If it quacks it must be the ducks

Abby Mobberley and Victoria Geck, both 10, with Room 7 and teacher Brendon Oats. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

It’s a precursor to the 2018 duck shooting season. But be reassured - no mallards, shovelers or paradise ducks will be harmed in the running of this event.

It’s the great Rotary Tauranga Te Papa Duck Race, to be held on The Strand waterfront on Sunday, April 15, starting at 10:30am.

It’s a fundraiser for the Omanu, Papamoa and Mount Maunganui surf lifesaving clubs, and the ducks are unlikely to escape or create an environmental hazard because the surf club’s IRBs and Coastguard will be on hand to corral them.

The races have become a hugely popular charity spectator sport around the country, and the ducks competing in Tauranga have already raced in Auckland and Dunedin.

There will be three races over 200 metres on an outgoing tide on the waterfront. First up is the corporate event, where companies can buy one of 100 ducks for $200 plus GST.

There are no rules in this race. Ducks can be dressed in company livery and assisted by sails, foils or whatever.

In the general race, there are 5000 smaller ducks. Each has a number and people can buy a number and a duck for $5. The ducks are dumped into the harbour from an elevated container and the tide and the wind does the rest. First prize is a $1000, second prize is $500 and third prize is $250.

The third event is the Zachary Quack Schools Duck race. Schools can paint or dress the duck in their school colours with a chance to win $1000 worth of sports equipment.

And local Hits radio jock Will Johnson will compere what is billed as a fun family event. “It’s heaps of fun and there are heaps of friendly rivalries,” says Rotary organiser Sam Shergold. “It’s a great day and a chance to support a great cause.”

Tickets are available online at: www.eventspronto.co.nz/duck18

They’re also available at Ray White offices, at the three surf clubs or over the phone via Sam on: 027 829 0474.