Yellow Lab wins dog surfing championship after sharks cause half-hour delay

Lily, the surfing yellow Labrador retriever, didn’t let the sharks stop her from winning the 10th annual East Coast Canine Surfing Championships for the second time in a row.

Taking place on Easter Sunday, this year’s championships faced their first-ever shark delay. The only harm the sharks did was the timing of the event, forcing a half-hour delay to wait for the fish to leave the area.

“I must say that in the 10 years of this event, we have never had a contest delayed due to a shark sighting (less than 10 feet from shore). As exciting as that has been , we are so grateful to the rescuers for keeping our families of pets safe (and it was worth the half hour wait to let the sharks through!),” said Theresa Clifton, Executive Director of the Brevard Humane Society. Newsweek.

“We have always been very attentive to the sand dunes to protect the turtle population but I must admit that we had never thought of sharks until now!” she added.

Once the curious carnivores were on their way, eight dogs competed to be the best surfer dog on the entire East Coast. Although the puppies gave it their all, it was Lily, 6, who won the day. Bolt came second. The other winners were Pancake, who won the Dog Bikini Contest, and Nugget, who won the Buddy Award, according to Florida today.

“When it came to the 2022 East Coast Dog Surfing Championship, Lily quickly became a crowd favorite as she caught wave after wave with what seemed like little effort. Bolt was a close second (he even caught a wave upside down!) but couldn’t take the lead from Lily as she fought her way to retaining the title again this year!” Clifton said Newsweek.

Lily also won last year, and she’s not the only surfer in the family. Lily’s sister, Laila, is also a surf dog, so water sports fun clearly runs – or swims – in the family.

Lily, a dog similar to this photo, won the East Coast Canine Surfing Championship this weekend.
Dan Baciu/Getty

Clifton said the event raised about $15,000 in total. The entry fee was $25 and there were a number of side events including surf lessons for kids and dogs for $10 each and a contest for the best Easter outfit. Parking is also $10 as a fundraiser for the Brevard Humane Society. The event itself was free and there was $500 in prizes for attendees to compete.

“We are grateful to everyone who attended the event and the support we received from Ron Jon’s Surf Shop for sponsoring it, as we raised nearly $15,000 for the homeless animals of our community!” she said Newsweek.

In addition to being the main sponsor of the event, the Ron Jon Surf Shop paid for beach access and patrols, according to Florida todayand other local businesses donated $1,000 to the shelter, Clifton said.

“It was a beautiful sunny day, the crowd was huge, it went really well,” Clifton said. Florida today. “And with all of our wonderful volunteers, we’ll leave the beach cleaner than when we found it.”

The event has been organized since 2013 by the Brevard Humane Society as a fundraiser. The event became the main Easter weekend surf contest during the Cocoa Beach Easter Surf Festival, Florida today said.

Like most events, the Easter Surf Festival was originally intended for humans. But even though the Easter Surf Festival has been going on for 58 years, people have slowly stopped showing up to compete. In 2017, the event was almost canceled due to budgetary constraints.

“Well, it kind of grew, and now it’s just us,” Clifton said. Florida today.

Update (04/18/2022, 11 p.m.): This article has been updated to include commentary from Theresa Clifton.

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