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?
February 5, 2019