Carpinteria City Beach shined bright as they hosted the California Surf Lifesaving Association’s (CSLSA) Regional Championships on Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27. The CSLSA boasts 30 chapters from up and down the state, all well-represented at the two-day event. This year was the first time that the city of Carpinteria staged the competition.
“I remember growing up as a kid, how fun regionals was my last year in junior guards and Santa Barbara hosted it,” said Assistant Regional Coordinator Matt
Organista. “And, I remember sitting in that (CSLSA) meeting, thinking ‘gosh, what could we do to host it.’” Organista, who at the time was the Aquatics Program Coordinator at the City Pool, got the greenlight from Parks and Recreation Director Matt Roberts and Junior Lifeguard Coordinator Leilanie Silva, and started to plan last October.
With the aid of a camping proposal to help accommodate the throngs of out-of-towners, and a corps of eager volunteers, the event setup was in
place by noon on Friday, ready for the day’s first competitions.
Local competitors fared well on the opening day, as Carpinteria High School undergrad Diesel Slade took first place in the Boys “A” Flags Competition, and another fellow Warrior Vincent Rinaldi took second. Liam Slade, 2019 CHS alum, finished second on Saturday in the U19 division with another CHS grad Wyatt Stevenson finishing first. Natalie Torres, an instructor for the local junior lifeguards, took fifth in the Flags competition on Saturday.
It was a successful event for the city and there’s a good possibility that the event will be back at Carpinteria’s City Beach in 2020, as municipalities chosen as hosts initially agree to a two-year commitment. “I know both days went smoothly with scheduling, logistics and with timing of events,” said Organista. Planning for the 2020 regionals will begin soon.