Published January 7, 2021 at 9:47
A popular event in the Whitworth calendar, the ducks took to the water at the overflow of Cowm Reservoir on Tong End in driving wind and rain. This year due to social distancing the race took on a virtual twist with the race taking place in secret, filmed and then streamed at 1pm New Years Day. In total 1,888 ducks were sponsored raising vital funds for community events in Whitworth and residents could sit at home and watch in their pyjamas rather than braving the walk up to the res for a change.
The ducks were launched by Whitworth Councillor David Chorlton, Chair of the Tourism and Leisure Committee, with support from committee members Councillor Stella Troughton and Alie Salford. The sponsor of the first duck (240) over the line was Alison Bentley who won £100, with second place (214) being taken by Amelia Mayoh with a prize of £75 and third prize (702) of £50 issued to Ian Ray. The last duck (1611) to waddle in was sponsored by Lisa McDowell who was awarded a tenner. This year, there was a comedy moment where a duck escaped at the finish line and had to be chased and caught. This plucky duck (880) sponsored by Elizabeth Wadsworth was awarded a £10 spot prize for the pure entertainment value! The race is available to view using this link https://vimeo.com/496076256
The Duck Race is organised jointly between Whitworth Town Council’s Tourism and Leisure Committee and CLAW (the Community Leisure Association of Whitworth), and all proceeds are ploughed back into tourism and leisure events for the town organised by the two organisations. This year the duck race raised over a thousand pounds to be split between the two organisations and used for the Whitworth community. For those unfamiliar with the concept, numbered ducks sponsored for a pound are entered into the Duck Race, and those who have sponsored the numbers of the first three ducks (and the last one) over the line get a cash prize.
Councillor Chorlton said: “The duck race is always a fantastic event and usually one that blows away the hangovers from the previous evening’s celebrations. This year was different but fun nonetheless. Thanks to the volunteers who masked up and helped on the day and to all who sponsored a duck as this really helps us to continue running events and improving tourism in the community.”