Thousands of lifeguards from across the state will convene July 27-28 in Newport Beach for the 30th Annual 2012 California Surf Lifesaving Championships and California Junior Lifeguard Championships.
Hailing from Long Beach to Santa Barbara and beyond, those who save lives will gather at the Newport Beach Pier for the first time in the history of the championships to compete in scheduled events including Ironman and Ironwoman, surf swims, beach runs, paddleboarding, surf boat, and rescue races, according to organizers.
Junior lifeguards as young as 9 years old who are associated with the California Surf Life Saving Association (CSLSA) will compete Friday, followed Saturday by lifeguards ages 16-75 years old. About 3,000 participants from state parks and numerous other agencies are expected.
Both events will take place starting at 8 a.m. on the south side of the pier between 18th and 20th streets near the Newport Beach Lifeguard Headquarters.
“This two-day California Surf Life Saving Championships event is a terrific way for the public to observe how current and future ocean lifeguards from up and down the state use their lifesaving training and experience in a highly-competitive environment,” Jay Butki, Competition Chair of the CSLSA, said in a statement.
“More than 30 lifeguard agencies will be represented in this unique showcase of athleticism and professionalism,” Butki said.
It's one of eight events happening nationwide as a precursor to a national championship set for Aug. 8-11 in Cape May, N.J., known as the Annual United States Lifesaving Association National Championships. The top female and male lifeguards will be crowned and the top lifeguard agency in the country will be recognized at the national championships.
A nonprofit dedicated to promoting beach safety through education, competitions and more, CSLSA is a regional member of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) and puts on such events in an effort to reduce open-water fatalites and injuries. State championships travel to different host agencies throughout California, and are held at each location for two years in a row.
Hosting competitions this year are the Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguards, who oversee 7.2 miles of ocean, 35 miles of bay front and as many as 10 million guests a year, according to their web site. Their Marine Division is considered to be an Advanced Agency by the USLA.
Lifeguards from all over California are welcome to compete in the championships as long as they are members of the USLA. More information on the event is available at cslsa.org.