On July 23, the Sea Isle City Beach Patrol (SICBP) hosted their 3rd annual 1-Mile Ocean Swim with 204 participants. The yearly race, which was developed as a recruiting tool for potential beach patrol lifeguards, has quickly grown into a popular competition that now attracts swimmers from far and wide.
According to SICBP Captain Renny Steele, this year’s Ocean Swim was the largest to date.
“The number of swimmers has more than doubled since this race began in 2014,” said Captain Steele. “When you put on a first class race and pay attention to detail, word gets out and people will come.”
“We try to improve the race each year,” he added. “During its inaugural run in 2014, the race began at 6:00 p.m. Moving the start time to 11:00 a.m. provided better surf conditions – and that is an added attraction.”
The overall winner of this year’s 1-Mile Ocean Swim was Billy Auty, 43, of Wildwood, NJ, with a finish time of 21 minutes, 58 seconds. Auty was followed by Odgen Leyens, 18, of Fort Washington, PA, 22:02, second place; and Jake Sannem, 17, of Ambler, PA, 22:49, third place.
In the Women’s Division, the first place winner was Kristen Gullickson, 14, of Staten Island, NY, who finished in 23-minutes, 40-seconds. Gabriel Vanfaselld, 17, of Staten Island, NY, came in second place with a time of 24-minutes; and Deirde McCafferty, 14, also of Staten Island, NY, took home third place honors with a time of 24:05.
The event’s top three female competitors are each members of the Wagner Aquatic Club in Staten Island, which received the first place prize in the race’s “Swim Club” team division. Prizes were also presented to the fastest men and women in numerous age groups. For a complete list of race results, visit www.sicbp.com and click the “Events” link on the home page. For additional information about the SICBP, phone 609-263-3655.