Lifeguards from across Long Island competed at the Ocean Lifeguard Tournament in East Hampton on July 19.

Jones Beach, Smith Point Guards Win Competition

The Jones Beach Lifeguard Men’s A Team were the overall winners — winning by 65.5 points, just a half point over its local rivals, the East Hampton Town Men’s A Team, in a very close upset throughout seven endurance events in the Ocean Lifeguard Tournament at Main Beach in East Hampton Thursday, July 19.

The tournament’s events included the distance swim, distance run, land line rescue, rescue board relay, 4X100 soft sand relay, run-swim-run relay, and beach flags.

Both the Jones Beach and the East Hampton men’s teams took three first places in the tournament. Jones Beach’s first places included the distance swim, land line rescue, and run-swim-run, while East Hampton’s included the rescue board relay, sprint relay, and beach flags event. Smith Point came in third place, scoring one first place in the distance run, and two second places in the land line rescue and sprint relay.

The overall individual winners of the men’s division were John Hurley of the Jones Beach Men’s A Team and Ryan Fowkes of the East Hampton Town Men’s A Team.

The Smith Point Women’s Team fared better than its male counterparts, dominating its division with 35 points, including two first place wins in the distance run and run-swim-run relay. The East Hampton Town Women’s teams took second and third place overall. The A Team came in second with 29 points, including first places in the beach flags and rescue board relay events, while the B team came in third place, scoring two second places in the distance run and the rescue board relay.

Individual winners included Kerry Giovanelli from Jones Beach and Patty Hegarty from the East Hampton Town Women’s A Team.

The East Hampton Town Lifeguards dominated the sand — winning two first places in the men’s and women’s beach flags events, led by Val Ferraro on the men’s side and Amanda Calabrese, a three-time national beach flags champion, on the women’s side. The Jones Beach Men’s A Team came in second place and Smith Point, third. In the women’s beach flags event, Southampton Town came in second, and East Hampton Town Women’s B Team came in third.

Altogether, 10 men’s and six women’s teams participated, including the home teams of East Hampton town — A and B teams, East Hampton Village, East Hampton Village Ocean Rescue Legends, and Southampton Town, Bridgehampton Club, Westhampton, Smith Point, Jones Beach — A and B teams, and Fire Island.

The tournament, which played out over four hours, drew about 150 spectators down to Main Beach.

Organizer John Ryan of the Amagansett Beach Association said the group was very pleased with the turnout, noting that there was a sizable crowd as well as about 10 teams on each side that competed in the event.

“It was one of the biggest turnouts in the longest time,” he said.

For some lifeguards who competed, the competition was a prepper for the nationals, which will be held in Virginia Beach, VA, August 8 to 11. The junior lifeguard and under 19 portion of the event will be held on August 8. The Lifeguard Championships will be held August 9 to 11.

peggy@indyeastend.com