SAN DIEGO – Competitors gathered on the dew-covered grass for an early-morning tee-time to kick off San Diego’s 36th annual Surface Line Week (SLW) with a golf tournament held at Admiral Baker Golf Course, August 10.
SLW is an annual competition hosted by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet for San Diego based Surface Navy commands. Each year, Sailors, Marines, and Department of the Navy civilian employees in the area come together to compete in both athletic and professional events and build camaraderie within the Surface community and along the waterfront.
“I am excited for all the events this year,” said Senior Chief Fire Controlman Bryan Dowdy from USS New Orleans (LPD 18). “This is my first year participating and I aim to push myself and other members from my command to do their best and test our skills. We are out here competing against other commands on the waterfront and I think it really raises the level of cohesiveness to the Surface community through friendly competition.”
Along with golf, this year's SLW features athletic tournaments such as softball, basketball, bowling, dodge ball, flag football, tennis, volleyball, soccer, racquetball, as well as weightlifting, billiards, a 5k run, swimming, push-up and pull-up endurance and functional fitness. Commands will participate in professional skills challenges such as sailing, photography, cake decorating, lathe work, marksmanship, medical diagnosis, rescue swimmer, ship handling, valve packing, visual communications, maneuvering board (MoBoard), seamanship, and welding and cutting. There will also be a damage control marathon, a stretcher bearer race, and a rigid-hulled inflatable boat race.
“All the commands really like the team sports tournaments; we get the most participation there,” said Lt. Amanda Towey, this year’s SLW coordinator. “It’s always great to see the friendly competition, especially between teams that have players who have previously represented the same command at the same sport, now they are playing against each other on opposing teams. These team sports really have an incredible level of camaraderie and all around fun.”
Commands compete in large, medium and small unit categories, accumulating points for each event they participate in throughout the week to identify the top command in each category. Last year, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (COMLCSRON) 1 took first place in the large command category. In the medium command category, USS Cape St. George (CG 71) won first place, and in the small command category, Beach Master Unit (BMU) 1 captured first place honors.
“The participation all around this year is much higher,” Towey said. “For example, this golf tournament had 30 teams last year, with a huge increase to 57 teams this year. About 2,000 Sailors took part in the week’s competitions last year and more than 2,600 this year, and the number of commands participating increased from 30 to 35. We had so much enthusiasm for Surface Line Week this year that an underway cruiser, USS Mobile Bay (CG 54), requested to participate and record their own scores in whatever events they can support while at sea; they are doing the medical competition, MoBoard and the photo competition.”
The week will culminate with an award presentation announcing the winning commands Friday, Aug. 18. For information on Surface Line Week 2017, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/slw.aspx, and to view the team sports brackets and stay up to date on all the action, visit https://www.facebook.com/SurfaceLineWeek/