The Red Bull Surf and Rescue, an action-packed relay event for top lifeguards, will feature beach patrols from neighboring East Coast states this year.
The third annual event will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Mississippi Avenue beach in front of Boardwalk Hall, and it should be tougher to win than ever.
In the first two years, the event was for New Jersey beach patrols. Sea Girt won in 2015, and Longport took the title last year.
There will be at least 48 teams competing, from Long Island, New York, to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Steve DelMonte is the event race director and co-promoter, and Bruckner Chase, a well-known lifeguard athlete and coach, is the technical director.
“Jersey Shore teams will make up about 80 percent of it, but there are teams coming from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New York, and they didn’t come here to lose,” DelMonte said. “People got the word about this event in other areas, and they want to participate, too. Lifeguards train for this event special, and the patrols have run-offs to see who will represent them. It all comes down to seeing who’s the best in the region.”
Each team has three men and one woman, and beach patrols can enter more than one team.
Longport’s winning team last year was John Tepper, Max Mittelman, Taylor Phy and Tim Schwegman. Brigantine was second last year, and Ventnor took third.
The Red Bull Surf and Rescue has four elimination rounds. All the teams (with 50 the maximum) compete in a four-person swim relay. The field is then cut down to 32, and in round two the teams race in a prone paddleboard relay. Only 16 are left for round three, and two from each team will run, with the other two competing in a doubles row. Eight teams advance to the final round, which is a swim-paddleboard-doubles crew relay.
The races are short and fast and highly visible to the fans.
“Red Bull has invested in Atlantic City,” DelMonte said. “They could have held this event in Australia, Florida or California, but they brought it here. That says a lot about the Jersey Shore, first of all, and a lot about the level of competition here.”