Dogs Prepare for Paddleboard Competition in Brazil

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Barra Beach in Rio de Janeiro was overrun with dogs and their owners on Thursday as they practiced for the upcoming doggie paddleboard competition, the Associated Press reported.

The second annual contest will take place next month on Feb. 16, when pairs of humans and their dogs race around buoys on stand-up paddleboards. A duo will be eliminated if the dog falls into the water.

As many as 50 teams are expected to compete in the event, which is open to all dogs and their owners. The race has grown rapidly since its initial conception.

"The idea started when I was on my board, and my dog was tied up on the beach. I said to myself, 'Man, he wants to come to the water!' so I put him on the board and he loved it," said Marco Sarnelli, the event's organizer.

This popular sport has gained a following in California as well. The competitions serve as fundraisers for local shelters. The appeal for many is in the simplicity of the activity.

"You don't have to be an athlete to do it ... any dog can do it," said Iracema Braun, a stand-up paddleboard instructor.

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