On July 25, women representing several area Jersey coast towns will compete in the annual OCBP Women’s Lifeguard Races.
Beaches, races and women. The perfect combination of these three things is coming to Ocean City for the annual Ocean City Beach Patrol Women’s Lifeguard invitational races.
Some of the best lady lifeguards in southern New Jersey will demonstrate their speed and competitiveness on Wednesday, July 25, at the 34th Street beach.
“The races are really cool, it’s a really big South Jersey culture thing,” says Ocean City’s No. 1 women’s swimmer and paddle boarder, Erin Curry.
During the Longport Women’s Lifeguard Invitational earlier this month, Curry raced a back-to-back swim and paddleboard event without any break in between. She won both of her events and helped the Ocean City Beach Patrol win the team title for the third year consecutively.
She describes the experience as “all adrenaline.”
“Not many other people from other states really understand what South Jersey lifeguard races are like, but it’s really interesting and they’re intense!” she says, standing on the 1st Street beach, drying off after a late afternoon swim.
Curry, a Linwood native who graduated from Mainland Regional High School in 2011 and now attends Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., is just one of the many enthusiastic and pumped-up challengers to contend in the annual summer tradition.
“It’s really all for bragging rights,” says Curry. “Who has the best patrol, the best athletes, the best competitors; it’s a lot of fun to be a part of.”
In southern New Jersey, races are ongoing throughout the summer. There are men’s races such as the Atlantic City Classics and the Margate Memorials as well as women’s races such as the Longport Invitational.
Rachel Boudare, from New Castle, Del., is a junior at the University of Delaware and will be spending next week participating in her fifth annual OCBP women’s invitational competition.
“At the lifeguard competitions [there are] about five different events,” says Boudare. “There’s the double rowing, which I participate in, there’s singles rowing, which is one person, and there’s a box swim, a paddle board and a surf dash team.”
Every summer, in-city competitions are held and the best athletes from the Ocean City Beach Patrol try out. The person who wins gets to represent Ocean City in the out of town races.
“I think my favorite aspect is when everyone comes together from the beach patrol and just cheers on everyone,” says Boudare.
Almost every morning, this young lifeguard sets out on the bay and practices rowing with her partner. Then, during the day during workout hour, while she is at work, she will practice rowing in the ocean in order to get herself prepared and fit for the upcoming competition on July 25.
For Boudare, lifeguard races are “one of the most exciting” and unique things that there is to participate in.
“You can watch and it’s always a good time and a fun thing to do,” she adds.
Women representing the 15 beach patrols on the southern New Jersey coast will hit the sand and the waves, competing in the annual invitational race. The event starts at 6:15pm with participating beach patrols from Ventnor, Atlantic City, Margate, Longport, Cape May, Sea Isle, Upper Township, Avalon, Cape May Point, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, North Wildwood and Stone Harbor.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol invites local communities to drop in on the races and cheer on their beach towns’ squad.
OCEAN CITY EVENTS 2012
Thursday, July 19
The Fabulous Grease Band
Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk. Tickets $20. 7pm. 628-2476.
Fri. July 20 & Sat. July 21
Ocean City High School Craft Fair
Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk. Free. 9am-3pm. 399-1136.
Saturday, July 21
33rd Annual T. John Carey Master’s Swim
Beach Patrol Station, 34th Street and the beach. One-Mile Open Ocean Swim, sponsored by the Ocean City Lifeguard Associations. Registration between 3-6pm. The race will start at 6:30pm. 525-9000.
Summer Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts
Carey Stadium and Civic Center, 6th St. and Boardwalk. Over 250 juried crafters, artists, photographers and gourmet food specialists. Free. 10am-5pm. 1-800-822-4112.
From lifeguard races, the completion of the Ocean City-Somers Point Bridge, sand sculpting contests and a themed boat parade, everyone has their favorite summer memory.
Signaling the end of the 2012 summer season, the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships will commence on the 34th street beach in Ocean City on Friday, Aug. 10.
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