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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Give the dog a board: Canines battle it out in California surfing competition

By Tom Goodenough

A dog rides a surfboard to victory during the competition that raised money for an animal charity

The surfing scene is well-known for attracting a cool crowd who take their sport very seriously indeed.

And determined not to miss out on the fun, man's best friends have also been getting in on the act.

More than 50 dogs from across the United States came together for the seventh annual surfing competition in San Diego.

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Judges say they were looking for 'a little bit of flair' when making their decisions

50 dogs took part in the fun at the seventh annual dog competition in Imperial Beach, in California

The canines competed in a series of heats, subdivided according to size, before being judged on their best two waves.

Teevan McManus, one of the judges on the panel for the competition in California, told Sky News they were looking for a 'little bit of extra flair' when making their judgements:

Dogs of all shapes and sizes took part in the California surfing competition

Despite its novelty value, the competition is now well-established and in its seventh year

'From the way they're dressed up to maybe some sunglasses, whatever it might be...we're always looking for something that stands out.'

This year's first place winner in the small dog category was Abbie Girl, an Australian Kelpie, who was accompanied by owner Michael Uy.

Although it was the third time that the dog has collected gold in the competition, her owner said they were not expecting victory this time around:

Nicole Tallent, 37, rests on a surfboard with her English Bulldog, Betsy, after competing in the event

Winner: Michael Lee holds his dog Abbie Girl aloft after another successful tournament

'This year I was injured so (we were) a little bit of an underdog coming in, but we do this because we love surfing together in the water.'

And the surfing wasn't just in the interests of entertainment, with the dogs also helping out their chums by raising money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.



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