Rain didn’t stop play at Middle Rasen duck race event

Waiting on Parry's Bridge for the start of the 2017 duck race EMN-170201-184350001
Waiting on Parry's Bridge for the start of the 2017 duck race EMN-170201-184350001

A record-breaking 1,400 ducks were launched at this year’s New Year’s Day duck race in Middle Rasen.

Despite the weather, the start and finish were crowded with people all looking to get a quacking good start to 2017.

Ziva Chiltern holding the winning duck with President Alan Pennell. EMN-170201-185200001

Ziva Chiltern holding the winning duck with President Alan Pennell. EMN-170201-185200001

The event is organised by Middle Rasen Cricket and Football Club, with money raised going to the costs to field the sports teams.

Organisers held 60 ducks back for people to buy at the start, but they were soon gone and, unfortunately, one or two regular “duck” customers were disappointed.

With the light rain, the Rase was running slightly faster than last year, but still navigable for ducks and safe for the duck catchers scooping them from the river at the end.

Three ducks clearly led the pack at the start and under the first bridge, but it was not obvious at that stage which ducks they were. Eyes strained to see, but each has a tiny numbered collar for identification purposes and, baring some pretty sophisticated viewing equipment, there is little hope of knowing which duck is where, until they arrive at the finish and are plucked from the water.

Sophie Norton and Jessica Bewley with Alan Pennell and Sarah Wilds holding Oliver Nash. EMN-170201-185143001

Sophie Norton and Jessica Bewley with Alan Pennell and Sarah Wilds holding Oliver Nash. EMN-170201-185143001

Ducks were followed from the river bank for around 300 – 400 metres, until they went out of sight behind the houses adjacent to the river on Dovecote.

This year, the first ducks appeared at the finish and passed under the bridge by 12.30pm, but it was another 30 minutes before the last three ducks, who also carried prizes, were collected at the finish.

The first prize of £100 went to duck number 1014, Is it Alive?, owned by Steve Campion from West Barkwith.

In second place was duck 731, Forest, which won its owner Dave Wilds £50 and in third, £25, was duck 862, Karen, owned by Dave Boyles from Osgodby.

The first ducks swimming towards the finish EMN-170201-185126001

The first ducks swimming towards the finish EMN-170201-185126001

The last three ducks each won £10 for their owners.

They were: 1277, Connor, owned by Alison Sellars; 1069, Sonny, owned by Marty Calvey and 1231, Grace, owned by Peter Appleyard.

Later, at the Nags Head, duck numbers were drawn for the remaining prizes, either boxes of biscuits, confectionary, wine or non alcoholic beverage. The last three prizes were again minor cash prizes, this time £10, £10 and £5.

Draw winners were: 362, Steve Cartwright with his duck Spanner; 710 Jenny Turner with A duck; 1290, Mrs Creasey with Peggy; 1044, Jude Johnson with Maisy; 609, Chris Higgins’s unnamed duck; 203, Liam Entwhistle with another unnamed duck; 203, Leigh Dearden with Paul; 896, Wendy Folgate with Andy; 1081, Lindsay Willoughby with Joyce; 559 was Janet Westwood’s duck Buster Lou; 902, N.Seaton’s Red Duck and last of the non cash prizes went to 899, another duck owned by Wendy Folgate , this time called Daisy

Jude Johnson (right) with her box of chocolates. EMN-170201-185214001

Jude Johnson (right) with her box of chocolates. EMN-170201-185214001

The three additional cash prizes went to 1336, Tom Weeks duck Ozil; 724 Eli Williams duck Australia and 1104 Carol Sellars Shep.

Middle Rasen Cricket and Association FC say thank you to everyone for their support over the years and enabling the village to be represented in sport across the county of Lincolnshire.