Town Lifeguards Make a Splash

Both junior and senior teams are competing in the national tournament at Daytona Beach, Fla.
East Hampton’s women’s lifeguard team celebrated its third-place finish at the recent women’s national tournament in Sandy Hook, N.J.

The Hamptons Lifeguard Association has its junior and senior teams competing in the national tournament at Daytona Beach, Fla., this week, and among its competitors will be Chasen Dubs, who recently recorded four national Y.M.C.A. qualifying times at a regional short course Y meet in Naples, Fla., and Amanda Calabrese, the two-time reigning beach flags champion who represents the United States in international lifesaving competitions.

“More than 1,000 competitors from across the country, ranging in age from 9 to 80,” 82 if John Ryan Sr. participates, “are to be in the event,” Colin Bradley of the U.S. Lifesaving Association said in an email this week. He added that the competitions are to include a two-kilometer beach run, Ironguard races, a beach relay, board rescue, landline rescue, a run-swim-run, a Surfski race, and a Taplin relay in which six-person teams — two swimmers, two board paddlers, and two ski paddlers — vie.

According to a description on the internet, “The athletes must race around buoys and back to shore before tagging a teammate, who completes the next leg. . . . Often the winning team will be the one which can best use the conditions to its advantage, by using rips to reach the buoys more quickly for example, and by successfully catching waves when returning to shore. The key is to avoid losing equipment (board or ski) on the way in and out.”

Calabrese was a member of the East Hampton women’s team that finished third (as it did last year) in the national women’s lifeguard tournament at Sandy Hook, N.J.

Paige Duca, who co-captains that team with Sophie Kohlhoff, said in an email that “we did even better than last year — we were only 1 point from second over all.”

Kohlhoff successfully defended her national title in beach flags; ditto Duca in the distance run. Dana Cebulski was the runner-up to Duca in the distance run.

Moreover, the 4-by-100 sprint relay team of Calabrese, Cebulski, Kohlhoff, and Duca placed second, as did Calabrese in the run-paddle-run. Abby Quin Nanci-Ross was fifth in the kayak competition; Alyx Tortorice and Amanda Nasti placed fifth in the dory surf boat race; the swim relay team of Maggie Purcell, Sophia Taylor, and Nasti placed eighth, and Purcell was eighth in the run-swim-run, as well.

Bella Swanson placed seventh in the run-swim-run and 11th in the Ironguard event; Taylor was 15th in the run-swim-run, and Duca was 19th in the Ironguard.

Back to Dubs, a 16-year-old East Hampton Town pool-bay lifeguard who lives now in Sarasota, Fla.

“Part of the reason for our move was to give Chasen access to a 50-meter long-course pool. This has provided him with the strength, endurance, and power to better compete in a short-course pool,” Chasen’s father, Christopher, said in a recent email concerning his son’s multi-qualifying performances — in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 100 breaststroke — at the Area 5 meet in Naples. 

He added, “The astonishing part of this achievement is that Chasen made all four cuts at one meet. Swimmers work hours, days, weeks, months, and years to get one cut, but to make four at one time is noteworthy. Coaches and swimmers could only pray for it to happen in this way.”

The junior 9-to-15-year-old lifeguards and the under-19s were to have begun their national competitions in Daytona Beach yesterday. The male and female guards are to vie in the various lifeguard-skill events from today through Saturday. The championships are to be live-streamed on usla.org.

The defending champion — and winner of 28 national titles in the past 29 years — is the LA Surf Life Saving Association.

In related news, the East Hampton Village Ocean Rescue Squad’s “Red Devil” swims are to be held at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett on Saturday, Aug. 19. One can register online through active.com, or on the beach the day of the event from 4 p.m.

The one-mile swim is to begin at 5 p.m., the half-mile swim at 5:20, and the quarter-mile swim at 5:40. 

Chasen Dubs, an East Hampton Town pool-bay lifeguard, is living now in Sarasota, Fla. Christopher Dubs