Muscle-flexing Baywatch-style is the name of the game at the International Surf Festival. Three of southern California's finest beaches - Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo - welcome more than 3000 fit competitors and 100,000 spectators.
America's best lifeguards take on an Australian all-star team in a series of volleyball matches, beach runs, swimming races and, of course, surfing competitions. There are also open competitions for those who feel up to taking part.
The event kicks off on Friday with the LA County Lifeguard Championships. On Saturday at dawn the open competitions begin with surfing, followed by more energetic goings-on such as running, swimming and volleyball. On Sunday there are paddleboard contests and, for the more sedate, sandcastle contests, along with the obligatory volleyball sling-outs, relay and swimming races.
The 2012 host city for the 51st International Surf Festival is the City of Torrance. The event promotes the four South Bay beach cities, the world's best lifeguard service, and physical fitness for thousands of participants. Participants range in age from 8 years old to the late 80's. The three signature events for the festival are the Judge Taplin Lifeguard Medley Relay, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim, and the Charley Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament. Other great events include a surfing contest, bodysurfing contest, beach run, sand soccer, paddleboard race, dory race, and youth events. The festival has hosted numerous international lifeguard teams including a team this year from Victoria, Australia.
The International Surf Festival kick-off dinner is held on the Thursday prior to the start of the Lifeguard Intracrew competition on Friday night. The dinner includes the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Medal of Valor award ceremony.
Manhattan, Hermosa & Redondo Beaches
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