It’s peak surfing season, and that’s not just for humans, but dogs as well! The 6th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition was held in Imperial Beach, California this past Saturday, June 4, 2011. More than 1,000 people came out to Dunes Park to see dozens of dogs compete in the event. Approximately 60 dogs competed to become the surfing champion.
According to Anne Stephany, a representative from sponsor Loews Coronado Bay Resort, the Surfdogs event has grown from as few as 25 to 60-plus dogs and several vendors this year. “We have a lot more newcomers this year than previously. It’s kind of evolved into a legit sport,” with companies marketing surf dog rash guards, boards, suits and life vests, she said.
Beginner’s lessons began at 10 a.m. and were followed by three heats broken into sub-40-pound, 41-pounds and over, and tandem. Each dog had 10 minutes to catch his or her top two waves and was scored on confidence level, length of ride and overall ability to “grip it and rip it.” Winners scored the ultimate pet vacation at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and of course, endless bragging rights.
This popular competition is an extension of Loews Hotels’ award-winning Loews Loves Pets program and has become a hugely successful fundraiser for non-profit organizations. This year, the event benefited Loews Hotels’ Good Neighbor Partner, DonorsChoose.org.
Across the country, thousands of public school classrooms lack the materials that are essential for learning. DonorsChoose.org provides a forum for public school teachers to post classroom needs and project requests for individual donors to choose from and sponsor. Since it began raising money in 2003, the online charity claims to have funded more than 200,000 projects with nearly $85 million for books, art supplies, technology and other resources to assist almost 5 million students.
Event judges were Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney, Coronado Surfing Academy owner Teevan McManus, Loews Coronado Bay Resort General Manager Kathleen Cochran and Region Vice President of Banfield Pet Hospital John Bork.
Congratulations to the winners!
Category 1 (Small Dogs)
1st Place: Abbie Girl, an Australian Kelpie
2nd Place: Moo, a Mix
3rd Place: Toby, a Shih-Tzu Mix
Category 2 (Large Dogs)
1st Place: Kalani, aka Lil Surfer Girl, a Golden Retriever
2nd Place: Shadow, a Golden Retriever
3rd Place: Taj, a Lab
Category 3 (Tandem)
1st Place: Zoey, a Jack Russell Terrier, surfing with owners Scott and Tyler Chandler
2nd Place: So Cal Surf Dogs (five dogs total, a new record)
3rd Place: Abbie Girl surfing with owner Michael Uy