Zuma Lifeguards Dominate USLA Championship

Zuma lifeguard Holly Maine poses as she accepts her award for first place in the women’s rescue board race at the (USLA) United States Lifesaving Association. National Lifeguard Championships in Virginia Beach, VA. Photo by Joji Abasolo 

Holly Maine Triumphs in Women’s Rescue Board Race, Ben Tran Excels in Relays

Zuma lifeguard Holly Maine has soared to victory, clinching the esteemed title of national champion in the women’s rescue board race at the annual United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships. This thrilling event unfolded against the backdrop of the sun-soaked Virginia Beach, VA, from Aug. 7 through 12. A rigorous contest spanning three days, the championship comprised heats and semi-finals that pushed the lifeguards to their limits.

In an awe-inspiring display of determination and skill, Holly Maine overcame all odds on Friday, Aug. 11, securing the top spot in the open water paddle on her rescue board. Her triumph held an extra layer of achievement as Maine valiantly battled a cold while emerging victorious. Maine’s recent success is the crescendo of her efforts, having secured two third-place finishes just a week prior at the International Surf Festival held in the South Bay. Demonstrating her prowess, the 23-year-old standout also led the coed relays as a team captain at the International Surf Festival.

Maine’s journey into lifeguarding began as a junior at Zuma Beach at the tender age of 12. Six years later, she stands tall as a Los Angeles County Lifeguard, a testament to her unwavering commitment and dedication to the lifeguarding community. Her exceptional skills have not gone unnoticed, as she clinched an individual board race victory and a three-person relay win at last year’s USLA National Lifeguard Championships.

In a resounding display of unity and excellence, Zuma lifeguards collectively left their mark at the USLA National Lifeguard Championships. The event, held from Aug. 9 to 12, drew lifeguards from across the nation, all vying for supremacy in swimming, running, paddling, surf/ski, and Taplin relays.

Among these luminaries, Ben Tran, a native of Malibu and a Zuma Beach ocean lifeguard, emerged as a standout champion. Alongside his esteemed teammates Brian Murphy and Lucas Pohlman, Tran clinched first place in the heart-pounding rescue board relay, cementing their position at the pinnacle of their field. Tran’s talents extended beyond this victory, as he secured third place in the fiercely contested Taplin medley relay, partnering with Zuma ocean lifeguards Cameron Eickhoff and Stephen Blauuw, aged 20 and 24 respectively. Furthermore, Tran’s impressive performance earned him a respectable fourth place in both the rescue relay and the surf/ski race.

All the lifeguards who proudly serve at Zuma Beach belong to the esteemed ranks of Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards. The unique challenges posed by Zuma Beach’s high winds and formidable rip tides have honed these lifeguards into a formidable force adept at safeguarding even the most treacherous waters. Their exceptional skills were once again validated at this month’s International Surf Festival in the South Bay, where they triumphed in various events.

In a culmination of talent, tenacity, and teamwork, Zuma lifeguards continue to prove their mettle on both local and national stages. Their triumphs stand as a testament to their unwavering dedication, skillful execution, and an indomitable spirit that remains at the heart of the lifeguarding community.