The Island Dog Race is an annual event which takes place on Christmas Eve. For our first time at this event, the afternoon was gloriously sunny and warm and the water was glistening. The Point was crowded with hundreds of spectators - all in very frivolous festive form.
Sixty or more dogs and their owners were taken over to the island in 2 barges. When the starting horn went off they swam eagerly - owners beside them in the water or on it, in kayaks or on surfboards - towards the Point, and the cheering crowd. The race lasted about 10 minutes and was won by Cooper (a black labrador) for the 5th consecutive year.
Noah (a big dog fan) was right amongst the action, down on the beach amongst dogs, boards and dog-owners, close to the finishing line. The highlight of the evening for me was the "barging" of the dogs, right through the crowd, at the conclusion of the race. Of course the dogs were soaked and sandy by then, bursting through the crowd from the beach with no regard for fine shoes or party skirts, babies in capsules or toddlers who were in the way of the classic dog shake.
What an evening of treats... commuter boats moored together off the point for a little party at dusk with new friends and neighbours; Bubble-o-Bill ice-creams for the kids (definitely not allowed any other day!) along with the joy of being allowed to jump from boat to boat.
From now on our family tradition of decorating our Christmas tree together on Christmas Eve has been brought forward a day, to make way for the new tradition of the Island Dog Race. We can't wait to do it again next year.