California's dog surfing season officially began on Saturday, with the annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surfing competition. Now in its fifth year, this fun event, which is also a fundraiser for pet-related charities, attracted 65 contestants, including one who flew all the way from Hawaii.
The competition, a natural extension following the success of dog surfing lessons that the hotel offers, has fairly simple rules. Each canine or canine team, is given ten minutes to catch a wave. The contestants are judged based on their confidence, ability to stay on the board and length of ride.
Judges also look at attitude and attire - A wagging tail and cool surfboard shorts or shades go a long way. To level the playing field, the contest is divided into three categories - dogs under 40lbs, dogs over 40lbs and tandem surfing.
Among the contestants this year was surf dog extraordinaire Buddy, from Ventura, California and Abbie Girl a 4-year old Australian Kelpie. Both are avid surfers and a fixture at dog surfing competitions.
Living up to her stellar reputation, Abbie Girl edged out Buddy in the under 40lbs category, while Stanley, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever took home the trophy in the large dog category. In tandem surfing it was Golden Retrievers, Kalani and Ricochet, AKA the Twisted Sisters, who wowed the judges with their perfectly synchronized surf ride.
After the hard day's work, the dogs were treated to sausage roast and an advanced screening of 'Marmaduke', scheduled for release on June 4th. Not only is the star of the movie a Great Dane, but it also features a dog surfing competition, some of which was filmed at last year's event. We have a feeling the dogs had fun!
sources: dailymail.co.uk, sdnn.com, www.tonic.com, loewssurfdog.blogspot.com