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Monday, July 15, 2024

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Cape May Likely to Host 2011 U.S.L.A. Championships

 

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY — This city will likely host the 2011 National U.S.L.A. (United States Lifesaving Association) Lifeguard Championships.
Cape May Beach Patrol Capt. Buzz Mogck approached City Council with the proposal at a Feb. 2 meeting and council responded favorably. The event will cost the city $31,000 but bring plenty of positive publicity for Cape May.
The city hosted the event in 1988, 1994, 1999 and 2003, according to City Manager Bruce MacLeod. The event would be scheduled for August 2011.
“It also happens to fall in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of our City of Cape May Lifeguards,” said MacLeod.
He said the $31,000 outlay would be spent over two years with some planning taking place this year. MacLeod said some of the dollars expended for the event would be for equipment that could be reused later by lifeguards.
Mayor Edward J. Mahaney Jr. asked for a breakdown of what funding from the city would cover. The $31,000 would cover buoys, flags and supplies, awards, medals, trophies, the cost of a registration trailer, sound system, two-way radios, tents, banners, posters and portable toilets, according to MacLeod and Mogck.
Mahaney said he hoped there would be television coverage of the event. He said the championships were not a tourist event that generated additional business for the city because it would take place during Cape May’s peak season when hotel rooms are scarce.
The mayor said he did not want the city to pay a fee to U.S.L.A. to host the event but put its funds into the necessary operations costs. He said the proposal calls for hosting competition on two beaches, Windsor Avenue and Grant Street.
Mahaney said he did not want to curtail public use of so many beaches in town that the city received complaints from visitors not interested in the event. He noted the new Convention Hall should be open for the event.
Councilman David Kurkowski and Deputy Mayor Niels Favre said they supported the event.
Mogck said he would work to combine the championship with the 100th anniversary of Cape May Beach Patrol including inviting a number of former lifeguards to the city for a reunion.
Councilwoman Linda Steenrod asked if the uneven slope of the beach at the shoreline, that caused a number of neck injuries last year, would interfere with the championship. Mogck said he would locate the junior competition to the cove beach. He said the senior lifeguards would not be bothered by the shore break.

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