Ducks in training for return of annual races

The 10th anniversary Beccles Duck Race. Picture: Justin Geyser

The 10th anniversary Beccles Duck Race. Picture: Justin Geyser - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of rubber ducks are in training once again for the annual Beccles Duck Race, now in its 11th year.

The popular family event is being staged a month earlier than usual on Saturday, August 1, to allow more hours of daylight for races and entertainment.

The event is being organised by Beccles Rugby Club for the second time, and new for this year will be a raft race along the same stretch of water where the ducks paddle to the finish line.

The raft race will be open to 10 teams with a maximum of six members in each. The teams will be provided with four flotation barrels and will need to come up with their own materials and designs for the raft. Entry will cost £50 per team.

Gareth Hadridge, international ticket secretary for the rugby club, said: “The duck race has always been held in September and on a Sunday but we decided to move it forward so we’ve got a bit more sunlight and can make it more of a day out.

“The whole idea is to give the community something fun to do. It is a lot of hard work but it was really good last year and we want to build on that.”

The event will kick off at noon at Beccles Quay with the raft race at 2pm, the duck races at 4pm and live music into the evening by local band Totally Wrecked.

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There will be races for small ducks, large corporate ducks and remote controlled ducks.

The ducks are expected to go on sale in the next few weeks, and the rugby club will be taking them to nearby schools to encourage youngsters to get involved. And as always, participants are encouraged to decorate their ducks with whacky colours and designs to make them stand out from the crowd.

As with last year, the event will be raising money for the rugby club’s community hub, which provides a place for players to meet before and after matches.

Mr Hadridge said: “We’ve spent a lot of money on the hub getting things done but there is still plenty to do and we are now going into the second phase of the work.”

The day will also include stalls, fairground rides and a bar and corporate tent for local businesses.

Anyone interested in running a stall, taking part in the raft race, or businesses who would like to be involved can contact Mr Hadridge on 07920114269 or email

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