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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Ducks stay the course in the great Race

Many enthusiastic onlookers helped launch 1,000 ducks from Narooma Bridge this morning for the great Rotary Australia Day Duck Race.

“Being towards the end of the outgoing tide and with no wind the ducks stayed on course this year resulting in a more orderly race,” said Rotary’s Duck Race Committee member Mike Young. “In last year’s race with a higher tide, some ducks were disqualified when they became stranded behind the training walls.”

Training obviously paid off for the winning duck which stayed focussed and held the centre of the course, gradually outpacing competitors.

First and last placegetters were selected by independent judges.

The ticket for the winning duck 857 was held by another Duck Race Committee member Julie Hartley winning $1,000; she promptly donated it to Rotary’s Tonga Disaster Appeal.

The last duck 267 was held by Clare Giffen, also of Narooma, who won $100.

Narooma Rotary President Andrew Lawson thanked everyone who made the Duck Race such a fun event this year – the supporters who bought tickets, the hundreds of spectators, duck droppers and our amazing duck collectors who came in a flotilla of about 20 kayaks, a tinny, and NSW Maritime and Marine Rescue vessels.

Proceeds this year will mainly go towards the recently formed Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group and Prostate Cancer research, with a donation to Bermagui CRABS (Cancer Research Advocate Bikers) who lend us the ducks each year.

Mr Lawson also ‘rattled’ a bucket for Rotary’s Tonga Disaster Appeal, collecting $216 from onlookers during the morning.

Above: Narooma Rotary Duck supremo Ange Ulrichsen (holding last duck 267), with President Andrew Lawson, and Rotary’s Racing Committee members Julie Hartley (holding winning duck 857) and Mike Young.

Above: Picking up the ducks this year was made easier by the large number of people who turned up to assist in kayaks, NSW Maritime (who sounded the horn for the official start) and Marine Rescue vessels. The larger vessels also acted as ‘mother ships’ allowing kayakers to lighten their load without having to paddle back to the boat ramp.

Above: Duck launchers were socially distanced across Narooma Bridge for the start of the Duck Race.

Above: Martin and Renate Cooper with deckies unload their haul of ducks back at the jetty.

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