By the end of the World Dog Surfing Championships on Saturday in Pacifica, California, it was no surprise who won the medal.
Take Abbie Girl, an Australian Kelpie rescue with a real knack for riding a wave. She won a special Spirit of Surfing Award for her performance and her dedication to the sport — and third place honors in the medium-sized dogs category. Owner Michael Uly got his buddy to the contest even though he had broken his foot.
Gidget, a pug who does turns on her board and has 70,000 Instagram fans, grabbed top honors as best little dog surfer, second place for partnering with Prince Dudeman and the Goughnuts Top Dog award.
But all of the 45 contestants in the World Dog Surfing Championships won the hearts of spectators as they braved the ocean in their canine wetsuits. The event raised money for two animal charities.
The third annual championship hosted various categories, including dogs surfing alone, with their owner or with a dog pal. In partnering with another dog, the surfer in front has to be prepared to get doused, like this contestant, Tristan the surfing Westie, in a practice run. Tristan won second place in the Pet Renu Medium Surf Dog category.
This is Abbie Girl showing off her medal:
Abbie Girl in action on a practice surf:
Here’s Abbie with owner Michael Uly:
Dave Elkinson posed with his golden doodle pal Derby, who sported a matching mohawk. Derby won the Stunt Puppy Large Dog Award, second place in the Goughnuts Top Dog honors, third place for a tandem dog/human performance and the DOOG Tandem Dogs Award with partner Teddy.
Getting the pep talk:
Gidget shows her stuff:
Cherie the French bulldog practicing for the big day.
Cherie checks out the surf:
Here’s an up-close look at the training a surf dog: