LI OCEAN LIFEGUARD CHAMPIONSHIP
Published: July 26, 2004 8:00 PM
By KATIE MEHR. STAFF WRITER
The “victim” floated in the ocean water as two lifeguards
battled big waves at Smith Point Park in Mastic Beach yesterday.
Once the two rescuers reached their target, Leif Bloomquist, 21, a Long
Beach lifeguard, pulled the three to shore with the help of a line. “Pull,
Pull, dig deep,” Long Beach lifeguards urged Bloomquist.
The exercise was part of The Long Island Ocean Lifeguard Championship, held
annually at the park. Bloomquist’s team was one of the six competing for the
local title. “It was nuts,” Bloomquist said as he breathed hard after pulling
the line while taking part in one of the most realistic “rescues.” “Luckily my
team got out there fast and first.”
Ironically, the champs were not from Long Island. The Rehoboth, Del.,
lifeguards came in first, second or third in five of the eight events, leading
them to win first place overall by a mere point. Long Beach came in second with
36 points and Smith Point took third with 31 points.
The Smith Point Park guards, who attend the Mid-Atlantic Regional
Championships hosted by Rehoboth, invited them to compete, said Rehoboth team
captain Kent Buckson. “They always come to us and we developed a friendship,”
Jones Beach, along with East and West Hampton, also competed in the
The first rigorous event of the day was the Xtreme’s Long Distance Swim, an
approximately 500-meter, round-trip individual swim. Events also included a 4
x 100 soft-sand relay.
Matt Simonton, 27, of Smith Point Park, described the sand relay as a hard
workout. “It’s like running in sugar,” he said.
The run-swim-run relay exhausted many lifeguards; one even got sick. Four
members from each team put in all their strength for the 200-meter run,
150-meter swim and 200-meter run back to the starting area.
Once the tournament was over and trophies distributed, Justin Cisario, 28,
co-captain of Long Beach, said of his team’s second-place rank: “I’m happy with
what we did. There’s always next year.”
Suffolk County chief lifeguard and team captain of Smith Point Park, Tim
Delaney, said the patrons will be the ones benefitting from the tournament
because lifeguards were on top of their game and they will continue to use
their skills to keep the beaches safe. Smith Point Park holds a perfect record
of zero drownings since it opened in 1959.
Description and Order of Events
1.Long Distance Swim
Consists of an approximately 500 meter individual swim. A maximum of three (3) entrants per team can compete and all count toward team event score. Swimmers start from the beach and swim approximately 250 meters from shore and return to the coastline. The race will conclude with a 20 meter run across a designated finish line.
A maximum of three (3) entrants per team can compete and all count toward team event score. Runners will race one mile down the beach to a flag about which they turn clockwise and proceed back to the starting point where they will finish. The Start/Finish and turn around the flag are located in the soft sand.
3.Double Yoke (Three guard rescue)
Two rescuers, one beach control, and one victim make up a team. Victim will be placed approximately 100 meters from shore, adjacent to a marker buoy. The rescuers will swim to the victim with a standard floatation device and line. They will proceed to secure the victim in a triangular hookup (each rescuer must be in contact with the victim and the rescue line) and then the rescuers and victim will be pulled to shore by the beach control. All competitors must cross the plane of the finish line simultaneously, carrying the victim. No pre-made loops for facilitating the pull are allowed.
There are four competitors per relay team. Each competitor will paddle approximately 100 meters out to their appropriate buoy, turn clockwise around the buoy, and return to shore. Competitors must exchange rescueboards behind a designated starting line and round their flag on the beach in a clockwise direction.
5.Land Line Rescue
Two beach controls, one swimmer, and one victim per rescue team. Victim will be placed at a marker buoy approximately 100 meters from shore. The swimmer will swim a rescue line from a land start to the victim. The rescuer must then secure the victim and maintain control of the victim during the entire pull by the beach control. The rules and structure of this event’s finish are identical to those described in the three-man rescue.
6.4 X 100 Soft Sand Relay
Four competitors will run a shuttle relay 100 meters straight down the beach where they will hand off a baton to the next runner. The handoff of the baton will start the next runner. All competitors must stay in assigned lanes.
7.Run – Swim – Run Relay
There are four competitors per relay team. Each will follow a course consisting of approximately 200-meter run, a 150-meter swim, and a 200-meter run back to the starting area. A hand touch will start the next relay member.
A maximum of three entrants per team can compete. USLA rules apply. The event will consist of three preliminary heats and one final heat. The three victorious competitors from each of the preliminary heats will advance to the final. All three will count toward team score.
All rescue equipment must be standard ocean rescue apparatus regularly used in connection with ocean lifesaving. The individual team must supply all equipment. Rescue boards may not be longer than the USLA specifications mandated for competition.
General Rules of Competition
•Prior to each event, the judge(s) will explain the rules to all competitors.
•The judge(s) retain the right to disallow the use of any equipment which they feel will place other teams at extreme disadvantages.
•All finishes will be decided when the plane of the finish line is broken.
•Each team is composed of twelve (12) members including victims.
•All competitors must wear caps for safety and identification.