Ocean City Today

Ocean Games on tap for Saturday

Fifth annual event includes 9-mile swim and Beach Ultimate Frisbee contest
By Kara Hallissey | Jul 13, 2017

(July 14, 2017) Ocean Games is back with its fifth annual 9-mile swim along the Ocean City shoreline in addition to Beach Ultimate Frisbee returning for its second year, Saturday, July 15.

“This year, there is only the 9-mile race,” Race Director Corey Davis said. “We may bring back [the 1- and 3-mile courses] next year, but due to everyone being a volunteer and busy with work, we are only holding the marathon swim option because it’s easier to handle.”

For the second year, Ocean City Beach Ultimate will be hosting an Ultimate Frisbee competition on the beach at Caroline Street, which will begin after the 9-mile swim kicks off at 10 a.m.

The event came to fruition after Davis began raising funds for Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Brain Rehabilitation Program through swims and bike rides. The program also helped him recover from a motorcycle accident that left him in a coma more than a decade ago.

After being told he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life following his accident, Davis reached out to Dr. Kate Kortte, director of Johns Hopkins’ Outpatient NeuroRehabilitation Program. Under her guidance, he has since completed a series of races, including a 100-mile bike ride and multi-mile swim in the Chesapeake Bay, all to raise money for the rehabilitation program.

Davis has raised more than $20,000 for Johns Hopkins each year since the inaugural swim in 2013, in addition to more than $3,000 for local charities.

“We have donated to local charities like Diakonia and Worcester Youth and Family Services to help locally as much as we can,” Davis said.

Festivities begin tonight, July 14, at Grottos Pizza inside the Commander Hotel on 14th Street and the Boardwalk with a pre-race dinner, packet pickup for the 9-mile swimmers and a mandatory safety meeting begins at 7 p.m. presented by Davis, his team and First Lt. Skip Lee of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.

“There is a required safety meeting and dinner for the swimmers and the kayakers on Friday night,” Davis said. “Every 9-mile swimmer is required to have a personal kayak pilot escort for safety and nutrition. The pilot plays a key role in watching out for signs of distress, carrying water and nutrition and providing visibility to a person’s location.”

Participants can register for the Ultimate Frisbee competition from 8-10 a.m. at Caroline Street on race day. Chick-fil-A and Smoker’s BBQ of West Ocean City, in addition to other sponsors, will provide food at the conclusion of the race for participants.

The swimmers will enter the water at 10 a.m. after a second safety meeting on the beach presented by the Ocean City Beach Patrol.

The Ultimate Frisbee competition starts around 10:15 a.m. on the beach, which includes five co-ed players on each team and is a noncontact disc sport similar to soccer, but has the aerial passing game of football.

The 9-mile swim will run parallel to the shoreline and follow the direction of the current on race day, which will be determined around 6 a.m. For example, if the current is running north-to-south, the 9-mile race will take swimmers from 146th Street down to Caroline Street.

“It is the length of Ocean City in the ocean and along the coastline just past the surf,” Davis said.

There will be time restrictions for each race and safety buoys approximately every 1,500 yards.

“A marathon swim is any open water swim over 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles long,” Davis said. “The Swim Ocean City event in the Ocean Games is unique by being one of only two marathon swims all in the ocean on the entire East Coast.”

Buses will be on hand to carry swimmers from the finish line back to race headquarters on Caroline Street, where several awards ceremonies will commence.

Award ceremonies will take place after the events, which includes trophies for best overall female and male swimmers in wetsuit and non-wetsuit categories.

“In only the first four previous years we’ve had two English Channel swimmers compete in our swim,” Davis said. “In our inaugural swim, my swim coach Traci McNeil won the women’s non-wetsuit category and last year’s overall winner, Reeven Nathan, swam the English Channel one month later and used our [event] as a final training swim cool down.”

Ultimate Frisbee recognizes the best overall team and an award will be given to the top event fundraiser. All participants take home a commemorative T-shirt in addition to a finisher’s medal.

Swim Ocean City costs $260 for the 9-mile competition, although registration is closed.

It costs $40 per Frisbee player or $30 each for a two-man team.

After the races, participants will gather for a post-race party at Sunset Grille in West Ocean City, where attendees and their families will enjoy music in addition to happy hour food and drink prices from 6-8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.oceangamesusa.org.

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