The races Jersey Shore lifeguards train for all year are finally here

The 'Margate Memorials' turn 76 this year, with beach patrols from 16 competing Jersey Shore municipalities

MARGATE CITY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — "They are ultra competitive. We train all year for this," said Chris Graves, captain of the Margate Beach Patrol.

The Margate World War II Memorial Lifeguard Races, a South Jersey tradition for 76 years, return Friday night.

Graves, along with beach patrol members from 16 Jersey Shore locations, looks forward to these competitions every year. And following close behind: the South Jersey Championships, starting next week, Friday, Aug. 12.

“The goal every year for all of these guys is to win the Margates and the South Jerseys, and now this is the culmination of all the training,” Graves said.

Chris Spires is a lifeguard with the Margate Beach Patrol.
Chris Spires is a lifeguard with the Margate Beach Patrol. Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

Graves’ grandfather, Bud Graves, started the memorial race to honor World War ll veterans. It includes singles and doubles rowing, swimming, paddle boards and surf dashes.

Friday night’s event in Margate City begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs between Decatur Avenue and the beach.

From left: Margate Beach Patrol Capt. Chris Graves and lifeguard Chris Spires pull a rescue boat back onshore.
From left: Margate Beach Patrol Capt. Chris Graves and lifeguard Chris Spires pull a rescue boat back onshore. Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

The South Jersey Championships, which take place in Longport, include the best of each beach patrol. Chris Spires, 24, will represent Margate City Beach Patrol in the single row event.

Thousands of spectators are expected to attend both of the lifeguard competitions.

Lifeguards
Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

Latest Jawncast