Publication: The East Hampton Press and The Southhampton Press
By Danielle Detore July 25, 2017 8:20 AM Updated Jul 25, 2017 2:23 PM
Dressed in vibrant lime green bikinis and green shorts, the 2016 reigning National Lifeguard Champions of Smith Point made their presence known in East Hampton at the Main Beach Ocean Lifeguard Tournament on Thursday, July 20.Lifeguards from as far west as Shirley, home of Smith Point Beach, and as far east as Montauk, competed in the tournament, an annual event that showcases the life-saving skills and athletic prowess of local lifeguards.
East Hampton Town men and women each had two teams, split into A and B squads, while East Hampton Village men and women, East Hampton Village Ocean Rescue “Legends”—a team of older guards—Fire Island women, Smith Point men and women, Southampton Town men and women, Southampton Village men and Westhampton Beach Village men were all represented.
The East Hampton Town A women finished first in the female portion with 42 points, taking first in four events, while the Smith Point women were second, finishing with 40 points. The Smith Point men won the men’s portion, with 53.5 points, and the East Hampton Town A men placed second with 48 points.
The tournament started with the distance swim followed by the distance run. Ocean conditions were mild with small swells making it a perfect day to be in the water.
The towns then broke into their teams for the landline rescue and the rescue board relay. The lifeguards moved up the beach toward the dunes for the 4×100 beach sprint relay. The run-swim-run relay followed which concluded the water portion of the tournament.
The competition came to a close with the fan favorite beach flags with Lucas Pryor from East Hampton Town A winning the men’s wave, and Amanda Calabrese from East Hampton Town A capturing the gold for the women’s wave.
Traditionally all competitions end with beach flags because of the ‘elimination’ factor, making it an event that keeps a crowd interested. Roughly 10 lifeguards will lay flat on their stomachs facing away from the flags, which are actually just small sections of rubber hose planted in the sand. When a whistle is blown the guard must spring up, turn and run to the flags. However, there are not enough flags for every competitor which leaves one guard eliminated every round.
Last August, Smith Point collected its ninth National Lifeguard Championship. Acquiring 405.375 total points in their victory, the second place finisher was far from hopeful with only 105.625 points. The 2017 National Lifeguard Championship is set to be held on August 10-12 in Daytona Beach, Florida.