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Cape Cod Lifesaving Competition

Now in its 45th year, the Cape Cod Lifesaving Competition welcomes lifeguards from across the region to the shores to test their skills, show off their spirit and connect with one another. In all, it’s a fun-filled day with an undertone of seriousness, demonstrating just how physical and truly important the job of a lifeguard is, particularly somewhere like Cape Cod, where the unspoiled majestic beauty provides both pleasure and peril, with a thin line between the two.

“I remember that day at Nauset clearly,” says Greg Johnson. “It’s why I became a lifeguard.” Johnson, who is now in his 41st year as a lifeguard on Orleans’ Nauset Beach, describes how the Lifesaving Competition was traditionally held at Nauset, but over the years became so popular that the organizers decided to include other towns and lifeguard teams across the region. This year, the challenge will be held August 2nd at Harding Beach in Chatham.

“Competition keeps people motivated to train,” explains Gordon Miller, who’s been a Cape Cod National Seashore lifeguard based in Provincetown for 35 years now. “It’s a great time for everyone, and it also gives us the opportunity to get together and not only catch up but talk about different issues.” This year’s competition includes 13 different events—everything from paddleboard and swim rescues to ironman and ironwoman challenges. All of the regional towns that have lifeguards are invited, even some groups from as far as Maine. “It’s all for the kids,” says Miller who no longer competes himself. “I’m like a typical bureaucrat now, dealing with meetings, reports and the organizational side of the job,” he explains with a laugh.

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