For the third-consecutive year, Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue finished first place in the regional lifesaving championships, held July 15-16 at Carolina Beach.
While it wasn’t WBOR’s first overall win, the 2015 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association (SALA) Championships were the team’s first competing in the “big beach” division for lifeguarding crews of more than 50 members. At 51 lifeguards, WBOR just qualified for the big beach division, which it also won.
WBOR won several events on both the men’s and women’s competition. In some races, the WBOR team took both first and second place.
The WBOR team took the top spot in men’s toplin race, women’s toplin race and the men’s run-swim-run. In several races, WBOR had more than one competitor or team, enabling it to take first and second in the men’s landline rescue race, men’s surf race, men’s surf-ski, men’s rescue race and the women’s rescue race. In board rescue, the WBOR men took first, second and third. The women’s team took second, third and fourth in the surf-ski race.
Also, WBOR team member Lindsey Gerkens won both the women’s Ironwoman competition and less than an hour later turned around to win the same race in the over-30 women’s category.
For observers on the beach, the lifesaving events looked like intense competition. But for the men and women going against each other in the water, it wasn’t just about winning and losing, but also about learning and sharing.
Dee Peacock cheered loudly for the first-place WBOR landline rescue team, where her stepson Mo Peacock and his teammates pulled a drowning victim into the shore.
But while she was thrilled the WBOR team won the event, she spoke first about all the lifeguards at the competition. “Everybody is a winner, they’re all good kids,” she said.
Next up for the WBOR team will be United States Lifesaving Association National Lifeguard Championships, held Aug. 5-8 in Daytona Beach, Fla.