June 15-First-Ever OC Beachfest On Tap This Weekend

OCEAN CITY – Local residents and visitors to the resort area are encouraged to get off the couch and get active this weekend with the arrival of the first-ever, city-wide Ocean City Beachfest, a three-day festival of competition on land and in the water along with music, food, vendors and other activities.

Inspired by the popular X-Games, the first-ever Ocean City Beachfest gets underway with a few events and activities on Friday and will continue throughout the weekend at various venues and locations all over the resort area. The Roland E. Powell Convention Center will serve as the Beachfest Village and many of the events and activities will be centered there, but there are several other competitions and events all over the resort area over the three-day weekend.

Events at the Convention Center include a BMX stunt show, a Mid-Atlantic Indo Board Challenge, a Game of Skate Competition and a Battle of the Bands Competition, featuring several popular local and regional bands. Ocean events such as a pro-am surfing contest, a paddleboard race and a body-boarding competition will take place on the beach and in the water at the Castle in the Sand on 37th Street, while a five-mile Beachfest Run and the associated one-mile fun run will take place on the Boardwalk and an assault triathlon will take place on Assateague.

One of the first officially sanctioned events is the Boardwalk Fun Run at 8 p.m. on Friday night. On Saturday, the Beachfest 5-Mile Run will take place starting at 7 a.m. The course begins at the Boardwalk Arch at North Division Street and heads south to the Inlet and around the pier before heading north on the Boardwalk and returning south again. Joe Decker, the world’s fittest man, will attempt to break a Guinness Book record by running the course in full military fatigues including a 56-pound pack.

The Reef/K-Coast Pro-Am Surfing Competition will be held over the weekend with a judgment made each day when the surf conditions are best suited for the contest. Professional surfers will be on call starting Friday and throughout the weekend and a decision will be made by 5 p.m. each day on when the conditions are likely best for the competition. A similar scenario will play out for the body-boarding pro-am throughout the weekend. The surfing pro-am, the amateur surfing contest and the body-boarding competition are all being organized and handled by the Eastern Surfing Association.

A paddleboard race is set for next Saturday, June 20 from 6-8 p.m. The $20 entry fee includes a weekend pass for all Beachfest events. Like the surfing and body-boarding pro-am contests, the paddleboard race will be held on the beach and in the ocean at the Castle in the Sand on 37th Street.

On Sunday, the three-day festival culminates with the first-ever Assateague Assault Triathlon starting at 7 a.m. at the Assateague State Park. The sprint distance triathlon includes a half-mile ocean swim, a 14-mile road bike leg and finally a 3.2-mile run. Roughly 400 athletes are expected to compete in the event, which is already filled to capacity.

For all the week’s news, see The Dispatch on Friday morning.