DEL MAR, CA: September 14, 2009: Ricochet (“Rip Curl Ricki”), the Surfin’ for Paws-abilities surf dog took second place overall at the 4th annual Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon held in Del Mar, California on September 13, 2009. The event raises money for homeless animals at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Ricochet accomplished this feat with the assistance of surfers Brad Savall, and Robbie Nelson. Also helping in the water were her team members from both the San Diego Dog Surfing Association (SDDSA), and the Golden SurFURS.
There were about 100 dogs competing in the contest, including small, medium, large, and extra large categories. Two heats of each category surfed it out in a battle to get the top spot in their heat which took them to the finals. Ricochet came in 1st place in the large dog category, second heat, which qualified her, along with seven other dogs, including SDDSA teammates Callie, Dozer, Kalani, and Nani.
The final competition was fast and furious as the dogs and handlers rushed to get in as many waves as they could in a 20 minute time frame. Dogs were scored on the length of the ride, size of the wave, and other tricks on the board, such as turning around or riding backwards. Ricochet and Buddy, a Jack Russell terrier from Newport Beach rode one of the last waves of the heat with their boards pretty much touching the whole way… it was looking like a race to the finish! But, Buddy prevailed and took first place, with Ricochet in second, and Dozer, a SDDSA bulldog from San Diego taking third.
Ricochet, is an up and coming dog surfer, at the age of 1½ years. Although she began her surfing lessons on a boogie board in a kiddie pool when she was 8 weeks old by trainer/owner, Judy Fridono, she has only ventured into larger waves of the ocean this past June. A couple weeks later she was invited to the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Competition where she won 3rd place in the large dog category. Most recently, Ricochet completed the first known tandem surf session with 15 year old, Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic adaptive surfer.
Next up for Ricochet is the Surf City Surf Dog Contest in Huntington Beach on October 11th where she’ll be competing in the large dog category, as well as doing a tandem surf demonstration with Patrick. Ricochet teamed up with the Surf City Surf Dog organizers, and Patrick is now an official beneficiary of the event. She is leading the fundraising campaign for Patrick through her “Surfin’ for Paws-abilities” program which will help fund his physical therapy/rehabilitation, and new service dog. See you at the Surf City Surf Dog!