The last of the 1,000 ducks were reluctant to join the others and leap off Narooma Bridge for the great Rotary Australia Day Duck Race, but with some encouragement were soon heading downstream watched by several hundred happy onlookers.
“This year’s race was more a sedate float than the mad race to the finish line we saw last year, the tide having only just turned,” Race Coordinator Charmaine White said. “A Big Duck, recently flown in from China, encouraged from the sidelines.
“We even shortened the course so the race had more chance of finishing in reasonable time, but some ducks retired early into Mill Bay and were consequently disqualified.”
Ms White said the winning duck (124) however showed great pluck.
“It broke early and floated wide from the main group, reducing the wind impact by floating upside down so engaging the ‘winged keel’ to great effect,” she said.
The winning duck 124 was held by Merilyn Blakeman of Leeton who won $1,000. The last duck was 607 held by Michael Madden of Dubbo who won $100.
Ms White and president Rod Walker thanked everyone who made the Duck Race such a fun event – supporters who bought tickets, the hundreds of spectators, duck droppers and duck collectors who came in a flotilla of various craft and included Rotary friends and Eurobodalla paddlers, as well as lifesavers from Narooma Surf Life Saving Club.
Proceeds this year will go towards the Club’s Tertiary Scholarship fund for students from Narooma High.
Donations will also be made to Narooma Surf Club in appreciation of their assistance and to Bermagui CRABS (Cancer Research Advocate Bikers) who lend us the ducks.
The first meeting of Narooma Rotary is on Thursday, February 7 at Narooma Golf Club, 6 for 6.30pm.