Swim for it — Four&Sons
Community, Photography

Swim for it

Meet the Sydney seafaring locals racing alongside their salty canines on Christmas Eve.


Swim for it

On Christmas Eve of 1974, two ferry captains operating on Pittwater—a bay just to the north of Sydney—argued over the mechanical prowess of their respective vessels. A tussle that was eventually solved by the most obvious of means—a race. But instead of pitting rusty boats against one another, captain Dave Baume and Lawrie Duff would instead test the swimming ability of themselves and their dogs Connie and Diesel (respectively) across a stretch of sea between Bells Wharf, Scotland Island and the mainland. At stake were two bottles of beer and two cans of dog food. Winner takes all.

Continuing the tradition of shipwright culture in what is now an exclusive part of greater Sydney’s coastline, The Scotland Island Dog Race has run every Christmas Eve since with a growing contingent of seafaring locals racing along side their salty canines for line honours and what has now become a mountainous pile of craft beer and chum each year. But despite the growing numbers and an array of modern surf-craft now involved, amongst the glam of the Northern Beaches The Scotland Island Dog Race continues to bring the silly season cheer to our closest canine mates.

All images courtesy of Sam Edmonds



A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.

None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?


Harrison Ford has taken on a role that was portrayed in the past by Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, and Rutger Hauer before him: the character John Thornton in the latest cinematic adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel The Call of the Wild. John Thornton becomes a human companion to Buck, the big St Bernard-Scotch collie mix who’s the heart of the story. The two meet in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, and head off on an adventure into the great unknown together. Interestingly, Buck was portrayed using motion capture by Terry Notary, who you might recognise from that dinner scene in 2017’s Palme d’Or winning film The Square. Watch The Call of the Wild on Google Play, iTunes, and more.

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