It just wouldn’t be Easter without a duck race…

By Mal Butler Apr 2, 2024
Josh Stevens with his duck accompanied by Yarmouth’s Mallishag (pic: Denise Cronin)

Josh Stevens grabbed a large pizza of the action at the annual Yarmouth Duck Race on Saturday.

Josh, who owns Wightwood Pizza van in the West Wight, won a double with his duck taking first prize in the Corporate Decorated Duck category and also winning the Business Duck Race.

Second, in the decorated duck category, was Martin Gotrel Jewellery, with PO41 Coffee House third.

Ventnor Enhancement Fund volunteers give the ducks a helpful prod along the way

A total of 1,200 ducks were released on the River Yar in front of hundreds of spectators in the event organised by the Yarmouth Carnival Committee. The money raised will go towards the other events the committee organises in the town throughout the year, including the carnival itself and the annual fireworks display.

Master of Ceremonies was Anthony Davies, while Miles Peckham provided race commentary.

Ventnor Enhancement Fun also held a duck race, raising funds for its charity at Flowersbrook on Saturday. There was a big turnout in wonderful weather with the Crave Ice Cream shop donating vouchers for the winning and losing ducks, and even producing a special Duck Race flavour.

Aspire’s duck race gets underway

Also on Saturday, more than 1,100 ducks were released from a private bridge at Shide, Newport, to raise money for Aspire, Ryde, in the 11th year of the event.

The river was high and running fast, and the ducks took 20 minutes to get to the finish, with the Aspire duck savers doing an amazing job dealing with fallen trees and deep water.

There were plenty of spectators watching the event, and more than £1,200 was raised with the money going towards Aspire who support the community across the Island and their base in Dover Street, Ryde.

Calbourne

On Sunday, it was over to Winkle Street, Calbourne, with another 1,200 ducks being released in front of large crowds along the route.

The race was a quick one this year, due to high water levels following the winter rain. Ten lucky winners received chocolate Easter eggs, with the first prize awarded to Ella White.

Apart from raising much needed funds for the upkeep of the Recreation Centre, it was also a great opportunity for residents, friends, neighbours and visitors to catch up with each other in the spring sunshine.