Every year around this time, dogs of all breeds, sizes and shapes make their way to San Diego's Imperial Beach to showcase their surfing skills at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surfing Competition. This year's event which took place on June 16th, was no exception - Over 50 canine dudes and dudettes along with their proud owners, came to strut their stuff at this fun event, that also doubles up as a fundraiser.
The rules of the competition, which was started seven years ago to demonstrate the skills of the students that attend the resort's dog surfing academy, are fairly simple.
Solo contestants are divided into two categories - Small dogs (under 40 lbs) and large dogs (over 40 lbs). There is also a third category - tandem surfing, where dogs irrespective of size, take to the boards with their owner(s).
Just like in other competitions, the contestants begin by competing against one another in a series of preliminaries. The winners of each section then go on to compete in the finals, which entails catching at least two waves within the stipulated ten-minute time limit. Besides confidence and ability to stay on the board, the judges also look for some attitude and swanky attire - A strutting derriere and stylish surfboard shorts or cool-dude shades, go a long way in winning their approval.
Living up to her stellar reputation, Australian Kelpie, Abbie Girl edged out the tough contingent of dogs under 40lbs, taking the gold for the third time in a row. In the large dogs category, it was veteran competitor Ricochet, the famous 'SURFice' dog and ASPCA's 'Dog of the Year' that won the day. Donned in a practical yellow life jacket and yellow lei, the Golden Retriever impressed the judges not once, but twice, also taking home the silver medal in the tandem category where she partnered with Good Morning America's Cameron Mathison. As has been the case for the last few years, the tandem gold went to the father-daughter team of Scott and Tyler Chandler and their Jack Russell terrier, Zoey.
The highlight of the event was Scott Chandler's attempt to break three Guinness World Records - Most number of dogs surfing on a board at one time (more than 10 dogs), Most number of dogs surfing on one board at one time with a human (Scott) and Most amount of dogs surfing on one board at one time with two humans (Scott and his daughter). From the looks of it, the Southern California resident succeeded in doing all three - All that is left now, is confirmation from Guinness officials!
Resources: loewssurfdog.blogspot.com, dailymail.co.uk, todaysthv.com