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Duck Races

Duck races, where a ridiculously high density of plastic ducks are raced down a river, are often organised to raise money for charity.

Here at we have never organised a duck race ourselves, but we have attended one or two. Here we hope to explain some of the ideas we have gathered.

Organising a duck race

Firstly you need to find a suitable stretch of water on which to race your ducks, bearing in mind it needs to have good views by your punters and spectators. The water needs to be blocked by some wooden boards, or a net to stop the ducks escaping at the end of the race, so it is useful to have the end at a narrower rather than wider point in the water. Another thing to consider is how easily the ducks will get entangled with the bank, you may need to have people in the water to release them if they get stuck.

Depending on how many ducks participants you have, it might be necessary to have heats, initially just racing a fraction of the ducks, and then having a final. At Oxspring in South Yorkshire they race 250 ducks in each heat, and then race the top 25 from each heat in the final. They hand out prizes to the first three from each heat as well as the final prizes.

In Holmfirth the ducks are suspended above the river in a large box, and then dropped in one go from a height.

Ducks for Duck Races

Unfortantley we do not have any experience of purchasing ducks for racing, however a look around the web has revealed a source of racing ducks in the UK. Just Ducks have a page dedicated to weighted racing ducks. Small 8cm long ducks are available in a variety of colours, with larger 12cm and 15cm variants only in yellow.

If you purchase these or any other plastic ducks please let us know how you get on with them. That way we can update the site and help others wishing to organise a duck race.

Duck Race Reviews

Below are a reviews of a few duck races. If you have recently organised or visited a duck race and wish to write a review please e-mail it to as at along with any photos you have.

Top 5 universities

UniversityDuck Density
East Anglia2.8

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