Aug Great Ovefton Duck Race banner

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OvertonDuckRace_9 (Read-Only) man releasing bucket of ducks

Watching rubber rucks floating down a lovely, calm river — a fine form .of safe excitement indeed.

This will be the eleventh year it will be happening on Late Summer Bank Holiday Monday on the River Test in Overton, Hampshire.

The event accommodates both spectators as well as avid rubber duck owners. Spectators place bets, £1 per duck, on the 150 ducks will be racing eight times down a 60 yard stretch of the river.

Duck owners can enter their own ducks — their ‘bathtime buddies’ — in the ‘Race Your Own Duck’. The fastest duck wins £50. The wide variety sizes of ducks produces varying results depending on the weather: a low breeze day favours bigger ducks, high cross winds and slow water favours the little guys.

Some duck races in the UK as well as around the world are grandiose, hundred of thousands of ducks with large sums wagered. A Guinness World Record was awarded for the Great British Duck Race that too place on 6 September 2009. Two hundered thousand ducks raced down a one kilometre stretch of the River Thames. The Great British Duck Race is now defunct.

By contrast, Overton’s race is a community get together. In addition to the duck racing, there will be tombola, face painting, craft stalls, BBQ, bar, ice creams.

The race began in 2005 to be a one-off event to raise funds for the local community centre, St Mary’s Hall. Various types of events were considered for this — skittles nights, but a stroll by the river triggered the idea of a duck race. It did not take place the following year. It was greatly missed. It started up again in 2007.

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Duck sales stall Saturday mornings in Community Centre Square

Video from 2009’s racing:

duck race basingstoke gazette kid on big duck