Two of the questions that we get asked most often before our Annual Duck Race at Westgate Gardens are (1) are they real ducks? and (2) do our ducks ever go off down the river and out into the sea?
Well, really good questions.
The answer to the first question is no! (See picture.)
Although there ARE a few real ducks that swim in the river at Westgate Gardens, they don't take part in our race (though sometimes they do look on in bemusement).
In answer to the second question: we try to make sure none of our ducks go missing. During the race we usually have one or two steerers in the water to keep the ducks on course, and at the end of the race a team in waders and wet suits collects all the ducks together, ready to be counted back in in readiness for the next race.
We've been preparing for this year's race for a while, and yesterday our ducks were counted out by a team of Rotarians led by Rotarian Raj Dasan: Tony Loughran, Mike Leadbetter, Martin Ward, John Hill and Alan Mepstead. It's quite a big job as there are literally thousands to count out.
As regular readers will know, we've already had duck stalls out in Whitefriars at which ducks can be sponsored. We have two more dates this year:
- Wednesday 15th September 2021: Sponsorship stall at Whitefriars, Canterbury
- Saturday 18th September 2021: Sponsorship stall at Whitefriars, Canterbury
There will also be a limited number of ducks available for sponsorship on the day of the race from 11am. Get there early to avoid disappointment!
Hope you all have put the date of the race in your diaries - Sunday 19th September, race starts at 1pm.
Picture: Our little ducks. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury.