The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s (LACoFD) Lifeguard Division had two extraordinary wins in the competitive relays during the 2018 International Surf Festival, held from August 1-5, and an incredible honor bestowed upon Lifeguard Section Chief Chris Linkletter.
The festival kicked-off on Wednesday, August 1, in Redondo Beach with a dinner and ceremony honoring heroic saves by LACoFD ocean lifeguards. The highly-anticipated Los Angeles County Lifeguard Championships and the Southern California Lifeguard Championships were held at the Hermosa Beach Pier on Friday and Saturday evening, respectively.
On Friday, as LACoFD ocean lifeguards ended their shifts, they came together to compete against each other. One outstanding victory was for the crew representing Zuma Beach; winning the Bud Stevenson Intracrew Relay. It was especially sweet as they hadn’t won an event in 23-years. Lifeguards from Zuma Beach often struggle to attend the competition as they are often making ocean rescues until sundown.
On Saturday evening, the Southern Section of the LACoFD Lifeguard Division competed against lifeguards from throughout Southern California and claimed their fifth straight championship in the Judge Irvin Taplin Medley relay; the most prestigious lifeguard event in the United States.
This year’s competition was extra special for the LACoFD Lifeguard Division, as the “Chris Linkletter Women’s Medley Relay” was added to the competition in recognition of the professional contributions made by Lifeguard Section Chief Chris Linkletter. Known as a trailblazer in the lifeguard profession, she was one of the first women hired by the County in 1990 and became the first female section chief in 2014. Linkletter’s groundbreaking career continues to be an inspiration to many ocean lifeguards.