The 15th Annual Duck Race organised each year by the Rotary Club of Canterbury took place on Saturday 13th July in the Westgate Gardens, Canterbury. Weather conditions were perfect for the occasion with a slight following breeze and plenty of sunshine.
photos by Jenny Anderson
|the ducks dive in||the race is on||further downstream|
|setting up the nets||the winning duck||now for the rest|
|got most of them!||lifesaver Doyle||Presidential group|
Rotarians had been busy over the previous weeks taking every possible opportunity in the Centre of Canterbury and in local supermarkets to find sponsors for the ducks - so that on the day, 3,750 bright yellow ducks were thrown in to the swift-flowing waters of the River Stour from the bridge at Toddlers Cove. A sight to be seen – as each duck fought against the currents and the weeds to get to the front along the quarter-mile stretch.
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 won £250 for its lucky sponsor, and the corporate duck won its sponsor 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 2014.