USLA National Lifeguard Championships taking place Thursday through Saturday at Huntington Beach
More than 1,000 adult and youth lifeguards from across the nation are expected to compete for individual and team honors at the United States Lifesaving Assn. National Lifeguard Championships, taking place Thursday through Saturday at Huntington State Beach.
Professional lifeguards ranging in age from 18 to 75 and junior lifeguards age 9 to 17 will compete in water and beach-course events -- from surf swims to beach runs and paddleboards to surf boats -- that challenge their lifesaving skills.
"The National Lifeguard Championships is a unique athletic event showcasing aquatic safety professionals and the techniques they use every day," said B. Chris Brewster, president of the U.S. Lifesaving Assn. "These skills save lives. Beach lifeguard agencies reported more than 80,000 rescues from the surf last year, 55,000 of them in Southern California alone."
The competition, hosted by the Huntington State Beach Lifeguard Assn., begins at 8 a.m. daily and runs until the end of the day, and spectator admission is free. Some of the events scheduled include the Landline Rescue Relay, Ironman and Ironwoman events and Beach Flags, called "the fastest event on sand."
The men and women will compete on Friday and Saturday, with some opening-round heats on Thursday.
"This is the granddaddy of all lifeguard competitions bringing the best of the best from across the country," said Ed Zebrowski, USLA competition committee chair. "It’s a fun-filled three days of action with competition and sponsor booths at one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. And it’s free to the public."
-- Kelly Burgess