Six members of the City of Long Beach Fire Department Lifeguard Division won the inaugural Heroes Regatta Saturday in this event hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club as a tribute to the men and women of our local police and fire departments.
More than 50 law enforcement officers and firefighters sailed on eight of LBYC’s Catalina 37 racing sailboats alongside skilled coaches on a sunny day that saw breezes of 12-16 knots.
The Long Beach Police Department was represented by the LBPD Command, Detective, Vice and SWAT divisions. The Long Beach Fire Department was represented by LBFD Command (including Fire Chief Mike Duree), Firefighter and Lifeguard divisions.
At the end of the six races the LB 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.
Chief Duree donated a very special perpetual trophy for this event that means a great deal to him personally.
‘After 9/11,’ Duree said, ‘we (LBFD) were asked to send a team to help with the search at the World Trade Center. I was part of that team. We spent two weeks there going through the rubble. I was allowed to keep this piece of twisted metal as a remembrance.’
The event was created by LBYC’s Yachting Committee who two years ago created a similar regatta, the Patriot Regatta, honoring all branches of the U.S. military with service members actually sailing these sleek race boats.
Due to the popularity of the Patriot Regatta LBYC 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.’