The Nautica United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships will be held in Daytona Beach, Fla., with more than 2,500 lifeguards and junior lifeguards from across the country competing for individual and team honors, Aug. 5-8. This is the third consecutive year that the Nautica brand will sponsor the event.
Admission is free for the annual competition, which will take place in front of the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort/Ocean Walk Village (100 N. Atlantic Ave.). The USLA and the Volusia Surf Lifesaving Association in conjunction with the Volusia County’s Beach Safety Division are coordinating the competition.
“The USLA is proud to bring together the elite in lifesaving sport for what promises to be a great National Championship event in Daytona Beach,” said Ed Zebrowski, Competition Committee Chair for the USLA. “It’s a fun-filled four days of non-stop action in which beach-goers and lifeguards alike can enjoy a display of expert skills – skills that save lives every single day. The lifeguards train year-round, not merely for the competition, but to be better equipped to perform their daily job of protecting beach-goers.”
Professional Lifeguards ranging in age from 16 to 80 and Junior Lifeguards from ages nine to 15 will compete in water and beach course events that challenge their lifesaving skills in myriad 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, Beach Flags and the 4×100 relay, a shuttle-run-style competition that is called “the fastest event on sand.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Nautica USLA National Lifeguard Championships for the third year in a row,” said Karen Murray, President of Nautica. “The event continues to celebrate our Nation’s courageous water heroes that work hard to provide a safe water environment for all.”
Competitors at Nationals will be chasing the 2014 title defenders from Monmouth County. The team captured the overall team title for the first time last August in Virginia Beach, Va. The Monmouth County group defeated the LA County Surf Life Saving Association, who had captured the team title for the previous 27 years.
The men and women will compete over three days from Thursday, Aug. 6 to Saturday, Aug. 8. 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 as well as the newly formed Under-19 competition will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
The Junior Lifeguard competition will involve three divisions – 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. The Under-19 competition will be comprised of both junior and professional lifeguards ages 16 through 18. The results of the group’s competition will be a factor in the choosing of the USLA Under-19 team that will be selected to compete in the International Surf Rescue Challenge taking place in Australia this September.
The 2015 Nautica USLA National Lifeguard Championships will be livestreamed on www.usla.org.
The United States Lifesaving Association 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. Lifeguard competition in the U.S. owes its heritage to the Surf Lifesaving competitions in Australia. 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. For more information, please visit www.uslanationals.org.
Swimming News is courtesy of the United States Lifesaving Association.