Porthpean Sailing Club  
67 Years of Racing, 1951-2018

2018 June 2nd Duck Race


When the dark nights of winter are with us and sailing is put on hold, the Wednesday night Social scene at the sailing club comes into it's own. It was on one of those nights that a plan was "hatched" to hold a Duck Race. Paddy (the Commodore) and Tony (Soc.Sec) got together and decided that a Duck Race along the St Austell river in the Pentewan valley would be a good social event. It was agreed that this event should be held in early summer.

Paddy did his research and ordered a large quantity of yellow plastic ducks. Tony then put the word out and started getting "Owners" for the ducks among club members. Duck sales went Quackers, and so it was that on the day 55 contestants were ready to float along the river from the start point to Pentewan, a distance of about a mile. "Egged" on by many of the Owners the ducks began their journey.

This is where nature stepped in and ruffled a few feathers. When Tony had done his recce, the river was fast flowing. However on this occasion and in lovely conditions, the water was mostly calm and only fast flowing over the shallows. The result of this being that many of the ducks got themselves tangled in the reeds at the waters edge. The leading ducks floated down the centre of the river. Pete Barnes had "Volunteered" to be the duck sweeper to gather up any ducks that refused to complete the course. He had a net on a very long bamboo cane to help him with his task. Unfortunately, the river was too wide in many places for him to reach the ducks near the opposite bank so, without hesitation he entered the river still wearing his sandals and trousers to do his work !! What a brave man.

The leading ducks carried on over the rapids and calm spots. Eventually after over an hour there had to be a winner. Tony, in suitable clothing, crocs and swimming shorts was waiting in the water at the finish line at the rear of Pentewan Cycle Hire shop with his large net. Duck number eight was declared the winner. All that remained was to collect the stragglers on the course. Pete and Tony walked in the water up stream collecting ducks, assisted by Jan B and Nick H ( on the footpath ).

Eventually some of the " Owners " gathered at The Ship Inn, Pentewan for a de-brief and a pint. The owner of " Duck 8 " was Sue Hazell who was delighted with her prize of 27.50. Which was half the proceeds of duck sales.

Thank you to all that bought ducks for this social event. Without sponsors the "Ducks" wouldn't have raced and Tony and Pete would not have gone wading in a cold river !!

Some photo's were taken as a record of the event, see below. Write up by Tony