No ‘ducking’ around with duck races

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by Erin Floro

This past weekend I attended the Third Annual Daffy Derby Duck Race. Never hearing of this, it’s actually what it sounds like. You literally race a duck – a real-life duck.

The yearly get-together raises money for the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department. Once I was invited, I knew it was going to be spec-quack-ular event.

There were around 70 ducks taking part in this year’s competition. We picked one out of the trailer and named him “Ducktor Thunder.” Tailgating and duck bonding started at 10 a.m..

Other teams seemed to be a bit more intense in preparing for the event- some ducks were on leashes. I grabbed my beer, and our bird, and hit the course. My friend Kaitlyn and I would be the official racers for our team.

The first round was a blowout; we looked like professionals, if there is such a thing. We couldn’t get too arrogant for winning the first match by a mile, however the next time around was going to be a bit more hardcore.

Quarterfinals were too close for comfort. Kaitlyn and I wished Ducktor luck and screamed and clapped behind him. Crossing the finish line around the same time as Quacker Jack, it looked like a toss-up.

The referee proclaimed that we would advance to the semi-final round. Then a crisis occurred.

Ducktor had been switched with Quaker Jack in the quarterfinals and had already been put back in the trailer.

Kaitlyn and I noticed right away, this wasn’t the fowl that we had become friends with. We went to the trailer in disbelief as we stared at our feathered friends. How were we ever going to tell them apart? Kaitlyn spotted him right away, thank you duck bonding.

The final heat was intense. After Ducktor crossed the finish line, I hurled over the fence into my teammates arms. I held little Ducktor over my head like Simba. Of course, singing, “We are the Champions.”

The feeling I had could be compared to an athlete winning the Heisman Trophy. We won Casey’s gift cards, a huge traveling trophy, and more importantly bragging rights. I’m headed to Nebraska at the end of the month to attend the Avoca Quack-Off. We’ll see if I’m a professional duck racer, or it was just dumb duck luck.

Being from the city, this was a whole new experience for me. My short trip to Mechanicsville was a ducking good time.