Duck and run: Anthony Cal lifts the gate on the start of the 2020 Shelford Duck Race. Photos: ALISTAIR FINLAY

Hussle and flow at this year’s Duck Race

February 28, 2020 BY

YOU had to shake a tail feather or you would have missed the 2020 Shelford Duck Race, with the competitors hurtling down the Leigh River at speed.

OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it was more like meandered, but still, at about 15 minutes of racing, the 1000 rubber ducks made good time to the finish.

President of the Shelford Duck Race, Rebecca Jenkinson, with this year’s best in flow.

But it wasn’t just the race that caused thousands of people to flock to the event, there were rides, markets stalls, live music and a show’n’shine.

President of the organising committee, Rebecca Jenkinson, said the Shelford Duck Race was all about supporting local causes through fun.

“It’s our 10th year and each year it’s get bigger and better,” she said. “There’s three groups that benefit: Shelford Primary School, the cricket club and the Progress Association. All money raised goes back into those three groups.

“We really appreciate the help from the Lions Club, our sponsors and stall holders that return every year.”

The race got underway just a little ahead of start time as the competitors, backed by a decent river flow, seemed eager to jump with a couple of early escapees.

That caused the official starters to open the flood gates and the 1000 eager yellow and blue plastic quackers began their journey down the river.

With prizes for the first six across the line competition was fierce and in the end it was a near photo for first and second.

“We’re had more water running this year than previous races,” Ms Jenkinson said.

When it came to the top of the bill, the race itself, at $10 a duck and 1000 ducks, that’s money that will be returned to the community.

It was a photo finish as first and second sprint to the line.

A decade ago, when significant flooding raised the river level well above the current steep 15-meter banks water was sent across the cricket field and into homes and Shelford Primary School.

Supporting the community back then was the catalyst for the Duck Race and with that flood now a memory, principal Travis Faulkhead said the funds raised at this year’s event would be spent directly on the school’s 10 pupils.

“It means a lot to the school. A day like today is fantastic,” he said. “What we make here we put into a resource kitty and work with the kids and have a student voice to see what they want to spend the money on.

“We’re looking at updating a lot of our technology stuff, maybe some 3D printers for the kids. Really, we just look at what they want, the science and ITC, type of hands on things that they want.”