Scotland Island Christmas Eve Dog Race

Every Christmas eve there is a dog race in which the dogs swim from Scotland Island to Church Point. It started out many years ago as a bet between two locals over whose dog could swim the fastest. My dog “Black Sack” won it back in about 1981 when it was a much lower profile event. This year was the biggest ever in terms of both numbers of contestants and numbers of spectators. The entry fee is one long neck bottle of beer and one can of dog food, the fees being divided among the winners of the various divisions. It really is a wonderful social event and a chance to catch up people we may not see very often.


Eager spectators with drinks in hand line the ferry wharf and foreshore before the start

Spectators before the start from another angle


The race underway with owners on surfboards, kayaks, dinghies or swimming coaxing their dogs along.


The finish and the big black dog wins!


Awarding the prizes

Comments

  • Soxy Fleming
    Soxy Flemingabout 5 years ago

    what fun! how far is it and how many dogs took part?

  • It’s about half a kilometre Soxy, and I’m not sure of the numbers but I’d guess more than twenty dogs this year.

    Here is a video from last year

    and an article from a few years back

    – Matt Penfold

  • Ha.. I got the links back to front LOL

    – Matt Penfold

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellabout 5 years ago

    Oh this is going on my list of events to see :)) awesome images of what had to be so much fun x

  • It was fun Lisa, I stayed till well after dark LOL :-)

    – Matt Penfold

  • Rhonda F.  Taylor
    Rhonda F. Taylorabout 5 years ago

    oh wow how novel, I hadnt heard about this event…love it!! great shots

  • Thanks Rhonda, your border collies would love this event :-)
    It has inspired some art too

    – Matt Penfold

  • That image is from local artist Gwyn Perkins :-)

    – Matt Penfold

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneabout 5 years ago

    LOL! What a great event! Loved reading the story from a few years back as well as seeing all your pics and words!

  • Thanks Mel, are you on the road yet? (or still packing)

    – Matt Penfold

  • Mel Brackstone
    Mel Brackstoneabout 5 years ago

    leaving in the morning, Matt, if the roads aren’t flooded!

  • Hey Mel where are you now?

    – Matt Penfold

  • Soaps
    Soapsabout 5 years ago

    So cool. Love it, have to watch next year. Bow Wow Wow!!

  • Hey Sophie, I think I should hold you to that, it’s not that far from your place after all. Woof :-)

    – Matt Penfold

  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryabout 5 years ago

    Very cool event! I bet the dogs enjoy it too. :-)

  • Yep it’s pretty cool and the dogs have a great time, though some people think they don’t. Most dogs seem to love swimming and dogs around here don’t need to be forced to swim, they do it anyway :-)

    – Matt Penfold

  • Rhonda F.  Taylor
    Rhonda F. Taylorabout 5 years ago

    wow love the art work Matt…my borders would love it if i could control them there..minds of their own im afraid but i still adore them..they would probably want to play with the other dogs more than swim..lol

  • Yep Gwyn does some great stuff. The dogs do find it to be a rather social occasion and usually the all get on really well, a few years ago I can remember some dog fights at the end… :-)

    – Matt Penfold

  • Solar Zorra
    Solar Zorraabout 5 years ago

    I just love these little events that over time become popular. Next year they’ll probably have to sell tickets. I’d enter my minpin and he’d probably win just cause he’s a little pansy and afraid of water, Ha! :) Solar

  • Hi Sol Sol, send your little minpin doggy over and I’ll enter him for you ;-) Or else you could start a dog swimming race where you live… it is fun.

    – Matt Penfold

  • flame7
    flame7about 5 years ago

    teehee… this is different!!!!!!! :))) Congrats on your win some years ago!

  • Ha thanks Kel, so good to see you here, keeping a low profile?

    – Matt Penfold