They came in all shapes, sizes and colors, donned in their best surf shorts - all ready to take on the next big wave. Yup, surfing has definitely gone to the dogs, at least in San Diego, where over 60 showed up to compete in the third annual dog surfing championships at the Loews Resort in Coronado, San Diego.
The Loew's Resort in Coronado has always been an extra special place for kids and dogs - in fact it is rare to find a resort guest without one or the other or both. They took their pooch rating up a notch in 2005, when they started offering dog surfing lessons, which became so popular, that the following year they decided to hold this competition.
This year's competition, held on June 28th, attracted 60 contestants and over 1,500 spectators.
The competition is divided into three categories: dogs under 40lbs, over 40lbs and a joint dog/owner contest with both surfing on the same board. The cost of entering the competition, the proceeds of which are donated to charity, is between $45 to $50 USD, depending on the category.
Just like any other sporting event, competitors are allowed to warm up prior to the event with a special lesson from the Coronado Surfing Academy. Each participant is allowed three chances on the board and the winner is judged based on style, confidence and time on the board. According to the organizers, as long as your pooch has style and loves the water, his/her chances of winning are as good as the next competitors, However, dogs with shorter legs have a slight advantage, due to their lower center of gravity. For all their efforts, the dogs are awarded some great prizes. The first prize winner in each category gets a VIP (Very Important Pet) package to stay free at the resort, a story in 'Modern Dog Magazine' and of course most importantly - bragging rights about being an amazing surfer!
This year, the first prizewinner in the under 40lbs category was Tj, a Spanish Spaniel (pictured above), from San Carlos, CA. The top prize for larger dogs was awarded to a black Lab called Stoli. As for the team prize - For the third straight year, it went to Team Chandler (see picture), which included 9-year old Tyler Chandler, her professional surfer dad Scott and their Jack Russell Terrier, Zoey. Congratulations to all!
Sources:SignonSanDiego.com, Loews Coronado, DailyMail.Co.Uk