February, 2015 – Flagler Beach, Florida – This July 16 and 17, Flagler Beach will proudly host the United States Lifesaving Association Southeast Regional Championships, a two-day event drawing an estimated 250 competitors.
The event, which is expected to attract over 1,000 spectators to the Flagler Beach area, will feature rescue races, beach runs, relays, rescue board races, and surf boat races. One of the most popular spectator events is the Beach Flags competition, where competitors lie face down on the sand while enough flags for all but one of them are placed at the other end of the beach. On the referee’s signal, the lifeguards sprint down the beach towards the flags, and the competitor who is unable to reach the flags before they are all gone is eliminated. The competition continues until there are only two competitors and one flag remaining. At last year’s competition at Clearwater Beach, Flagler Beach lifeguard Kyle Merola took second place out of over 70 competitors.
Tom Gillin, Ocean Rescue Director for the City of Flagler Beach, says the United States Lifesaving Association is very proud that lifeguarding competition is the only sport created for humanitarian reasons. “The competitions were developed so lifeguards could improve their lifesaving skills,” he says, “and have opportunities to share skills and ideas with lifeguards from other agencies.”
By the end of February, Flagler County will know whether it will also be awarded the bid to host the Southeast Regional Junior Lifeguard Competition as well. If so, it will be held on July 18, the day following the two-day adult competition, making it a three-day event.
About Flagler County
Located three miles off I-95, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches capture the hearts of those looking to get away from it all. Coquina-covered beaches paint a peach-hued coastline dotted with surfer-quality waves while 45 parks throughout Flagler County serve up Mother Nature at her finest. Hotels here have history and charm, making it easy to set the scene for memory-making. Unblemished by high rises, the area oozes serenity beckoning visitors to relax while still offering a plethora of options when it comes to dining, lodging, and just plain ol’ fun.
Affordable and free options for entertainment have been luring visitors to Flagler for decades yet the peaceful, eco-friendly Old Florida charm of the area is vastly undisturbed. For more information, visit www.PalmCoastandtheFlaglerBeaches.com.