Members of beach clubs on Eastchester Bay were off to the races at the annual interclub swimming competition, a tradition in Throggs Neck since 1956, held amid fanfare and fireworks.
The 55th annual Interclub Association races are hosted every year by an interclub committee of six beach clubs that serve up a community and friendship-building event between members of the different clubs.
The races, which were grouped by age range from children and teenagers age 7 to adults 50 and over, were hosted on Saturday, July 31 by the Westchester Country Club at 3341 Country Club Road.
Members of the clubs, many located along Clarence Avenue, were able to race against one another in friendly competition. The event is designed to build friendships and foster a sense of community, especially among the young people.
“The event brings all of the clubs closer together and produces camaraderie,” said Robert Zeiss, who headed up organization of this year’s race. “It shows each child friendly competition and life-long friendships are formed. It is almost like a reunion; people come back year after year to see old friends.”
This year, the American Turner Club was the winner by a wide margin. The Turner Club was followed by the second place D.A. Beach Club, followed by Manhem Beach Club, White Cross Fishing Club, Askov Hall, and Westchester Country Club.
The races, which take place between floats that are placed 25 yards apart from each other in the water, are judged for speed by a panel including members from each beach club. The final race is a relay.
An interclub committee works every year to plan this event, and meets monthly to make it a big success. This planning includes designing the awards and t-shirts for the race day.
At a ceremony at the end of the races, top swimmers for each race category received a special plaque commemorating the day.
Senator Jeff Klein stopped by the event and took time to meet with the partygoers after the races.
The day culminated with a fireworks display after nightfall.