Petey, a Westie in the extra small group, won the prize of top dog in the 2021 Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon. Photo by Chris Stone

Petey, a Westie in the extra-small category, surfed his way past larger pooches to earn top dog prize in the 2021 Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon Sunday.

A first-time entrant in the 16th annual canine contest, Petey glided past several veterans at Del Mar Dog Beach.

See more photos below

About 40 dogs of all sizes hung twenty in 10-minute heats in the annual fundraiser, which also to raises awareness for orphan pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center.

The dogs were judged on the length of their ride, wave technique, enthusiasm and confidence on the board. First-, second- and third-place prizes were awarded in each weight class — medals and handcrafted wooden surfboard trophies.

On the cloudless morning, owners and volunteers took the dogs out to the waves and placed them on surfboards while others helped retrieve the dogs after each try. Hundreds of onlookers came to cheer, laugh and moan (when dogs wiped out).

Dogs in the Best of Surf final heat were Petey; Giselle a Rhodesian Ridgeback; Rothstein, a bulldog; Derby, a Goldendoodle; and Teddy, a Labradoodle.

Last year’s Surf-a-thon was a virtual event with contestants from all over the world.

Donations to the Helen Woodward Animal Center can be made here.

Giselle, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, rides in the Surf-a-thon. Photo by Chris Stone
James Wall shows his affection for Faith, an American pit bull terrier. Photo by Chris Stone
Hundreds gather at Del Mar Dog Beach to watch the furry surfers. Photo by Chris Stone
Faith, an American pit bull terrier, and her owner, James Wall, share a quiet moment. Photo by Chris Stone
Homer Henard rides with Skyler, a red heeler in the freestyle heat. Photo by Chris Stone
Homer Henard leaps off board after riding with Skyler, a red heeler. Photo by Chris Stone
Teddy, who has been a goodwill ambassador for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, has fun in the sun. Photo by Chris Stone
Derby, a Goldendoodle, plays fetch after the surfing heat in Del Mar. Photo by Chris Stone
Kai, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, hangs 10 with a handler. Photo by Chris Stone
Derby the Goldendoodle sports a tuxedo at the Surf-a-thon. Photo by Chris Stone
Medium-sized dogs sprint for the surf at the Surf-a-thon in Del Mar. Photo by Chris Stone
A trio of related Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Bugle the Beagle share a wave. Photo by Chris Stone
Dogs dressed as a ship captain and first mate join the freestyle heat. Photo by Chris Stone
Hundreds of spectators perch on cliffs and line the competition area in Del Mar. Photo by Chris Stone
A dog owner displays his love of canine surfing. Photo by Chris Stone
Teddy, a Labradoodle, returns to the beach with a gift from the sea. Photo by Chris Stone
Rothstein the bulldog (left) and Giselle, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, share a wave. Photo by Chris Stone
A rescue dog models a unicorn Halloween costume at the Surf Dog Surf-a-thon. Photo by Chris Stone
Guinness, a bulldog, shakes off saltwater in Del Mar. Photo by Chris Stone
Derby the Goldendoodle shakes off sea water at the end of a heat. Photo by Chris Stone
Derby the Goldendoodle plays on the beach in his tuxedo at the Surf Dog Surf-a-thon. Photo by Chris Stone
Results were posted at the event. Photo by Chris Stone
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