About ten ducks are visible when you look into a bag of 500 of the things. There was a one in fifty chance therefore of seeing my duck (number 444) at the top of the pile. But there it was, proudly lying (upside down) at the top of the bag. So I left it there, reasoning that it’s bound to win if it’s first in the water.
That was end of any logic at the Easton Duck Race 2015. Number 444 went in first on the left bank – and within a couple of minutes it was stuck in twigs on the right bank. The helpful duck-removal-from-the-reeds men in waders gleefully told me it was probably going to arrive last at the winning line at that rate. Pleas to throw it back in further downstream were met with deaf ears!
Predictions are always difficult in a race controlled by the elements of wind and water. A duck in the lead can at any time easily float into a slow moving stretch whilst others get caught in the current and glide gracefully past.
At the end, duck number 779 (trained by Sally Stone) won the £50 first-past-the-line prize with Chow Mezger (duck 184) coming second and a tied third place for Kate Patrick (588) and Jean Wheeler (249). The doubtful honour of coming last went to a very lazy duck, number 557; Charlie Carter clearly needs to put more thought into his duck’s training routine before next year’s race.
135 winners and losers alike enjoyed the excellent barbecue afterwards in the gardens of The Old Rectory, courtesy of Judy Bishop.
Over £2,000 pounds were raised for church funds.