The 50th annual Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Races will be at 6 p.m. Friday at 15th Avenue beach in North Wildwood.
The Beschen-Callahan Memorials, which began in 1969, honors Jim Beschen and Mike Callahan, two North Wildwood lifeguards who were killed in the Vietnam War.
The event has six races, including the doubles row, the swim, the rescue board race, the surf dash, the singles row, and the can run (a one-person surf dash with the rescue can). Scoring is 5-3-2-1 for the first four places.
The competing teams are host North Wildwood, Sea Isle City, the 2017 team champion, Avalon (the winner in 2014 and 2016), Wildwood Crest (the 2015 champion), Upper Township (the 2013 winner), Stone Harbor (the 2012 winner) and Wildwood.
“The Beschen and Callahan families will be there to give out the awards, and some have been there every year,” North Wildwood Beach Patrol Chief Tony Cavalier said.
Cavalier was at the first Beschen-Callahan Memorials, and said that the original event, won by North Wildwood, had Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Cape May as the other competing teams.
Bill Ciavarelli, the North Wildwood Beach Patrol Captain and race director, feels that the surf dash and the can run have helped to make the competition so close over the last several years.
“Every lifeguard does the surf dash, and they’ll all be good at it because that’s what you do in a rescue,” Ciavarelli said. “The can run is done by a patrol’s best surf dasher.”