The Coast News Group
USA Surfing Championship at the Oceanside Harbor North Jetty in 2018. Photo by Kurt Steinmetz.

Oceanside celebrates surf week

OCEANSIDE — USA Surfing and Visit Oceanside along with the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego and the city of Oceanside are joining forces from June 13 to 17 to kick off the summer season with a spotlight on the relationship between surfers and lifeguards, who together keep the ocean safe and fun.

The first recorded lifeguards in history were surfers, and surfers have pioneered significant advances in rescue techniques, tools and training. America’s first woman ocean lifeguard Joyce Hoffman said she was able to make history by passing lifeguard tryouts in San Diego County because of her world champion surf skills and ocean knowledge.

O’side Celebrates Surf week starts with USA Surfing’s championship event at the Oceanside Harbor, drawing in the world’s best surfers from multiple disciplines.

The week ends on International Surfing Day with a free, family-friendly public screening of “Big Wave Guardians: First Responders of the Sea,” a documentary film written by California Surf Museum President Jim Kempton and a new film short featuring local legends like junior gold medalist Caitlin Simmers. The movies will be shown at the pier amphitheater on June 17 at 7:30 p.m.

“We are proud to mark International Surfing Day with such an impressive lineup of partners, five days of USA Surfing championship competition and a powerful surf film created by one of our locals,” said Visit Oceanside CEO Leslee Gaul. “Surfing is a strong tourism attraction and source of community pride. Oceanside is home to some of the world’s greatest surfers as well as renowned surf brands, surf shops, board shapers and manufacturers.”

The four organizations will be raising awareness about the lifeguard/surfer relationship and ocean safety throughout the week.

“Oceanside knows firsthand that everyone who swims in our ocean and walks on our sand becomes part of our family. We’re all connected by water,” Kempton said. “Surfers and lifeguards are both ambassadors of the beach lifestyle and therefore feel a joint responsibility in keeping waters safe and fun.”

California is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive strategy to raise awareness and engage more people and organizations in ensuring everyone is safe in and around the water.

Oceanside Parks and Recreation Director Manuel Gonzalez was part of a San Diego County aquatic council volunteer force of swim instructor trainers that certified 63 new swim instructors this month with a goal of having each new instructor teach 100 children.

“Drowning is preventable, but we need to look at it from an epidemiological lens and invest resources to make swim lessons and water safety instruction available broadly,” Gonzalez said. “Until then, drowning is a puzzle, and we can all contribute a piece that makes water safer. The city is proud to offer a venue that celebrates how lifeguards and surfers create synergy to add a couple more pieces to the drowning prevention puzzle.”

USA Surfing’s championship event is scheduled as follows:

  • June 13-14: Para surf competition featuring surfers with a range of physical disabilities
  • June 14-15: Longboard competition
  • June 15: Stand up paddle boarding and prone distance race
  • June 16: Adult shortboard and stand up paddle boarding
  • June 17: Stand up paddle boarding age group and tech races

All heats are expected to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the week.

Leave a Comment