LONG BEACH — Six members of the City of Long Beach Fire Department Lifeguard Division won the inaugural Heroes Regatta Saturday, May 10, in the event hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club as a tribute to the men and women of local police and fire departments
More than 50 law enforcement officers and firefighters sailed on eight of Long Beach YC’s Catalina 37 racing sailboats alongside skilled coaches on a sunny day that saw breezes of 12 to16 knots.
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) was represented by the LBPD command, detective, vice and SWAT divisions. The Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) was represented by LBFD command (including Chief Mike Duree), firefighter and Long Beach Lifeguard divisions.
At the end of the six races the Long Beach Lifeguard Team and the LBPD Detective Team were tied for first place.
The win was given to the lifeguards on a tiebreaker.
Members of the Lifeguard Team were Scott Mitchell, Bill Selditz, Tony Gentile, Scott Crail, Barry Wood and Scott Dixon. Duree donated a very special perpetual trophy for this event that means a great deal to him personally.
“This is a fitting tribute to the men and women that perished on Sept. 11, 2001,” Duree said. “The trophy symbolizes their courage in the face of great danger and is a reminder to us all to never forget their sacrifice. Each year, as we come together to enjoy a fun day of sailing and friendship, we will be reminded to reflect on those that perished.
“The men and women of our local public safety forces dedicate their lives to serving our community and this is a fitting tribute to them, as well, for their sacrifices… Not to mention, it was a heck of a good time for all,” he added.
The event was created by Long Beach YC’s Yachting Committee who two years ago created a similar regatta, the Patriot Regatta, with Long Beach YC member Jon Turigliatto working with the USO to honor honoring branches of the U.S. military with service members actually sailing these sleek race boats.
Due to the popularity of the Patriot Regatta, Long Beach YC wanted to include local first responders, but thought it should be its own regatta with its own trophy.
Principal race officer Camille Daniels and her race committee team ran the regatta and said, “It was a beautiful day of sailing. We had great wind and the competitors did a fantastic job.”
“The trophy is very moving. We are grateful and honored to host this regatta for our local heroes,” she added.
1. LB Lifeguard Fire 4Team, 1-2-4-1-7-3, 18 points (win on tiebreaker) 2. LBPD Detective Police
2 Team, 5-3-2-4-2-2, 18
3. LBPD Vice Police 3 Team, 2-4-1-5-4-4, 20
4. LBPD Command Police 1 Team,6-5-3-3-3-1, 21
5. LBFD Command Fire 1Team, 3-1-9(DNF)-2-1-6, 22
6. LBFD Fire 2Team, 4-6-5-6-5-5, 31
7. LBPD SWAT Police 4Team, 8-8-6-7-6-7, 42
8. LBFD Fire 3Team, 7-7-7-8-8-8, 45