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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sea Girts Takes Top Honors At Red Bull Surf And Rescue

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Red Bull celebrated the lifestyle, mindset and athleticism of beach lifeguards in its Red Bull Surf and Rescue competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Surf and rescue began with a squad of volunteer watermen in the 1800s who worked the beaches to keep safe the growing number of visitors in the surf off Atlantic City. Red Bull is now promoting the current generation of aqua-athletes in a new multi-discipline, multi-round event that combines all the various skills required of surf lifesavers.

Red Bull Surf and Rescue was anything but easy.

For the finalists, it required over 2 hours of intense competition that taxed their stamina and speed through four rounds of racing.

Led by Sea Girt Beach Patrol of Monmouth County [shown above], 8 of the 33 four-person teams qualified for the final round. Sea Girt's foursome of Mike Barrows, Todd Sudol, Alex D'Anna and Anne Skimmons came out on top to win U$5,000 in the swim-paddleboard-row relay after coming from behind on the last rowing leg.

Harvey Cedars number 1 team of Randy Townsend, Jenna Parker, Bill Webster and Ryan Corcoran finished second to win US$2,000 while Ventnor's team of Colleen Callahan, Andrew Funk, Jake Mason and Greg Smith placed third, winning US$1,000.

With Barrows and Skimmons putting Sea Girt in contention on the first two legs, D'Anna and Sudol brought victory home. "This was amazing," D'Anna described to the Press of Atlantic City. "I've been to the [U.S. Lifesaving Association] Nationals before, but I've never been in anything like this. It was great competition. I loved it."

Ventnor's Callahan similarly described the event, "It was awesome. It was amazing to be in a competition that lasted two hours. I had no idea what it would be like, but it was a really big event. I knew I had to do well in the swim."

In the first round of ocean swimming, the 33 lifeguard teams of one woman and three men competed to qualify for the second round. In the second round, 20 teams raced paddleboards to qualify for the third round. The third round of 16 saw the teams compete in Van Duyne Rescue Boats. Finally, the fourth and last round was a swim-row-run relay final pitting the best 8 teams against one another. Harvey Cedars qualified two teams along with Brigantine, Barnegat Light, Longport, Sea Girt, Ventnor and Ship Bottom. There was a maximum of 15 minutes of rest between each round.

Technical advisor Bruckner Chase described the event. "I am still absorbing the entire event. We got to work with the amazing Red Bull Surf and Rescue team that created an event that brought the vibe of professional level surf life saving to the Jersey guard community. It is a family. Thanks to Red Bull, the community gets to see how strong Jersey Ocean Strong really is. Stephen Del Monte and Keith Wescott of Red Bull Mid-Atlantic Marketing did an awesome job organizing this event that showcased ocean lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore at its best."

Event Summary: *4-round relay race will include the disciplines of swimming, prone paddle board and Van Duyne rescue boat
*Round 1: (32 Teams) Swim Relay, 2 heats of 16 (top 10 from each heat advance)
*Round 2: (20 Teams) Prone Paddle Board Relay, 1 heat of 20 (top 16 advance)
*Round 3: (16 Teams) Van Duyne Boat Relay, doubles, 2 heats of 8 teams (top 4 from each heat advance)
*Round 4: (8 Teams) Finals Mixed Relay, 1 swimmer, 1 prone, doubles Van Duyne Boat (1 winner)
*Sea Girt [shown above] won a new Van Duyne + US$5,000 cash
*Harvey Cedars [shown below] won US$2,000
*Ventor won US$1000

Additional photos by Edward Lea here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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