WINNER: John Anderssen and Bruce Bevan with the champion duck.
WINNER: John Anderssen and Bruce Bevan with the champion duck. Ross Kendall

Flashback to Australia II as duck with keel wins Rotary race

MORE than 2650 rubber duckies competed in Ballina Rotary Club's 22nd annual Great Duck Race leading to a record fund rasing of more than $10,000 for charity

"We have been well supported by the general public and local businesses," Rotary's duck co-ordinator John Anderssen said.

The race involves launching the ducks, which are bought by the public of have corporate sponsors, into the Richmond River just off Fawcett Park. The first to float roughly 200 metres down river is the winner.

Prizes are also awarded for the best-dressed ducks.

"The crowd was still stunned by the prowess of Philip John's Hairdressing's duck that won first place in the corporate event for the third year in a row," Mr Anderssen said.

"The duck's secret could well be its keel, that reminds people of Ben Lexcen's famous winged-keel."

The event also included display and equipment demonstrations from several emergency services groups that received financial support from the local Rotary Club.

"Each year we try and do something different to keep things interesting," Mr Anderssen said.

Ballina Surf Club had an IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) on display to help support Rotary's efforts, Ballina Surf Club representative Karen Perris said.

"People like to have a look at the IRBs and see what equipment they carry," she said.

Members of Rotaract, the youth organisation of Rotary for people aged 18-30, manned a free barbeque. "We are relatively new in the region and are down here today to help out," Rotaract president Emma Tiatia said.

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