Lifeguards Do Battle at Main Beach

Sag Harbor's Casey Crowley dives for a flag during the early rounds of the beach flag competition at the 32nd Annual East Hampton Ocean Lifeguard Tournament at Main Beach on Thursday, 7/19/18. Michael Heller photos

The annual Main Beach Lifeguard Tournament was kicked up a notch this summer with the return of lifeguards from Jones Beach following a 10-year absence. The tournament, held on Thursday, July 19, ended with a narrow half-point victory for the Jones Beach men’s A side over East Hampton Town’s A side. The 65.5 to 65 victory followed seven events — distance swim, distance run, landline rescue, rescue board relay, sprint relay, run-swim-run and beach flags.

Smith Point finished third among men, while Southampton Town’s men’s team finished fifth with 41 total points.

East Hampton Town women’s A team finished second overall with 29 points, led by Amanda Calabrese’s victory in the beach flags, behind Smith Point, which had 35. Southampton Town’s women’s team was fourth overall and won the landline and sprint relay events.

“We’re very pleased. It was the biggest tournament we’ve ever had,” said John Ryan Sr., who helps run the tournament.

Ryan said the East Hampton junior lifeguard program will host its tournament on Saturday, August 4, at Indian Wells Beach, while Southampton Town juniors will host their tournament the same day at Ponquogue Beach, starting at 9 a.m. The National Junior Lifeguard Championships will be held in Virginia Beach on Wednesday, August 8. With the adult competition running August 9 through 11, also in Virginia Beach.

East Hampton Town lifeguard – and past national champion – Amanda Calabrese snatches victory away from Sophia Kohloff during the women’s beach flags competition.
Sag Harbor’s Chloe Collette-Schindler hands off the baton during the 4×100 Beach Relay Contest.
Contestants race back to shore during the paddleboard relay.
Contestants race to the water at the start of the paddleboard relay.