Surf's pup! 'Surfurs' Fetch Waves Seeking "Best In Surf" Title
[Sept 13, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
Some of California's cutest surFURs hit the waves to show off their skills on the board and raise money for their orphaned friends in need.
More than 300 people crowded Del Mar Beach on Sunday to view and compete in the 16th annual Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. The competition was established in 2005 as the first-of-its-kind to turn 'dogs on surfboards' into a platform to raise life-saving funds. 100 percent of the proceeds from the event support the life-saving work at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
This year's adorable competition featured 40 dogs surfing in 10-minute heats before a panel of judges consisting of surf pros and aficionados. The surFURs were judged on the length of their ride, wave technique, enthusiasm and confidence on the board. First, second, and third place winners were awarded for each weight class and the first-place winners moved on to the finals – Best-In-Surf.
Dogs and their best pals also competed in the Freestyle Surf Contest where points were awarded for creativity! The crowd-favorite heat featured tandem rides for furry friends, dogs and their favorites human, eye-catching tricks and costumes!
Some dogs simply stood on the board, bracing themselves. Some surfed backwards, and some accomplished tricks.
Derby the surfing dog (in tuxedo) competed at Sunday's competition which aimed to raise money for orphaned pets at Helen Woodward Animal Center (CREDIT: Getty Images)
The crowd cheered when Bamboo, a 7-year-old “Double Doodle” — a mix between a Goldendoodle and a Labradoodle — his surfer, riding the same board, simultaneously caught frisbees thrown to them by another team member as they were riding a wave.
Pam Lucado, an Orange County resident who has been training dogs for surfing contests since 2008, said the trick was three years in the making, and she and her team had been practicing it with Bamboo for at least a year.
Lucado said dog surfing is a great sport because the dogs have as much fun as their owners do.
She said she advocates for others to do more activities with their dogs, rather than just having a dog confined to the backyard.
“You’ll be surprised what they’ll volunteer to do,” Lucado said.
Michael Willis and his surfing partner Bridget compete at the 16th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon at Del Mar Dog Beach. Willis said: 'We wanted to have as much fun as we could. It feels good to participate to help humans giving back. It felt like riding on top of the world' (CREDIT: Getty Images)
Top fundraising pooches not only got to help orphan pets, they also won outstanding prizes including a commemorative 2021 Surf-Dog Surf-A-Thon surf board for first place.
In the end, the event raised $14,000 for the Helen Woodward Animal Center and one of the dogs from the “extra small” category — Petey, a West Highland white terrier — was crowned the winner. This year was his first time competing in the Surf-a-Thon, but he has been surfing since he was eight months old, according to event officials.
You can view results and video clips from the competition on the Surfdogssurfathon Facebook page.
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