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Ducking and diving to victory in annual Thatcham duck race

Hundreds of plastic yellow ducks launched into the water to raise money for good causes

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Ducking and diving to victory in annual Rotary charity race

THE Great Thatcham Duck Race made a splash when it returned on Sunday. 

Families headed to The Rowbarge pub, Woolhampton, to witness the spectacle and watch hundreds of plastic ducks sail down the canal.

The first duck to cross the line was ‘sponsored’ by Yvonne Wilkins, who won £200.

‘Chewy’ claimed £100 for second place, while Hannah Kelly won £50 after her duck crossed the line in third.

The event, organised by Thatcham Rotary Club, raises thousands of pounds for local and international charities.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News on the day, Rotarian Bob Champion said: “It’s been a great success.

“We have been pleased with the weather and the turnout has been very good. 

“We just need to count up the money.

“Thanks to all my Rotary colleagues for all their hard work today.”

He added: “I was a bit worried that about 10 per cent of the ducks seemed to find it very difficult to swim downstream, maybe they ate too many potatoes last night. 

“I think it’s been a good clean race.” 

Mr Champion thanked The Rowbarge for allowing the club to hold the event in the pub grounds and Newbury Canoe Club for collecting any lost ducks. 

Just as well, as the event came under some criticism on social media for its use of plastic fowl. 

Responding to the NWN’s video of the event on Twitter, Wallis Lavery said: “So irresponsible! Let’s hope if they weren’t recovered they were made of a different material.”

Annie Groom said: “Fantastic that they are collected, but maybe it’s an idea to think of an alternative idea for next year which doesn’t encourage the mass production of plastics.

“Lead the way by looking at a more biodegradable solution which still allows the fun! #reduceplasticwaste.”

Thatcham Rotary now starts planning its next event – The Great Thatcham Santa Fun Run – in December.

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