate at Cape May Beach,” said Ed Zebrowski, Competition Committee Chair for the USLA. “This is an action-packed three-day event. We hope to have beach-goers come out and enjoy the competition, as lifeguards display the expert skills that so many beach-goers rely on.”
The men and women will compete over three days on Thursday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 11. All competitions begin at 8 a.m. and run until the end of the day.
The Junior Guards are participants in programs conducted by local lifeguard agencies affiliated with the USLA and represent the future lifeguards for cities and counties. The Junior Lifeguard competition will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8 and will involve four divisions—AA Division for 16-17 years of age, A Division for 14 and 15 year-olds, B Division for 12 and 13 year-olds and the C Division for 9 through 11 years of age.
Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey Mike’s Subs will sponsor this year’s Championships. From coast to coast, franchise owners and team members enthusiastically champion worthy causes such as the USLA National Lifeguard Championships and its tireless commitment to health, fitness, safety and service. Jersey Mike’s mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it operates.
“Continuing its long history of community involvement and support, Jersey Mike’s Subs is proud to announce its sponsorship of the 2012 United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships in Cape May, N.J.,” said Peter Cancro, Founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs. “The men and women who compete in these events are exceptional athletes in top physical and mental condition – Jersey Mike’s applauds their rigorous discipline and relentless dedication to their craft.”
Dylan Newbiggin of the Destin, Fla. Chapter was last year’s men’s overall champion with 45.25 points. Los Angeles County’s Alison Riddle earned her second consecutive women’s overall championship with 59 points.
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association earned the Large Chapter Team title with 679 points marking the 25th consecutive year they have walked off with top honors. Monmouth County N.J. took second place with 629.5 points.
The Small Chapter team title went to Smith Point, N.Y. with 153.25 points followed by Destin at 124.
Since the competition began in 1970, the Los Angeles County Lifeguards have won the team title 38 times. The California State Parks team won the title three times and the only time the team title has left California was in 1983 when Monmouth County, New Jersey captured the honors.
The first National Lifeguard Competition under the USLA banner was held in San Diego in August of 1980, bringing members of the various chapters from around the nation to compete. There are now more than 100 chapters of USLA, each affiliated with local lifesaving services and beach patrols, and composed of employees of these organizations.
The National Lifeguard Championships are held on alternating coasts. The August 2013 event will take place in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Lifeguard competition in the US owes its heritage to the Surf Lifesaving competitions in Australia. The first national competitions in the US were organized by the Surf Life Saving Association of America. In 1965, the organization became national as the NSLSA and the first competition between coasts was held in 1967. The NSLSA later became the USLA.
The United States Lifesaving Association (www.usla.org) is America’s nonprofit professional association of beach lifeguards and open water rescuers. USLA works to reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment through public education, national lifeguard standards, training programs, promotion of high levels of lifeguard readiness, and other means.