Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wellfleet Hosts 2009 Lifesaving Competition

Today Newcomb Hollow Beach was the site of the annual Cape Cod Lifesaving Competition. When I went up this morning at 8:30, the parking lot was already half full, and lifeguards from Falmouth to Provincetown were weighing in on the scales. It was a perfect day, with slight haze and calm seas, just a bit of a wave to the ocean. Excitement was in the air as the competitors descended onto the beach, some lugging equipment, others holding precious surfboards aloft. The competition began in 1974 and is held in Wellfleet every six years. Selectman Dale Donovan was on hand to give everyone a hearty welcome. He spoke briefly about the importance of the lifeguard and thanked the young people present for all they do on a daily basis to keep beachgoers safe. Today’s competition includes relay races, a swim relay, iron man/woman, and other fun events that allow the testing of skills against other lifeguards. Everyone seemed a bit nervous as they listened to a second speech, given by one of the organizers. Meanwhile, up at the edge of the parking lot, spectators took up position, armed with beach chairs and coolers. Folks with small children, wielding shovels and pails, began to filter onto the beach, surprised by all this unusual activity. Dale Donovan joined our Beach Coordinator Suzanne Thomas by the big rock to watch the competition, and I headed back for daily B&B chores.