2014 Duck Race

start of the duck race

The 15th Wimborne in Bloom August Bank Holiday Weekend Duck Race has raised over £1,500 towards 'In Bloom' funds and in particular the Autumn planting.

The Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress Councillor Shane and Mrs Tracy Bartlett along with members of the Wimborne in Bloom Committee launched the Ducks into the River Allen by the Riverside Mews Café Bridge on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd August. A fairly leisurely race to the finishing line at the Rising Sun Car Park saw the first ducks home in around twenty minutes but it was well over half an hour before the last duck completed the course!

This year to meet the demand for tickets some of the ducks were 'co-owned' as it would have been impractical to increase beyond a thousand the number of ducks launched into the river. It meant that the prize money could be doubled as both owners would be eligible for the full value of all prizes. In the event only three winning ducks were 'co-owned' and the full list of results is as follows: 1st £50 Duck No 575, Anne Norman: 2nd £25 Duck No.877 Clare Fallon: 3rd co-0wned £10 each Val Cooper and Canford Drains: 4th £5 Duck No 951 Norma Aitchison: 5th and 6th both co-owned £5 each Duck No 92 Alison Powell and Linda Brazier and Duck No.186 Jack Evenden and Anna Pazos. Last Duck Home No 775 Chris Gate won a bottle of wine.

All ducks had been pre-sold at £1 a time thanks to the Waitrose and Co-Operative Supermarkets allowing members of Wimborne in Bloom a selling point at the entrance to their stores prior to the Race.

bemused ducks and swan

"In the light of the recent publicity regarding a fungal disease known as 'crayfish plague' threatening the white-clawed crayfish in the River Allen we sought advice from Dorset Wildlife Trust about running the Duck Race", said Richard Nunn, Chairman of Wimborne in Bloom. "In turn DWT conferred with the Environment Agency and between them agreed that the duck race could go ahead providing we followed their guidelines. These included remaining vigilant and observing biosecurity procedures such as ensuring that any equipment including shoes/boots were clean and dry before entering the river and cleaned off afterwards".

plastic duck flotilla

Richard Nunn speaking after the Race "thanked everyone who helped with the selling of tickets and all those who purchased 'Ducks' in support of Wimborne in Bloom. He was particularly pleased to see such a large crowd of 'duck owners' who followed their ducks down the river from the safety of the footpath. In addition to thanking the Waitrose and Co-Operative Supermarkets, he also expressed thanks to Minster Press for the use of the Bridge from which to launch the ducks and the Rising Sun for the finishing line and the use of their garden".