Posted 2 months ago
Nearly 1,000 spectators gathered on a Dorset beach yesterday (Sunday) to watch Dogmasters – the UK’s only dog surfing and paddleboarding championships.
The event, held at Branksome Dene Chine Beach in Poole, allows dogs of all breeds to go head to head in heats throughout the day. Labradors, Jack Russell Terriers and Spaniels made up some of the competitors riding the waves this year.
Since Dogmasters didn’t go ahead in July 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions, the team behind it were grateful to get the go-ahead this year.
Event organiser Mark Reeves of Shaka Surf, who runs a stand up paddleboard (SUP) and surf school and shop in Bournemouth, said: “It has been a long wait, so we’re pleased we could finally see this event come to realisation. After such a tough year for everyone, we were excited to put on a really fun day where dog owners and dog lovers can come together to race, have a laugh and just have some fun in the water.”
Reigning champions Bear the Beagle and owner James won the Dogmasters trophy. The pair have been taking part since the event started. In the final, James and Bear came up against CJ and his Jack Russell, Chuck Norris.
James said: “I’ve been taking part since the competition started three years ago. I just love being outdoors and being with the dog. I go paddleboarding a lot and I don’t like to leave him at home, so if he can come out with us then it makes it even more fun.
“It’s been stiff competition this year. I came second in the last round, but I’m so chuffed to win overall.”
Red Paddle Co, the international paddleboard brand, was the lead sponsor for the day with all participants using inflatable Red boards. They are designed for maximum stability and movement in the water. Even sharp-clawed dogs can compete using the durable boards.
The dogs can also be seen wearing Red paddleboarding dog buoyancy aids with handles which help their owners pick them up and put them on the board.
Charlie Green, head of marketing for Red Paddle Co, said: “Paddleboarding with your dog is becoming increasingly popular as a way of sharing a love of the water, exercise and adventure. It has been fantastic to see all competitors race on Red Paddle Co boards which offer a perfect and stable platform for the dogs and their owners.”
The day seemed like lots of fun for all with a variety of activities organised throughout, including some live music for spectators and participants to enjoy.
Mike Sunderland, local resident and paddleboard enthusiast, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people gathering together to enjoy paddleboarding today. This is our local beach, and I came down for a fun family day out and to support the local surf school.
“I’m often out on the water and I own a Red Paddle Co board, so it was great to see so many Red boards being used for such a fun community-led event.”
Northern Bloc, an urban ice cream brand, made an appearance with the world’s first-ever paddleboard ice cream parlour. Crowds paddled and swam out to the Paddle up Parlour on the giant Red Paddle Co paddleboard and enjoyed free vegan ice cream.
One of the judges was Coast and One Show presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff who brought her dog Nanuk along with her. She called her experience “a wonderful day.”