4 crews compete in games, cook-off

The road to the gold will be lined with heaping helpings of creamed chipped beef on toast.

Crews from four Coast Guard ships will compete in the West Coast Buoy Tender Olympics on Wednesday at Naval Station Everett. The competition is part of the annual Aids to Navigation Conference that started Sunday.

This week’s events will feature feats unheard of in Athens: the heat and beat, the split key shackle and the chain fake.

There are traditional contests, too, such as a relay race and tug-of-war. And a galley cook-off also is planned.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Rachel Pellegrino said the cooking competition includes a chili cook-off and a pie-baking contest. The crews also will find out who can make the best SOS, which is usually called something close to “stuff on a shingle.”

Crews from ships based in Washington, California and Alaska will compete.

The Everett-based USCGC Henry Blake will have home field advantage against the visiting ships USCGC Aspen, USCGC Anthony Petit and USCGC Bayberry. The Aspen is based in San Francisco; the Petit in Ketchikan, Alaska; and the Bayberry in Seattle.

The winning crew will receive the Golden Swivel Trophy. But there’s more on the line than that.

The competition is structured to strengthen the basic skills of the people who work on the Coast Guard’s buoy tenders, the ships used to position and maintain buoys and navigational lights.

The heat and beat, for example, involves a sledgehammer used to pound a hot pin into a chain link.

“The friendly competition, the bragging rights, the teamwork. It brings them all together,” said Pellegrino, spokeswoman for the Coast Guard’s District 13.

Reporter Brian Kelly: 425-3393422 or kelly@heraldnet.com.

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