Our beaches have it all! The best sunsets & sunrises…the most perfect bodies of water around…and lifeguards. Thank goodness for the lifeguards who watch over us while we and our little ones swim. Their alert state & mindfulness to swimmers mixed with their life-saving skills give us all peace of mind. So let’s celebrate the Lifeguards at the 2018 National Lifeguard Championships right here in Virginia Beach!
See below for all you need to know about this fun event that starts on August 9th!
UNITED STATES LIFESAVING ASSOCIATION
2018 NATIONAL LIFEGUARD CHAMPIONSHIPS
WHAT: The Jersey Mike’s 2018 USLA National Lifeguard Championships is an annual competition that rotates between coastal oceanfront cities and includes the Junior Lifeguard and U19 Championships.
WHEN: Lifeguard Championships are Aug. 9-11. Junior Lifeguard and U19 Championships are Aug. 8.
WHERE: All competitions are held on the Virginia Beach oceanfront between 27th and 30th Street.
WHO: Competitors include teams from across the U.S. (most coastal states) and international competitors from Australia, Canada and other nations.
EVENTS: Competitors may participate in any Open and Age Group events they are eligible for, including swims, runs, paddleboard races, surf ski races, board rescue, and landline races.
DIVISIONS: There are Men, Women and Junior competitors. Individuals are in Open Men/Open Women groups or competitors who are 30 and above split by gender and five-year increments.
SANCTION: The event is sanctioned by the 2018 USLA National Lifeguard Championships.
JUDGES: The competitions are judged by USLA Officials. These judges are certified by the Competition Committee selection team.
PLACES: Points are awarded to the top 16 in Open Events and top five in Age Group Events.
PRIZES: Winners receive medals for top five in Open Events and top three in Age Group events.
COST: All championships competition viewing is free and open to the public from the beach.
PREVIOUS SITES: The Championships have been held in San Diego, Huntington Beach, Santa Barbara and Hermosa, California. The cities of Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami have hosted the event in Florida. Other hosts include Myrtle Beach, SC, Cape May, NJ, Chicago, IL, and Galveston, TX. Virginia Beach welcomed the event in 2005 and 2014, and again in 2018.
LOCALS: Competitors from the area include Harrison Martingayle (defending 2K National Champion), Rodney Fentress (member of 2016 US National Team), Michael Miller, Jake Rogerson, Doria Martingayle, Allison Parks, Donovan Pope, Georgia DaCruz, Heather Lundstrom, Blaine Regan, Ben Collins, Jonathan Lomogda, and Charlie Burt.
ONES TO WATCH: The rising star of the men’s national team is Hayden Hemmens from Newport Beach, CA, the current Ironman champion who has spent the winter racing and training in Australia. The ladies are led by two-time Beach Flag champion Amanda Calabrese of Hampton NY (Stanford College) who is also a strong Surf Ski contestant. Tim Burdiak of California surprised the world in The Netherlands in 2016 by winning the Surf Ski championship. Kelsey Cummings of LA County was the strongest swimmer and combination swim paddler in 2017 in Daytona Beach, CA.
ECONOMICS: In 2014, an independent study showed $1.5 million in spending during the competition.
SPONSORS: Sponsors include Jersey Mike’s, Engine Swimwear, P2P Rescue, Seabob, City of Virginia Beach, Anetik, and Hobie Sunglasses.
COMMENTS: “Of all the first responder groups, open water lifeguards rely the most on high levels of physical fitness to protect the public. We at the United States Lifesaving Association could not be more excited to showcase our incredible athletes in the remarkable venue of Virginia Beach, with its natural beauty and rich lifesaving history. Many thanks to all the athletes, sponsors, volunteers, and the city of Virginia Beach for making this amazing event happen.”
ORGANIZER: Tom Gill, chief of Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service: “It is an honor and a privilege to welcome the United States Lifesaving Association back to Virginia Beach. The elite athleticism of these first responders highlights the daily rigor of professional surf lifesaving, and we hope the local community will join us on the beach to welcome and cheer them on throughout the championships.”