LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Fire Department team may not have had as many rank-and-file representatives on their boat as the other teams, but they ended up winning the third annual Heroes Regatta July 16 which was hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s.
Racing under the close scrutiny and advice of skilled sailor/coaches, this special regatta is held to honor local first responders in the community. This year’s five teams were made up of Long Beach Fire, Long Beach Police and Long Beach Lifeguards who raced on a bright and warm summer day in breezes that started out at 8 knots and quickly filled to 16.
With the other teams represented by five to six members, the Long Beach Fire Department team had only three; Kelvin McCaleb, Dave McGhee and Dave Cohen.
“I’m actually a police officer,” said Cohen. “But I was a lifeguard for four years before I went to the police academy.”
When asked about the decision to make the change from a lifeguard to a police officer, Cohen said, “I was thinking that as a lifeguard, I could save a life… but as a cop I could stop somebody from taking a life.”
McCaleb talked about his takeaways from the day.
“This was awesome, from the training to the teamwork,” said McCaleb. “No one person was above the other. We all moved around the boat in different positions. Our coaches had us focused and staying on-point the whole time.”
The event was created by Long Beach YC’s Yachting Committee, who 4 years ago created the Patriot Regatta to honor all branches of the U.S. military with service members actually sailing these sleek race boats.
Members of Long Beach YC felt that local first responders should also be honored with their own regatta. Last year’s regatta was won by the Long Beach Police Department and the inaugural regatta in 2014 was won by the Long Beach Fire Department Lifeguards.
- Long Beach Fire Department, 1-3-3-1, 8 points
- LB Police Motor Division, 5-2-1-2, 10
- LB Police Team 3, 3-1-5-5, 14
- LB Police Team 2, 4-5-2-3, 14
- LB Fire Lifeguards, 2-4-4-4, 14