25th annual duck race floats in wild winds
HEAVY winds ruffled few feathers at the 25th Rotary Great Duck Race in Ballina on Sunday, despite conditions being too dangerous for the community duck rescue boat.
About 120 corporate-sponsored plastic yellow ducks took to the Richmond River to compete in a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Ballina in northern NSW.
Club president John Anderson said organisers hoped to raise between $7000 and $10,000 for local charities that last year included the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Ballina Lighthouse Surf Life Saving Club and Hope Haven, a shelter for women impacted by domestic violence.
Corporate sponsors of the duck race donated $50 per duck while other competitors could enter a raffle for smaller ducks for $2.
Ducks were dressed in their finest to resemble their sponsors: Polgyglider won best-dressed with the only duck wearing suitable attire for the windy weather - a paraglider.
One local family law firm placed a wig on its duck while others wore glasses or had to make do with hand-drawn slogans and advertising stickers.
The blustery weather upturned one display table but there were no beaks put out of joint.
Rotary vice-president Michael Jones cheerily announced that "a little gust of wind is not going to upset us".