Daytona Beach, FL - Lifeguards from all over the nation will be coming to our shores to compete in the United States Lifesaving Association's (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships from August 9-12.
The Volusia Surf Lifesaving Association (VSLA) and Volusia County Government will host the events behind the Ocean Walk Shoppes in Daytona Beach. The events are overseen by Volusia County's Beach Safety Division. Approximately 1000 lifeguards from across the nation are expected to attend, including 20-25 lifeguards from Daytona Beach.
The Junior Lifeguard Championship will be August 9, and the adult competitions will be from August 10-12. Events take place from 8AM to 5PM, and they include boat races, surf swims, surf boat races, beach flag and rescue flag races, running relays, iron man and iron woman competitions, and a 2K beach run.
The beach flags final competition, sponsored by NASCAR and International Speedway, will be 8PM Friday, August 11. Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue Senior Captain Tamra Marris describes the event as a type of musical chairs, except it's running in the sand for a flag.
"You have the competitors laying down facing away from flags, and when we blow the whistle, they'll get up and run to the flag. There's one less flag than there are competitors. Each time we eliminate a competitor, we eliminate a flag," says Marris. At the end, they are left with a final champion man and woman.
"You train all year for this, and you push your mind and body to the limit, and that just makes you such a better lifeguard. When you actually do have a rescue, this pretty much prepares you for that," Marris explains. She adds that Volusia County can rescue up to 2,000 people a year.
The public is invited to watch the National Lifeguard Championships from the beach but should plan to arrive early. Parking will be available at the Ocean Center Parking Garage for $1 per hour or $5 per day.
"I think when the public sees us competing down there against the best, it's really entertaining and exciting for them," says Marris.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.
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