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 DuckDensity.org.uk 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. If you have any experiences of organising and running a duck race please discuss them in our forum.
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.
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. Netfysh have a set of 50 plastic ducks for racing available for £28. (Search for "Duck Race")
Netfysh also have a huge plastic duck for sale on their website. Here at DuckDensity we think it would be quite amusing to drop one into one of the heats.
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.