The annual September edition of Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright this Saturday — and the Athleta Iron Girl Triathlon hits the Hook on Sunday — as Local Summer continues apace.
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, it’s Local Summer — the sun is still riding high in the sky and the evenings are still long and languid as you allow them to be; even as the beach-badge booths are shuttered and the “Bennys Go Home” banners are lovingly folded and stored away in vac-seal bags for another season.
Veteran locals can tell you that September on the greater Green is a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and yearly ritual tournaments — and this weekend, two genuine signifiers of Local Summer return to nearby beaches, with the re-appearances of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the Athleta Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.
The latest in a long-running series of competitions on the Skim USA Pro/Am circuit — and the second in summer 2015, following the recent return of the June edition after a Sandy-mandated relocation — the nationally sanctioned Skimbash tournament draws top skimboarding competitors from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to the Sea Bright Municipal Beach, in an event that was founded in 2003 by Jersey Shore Skim Camp and its owner Felecia Stratton (the ‘Bash moved under Skim USA’s national pro tour umbrella six years later).
For one day only this Saturday, September 12, the stretch of sand and surf out back of Borough Hall will once again come alive with a gathering of the pros who compete for cash — in addition to the talented sharks, shredders, newbies and groms anxious to show off their skills, and the all-ages aficionados who are there to cheer on their favorites (as opposed to the June event, stepping out onto the sands is now free of charge).
Spectators — many of whom travel considerable distances to root for their champions of choice — will once more be treated to a display of aquatic acrobatics that include spectacular leaps and spins, with the occasional slapstick finishes that have the spills running neck-and-neck with the thrills. There’s serious purse at stake for the pro competitors too, and the whole experience is that rare sporting event that hasn’t been consumed and co-opted by corporate branding and media-driven pacing.
Sign-in commences at 8:30 am, with the first of the competitive heats scheduled for 9 am. There’s still time to enter as a pro ($100 fee), semi-pro ($50) or amateur ($30) in advance of tomorrow’s deadline, with online registration right here and a rain date of Sunday, September 13.
September 13 also marks the rain-or-shine recurrence of the Athleta Triathlon, with an invitation to “Iron Girls” across the region to take part in the annual late-summer competition that began as the Danskin Triathlon 25 years ago. As reported in a past posting on redbankgreen, what once took weeks or even months to get fully booked with participants is now a swim/ bike/ run essential that has little difficulty in filling its 1,000 registration opportunities.
Scheduled from 7 to 11 am, and commencing from the Fort Hancock area at the north end of Sandy Hook, the Triathlon features a one-third-mile ocean swim (shortened from the previous half-mile), a 15-mile bike (increased from 10 miles) and a 3-mile run, all centered on and around the Hook. It’s a season-capping “for women, by women” event for nonprofit organizations and clubs like the Little Silver-based Jersey Shore Tri Gals, whose 100-plus members are invited to take part in an early morning Saturday swim off Sea Bright’s Anchorage Beach, in preparation for the big Sunday event.
There’s still time to become an eleventh-hour entrant for the 7 am Triathlon, with options to participate in the Bike and Run only (7:30 am start time), or a 5k Run/Walk that commences at 7:15. All finishers receive a medal on race day, and all participants get access to a post-race café, plus personalized race bibs, just-for-women performance shirts, and other giveaways. Take it here for details.