The 14th Annual Duck Race organised each year by the Rotary Club of Canterbury took place at the end of June in the Westgate Gardens, Canterbury. Weather conditions were perfect for the occasion with a slight following breeze and plenty of sunshine.
Rotarians and members of the local life-saving teams were on hand to help the participants (!) and to ensure that no spectators became too enthusiastic and fell in to the water!
Many hopes were dashed on the way, as early winners foundered on the beds of river weed or got caught up in the overhang of the river banks. The route posed a bit of a challenge to some of the “participants” who had also to negotiate their way around ducks of the local “we were here first” variety and even a river punt, but eventually a clear winner emerged.
|A lot of the fun of the day was in watching the very smoothly-run operation of herding up the stragglers and those who had “retired” to the river banks as well as in scooping up all those who had eventually made it to the finishing line. It was evident that many a Canterbury Rotarian simply enjoyed messing about ‘in’ the river!|
|There were two categories of racers – those sponsored by individuals at a cost of £1 and corporate ducks sponsored by local businesses @ £25. The eventual winning duck was sponsored by Barry Rice, who won £250, and the corporate race was won by Tony Pratt of the Canterbury Auction Galleries who was rewarded with six bottles of Champagne.
The event raised nearly £6,000 for the Rotary Club, funds which will be distributed to charities selected by the Club in the coming year.... and as for the ducks, they retire to their “hibernation” until 2013.