Phillip the "Duck Whisperer" is ducking out of Great Race
BEING the Duck Whisperer is hard when the duck is plastic but three-times Great Duck Race winner Phillip Lewien has revealed his secret - he threatens the duck.
Last year, they were calling Phillip Lewien the Duck Whisperer after he took out the corporate section of Ballina's Great Duck race for the second year running.
Now that he has won the event three years in a row, there's talk of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) being called in to investigate.
"If you want to know the secret of how I won, I'll tell you," Mr Lewien said.
"I just threatened that he'd end up wallowing in coriander and lime juice in a Thai salad if he didn't."
More than 2500 ducks took part in the 22nd annual duck race that raised more than $10,000 for the Ballina Rotary Club.
The ducks float about 200m along the Richmond River off Fawcett Park, with about 120 taking part in the prestigious corporate section.
Mr Lewien, from Phillip Johns Hairdressing, hasn't actually been at the event when his duck, Ping, has crossed the line first.
"I'm usually playing golf. But now everybody knows me as 'the duck guy' and starts quacking when I walk past."
Phillip Johns Hairdressing has been told that, after three wins in a row, it will no longer be able to participate in the charity duck race.
But Mr Lewien is happy to go out on top, putting Ping's three wins up there with Makybe Diva's Melbourne Cup wins in 2003-2005.
"It's the triple crown," he said.
The trophy, and possibly Ping, will now take their place at the Shaw's Bay Hotel.