Duck Race

“Quick, quack”

What could be more fun that racing your very own rubber duck down the river, willing it on to victory?!

Our Duck Race fundraising event has four fun stages:

Stage 1: Buy Your Duck

Those who wish to enter a duck in the race must firstly buy a duck from an approved retailer that must comply with our specifications. This will include its dimensions, weight and base colour(s). Ducks will be inspected before the race to ensure they meet the requirements. Let us know you’ve bought your duck using our Duck in Progress (DIP) form.

Stage 2: Decorate and Modify Your Duck

You’ll want to decorate your duck so that you and others at the race can distinguish it from the others. Remember to use waterproof paint. You are allowed to modify your duck within the guidelines. Ducks modified beyond these guidelines may not be entered. All ducks will need to pass a Duck Inspection Procedure (DIP) prior to the race. We will post the modification guidelines closer to the time. This will include the maximum dimensions and limitations such as ‘no motors and no radio controls’. We’re hoping you’ll really go to town with this aspect of the event and be as creative as is humanly and ‘fowly’ possible. If you manage to find an edge that is within the guidelines then we welcome it. You can check in with us whilst you’re working on it with a photo if you want to.

Stage 3: Enter Your Duck

Duck entries will open six weeks prior to the event. At this stage, teams/duck owners can register their duck for the race. Duck Race registration costs £50. This means your duck has a place allocated in the race. You should also name your duck and let us know as part of its registration. You should send a photo and short video of your duck, (ideally in water). These will not be shared with other competitors: your creation will be kept safely under wraps until race day.

Stage 4: Race Day

Anyone can attend the Duck Race event. In fact, we hope that lots of people turn out to see, cheer on and bet on the ‘raft’ of ducks paddling their way to victory. Spectator tickets cost £10. Spectators will be encouraged to bet on their favourite duck or ducks and cheer on the ‘paddle’ as they glide with the current downstream.

Betting: spectators and duck owners can bet on the duck or ducks they think will win. There will be no odds so bets will be made on visual inspection of the duck line-up, prior to the race commencing. If the duck you bet on wins, you will receive a golden ticket which you can use to win one of our grand raffle prizes. If your duck comes 2nd you will receive a silver ticket and if your duck comes 3rd you will receive a bronze ticket. Golden tickets are worth 15 prize draw tickets, silver are worth 10 and bronze are worth 5.

The Winning Duck: If your very own darling duck wins the race, you will win a very special Duck Race prize. More details on this closer to the time.

Prize Draw: Spectators can buy prize draw tickets and race winners can top up their ticket wins by buying extras. After the race, once winners have been allocated their golden, silver and bronze tickets, the draw will be held. We’re hoping to have some exciting prizes donated from local businesses to make our prize draw a big part of the event. If you are able to donate a prize or know a business who would want to, please get in touch.

Duck Auction: After the race, we’ll collect up the ducks and return them to their owners for celebrations and commiserations, after which we will hold a Duck Auction. Anyone can then bid to take home any of the ducks entered in the race. This may mean saying goodbye to your beloved waterfowl friend but we’d hope they’ll all go to good homes. The highest bidder will take home their chosen duck and may even choose to enter it in next year’s event!

Why Do We Do It?

All of our programmes have our seven life and learning skills weaved through them: resilience, confidence, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, goal-setting and curiosity. We feel that our fundraising events should also embody these skills, allowing others to experience them, helping to bring home how and why they are so important.

The ‘Decorate and Modify’ stage will require teamwork and problem-solving. They’ll be lots of idea sharing, allocating tasks, discussing options and testing, evaluating and fixing, along the way. Maybe you’re great at all of these skills and you can see how having them allows you to achieve the things you want in life. Maybe some of them don’t come so easily to you and you can, therefore, see why our programmes are so beneficial. Taking part may give you the opportunity to learn about your own skills and build your own confidence along the way. We hope so!

Signing Up

If you’d like to be part of this event, you can let us know using our online form. For now, we’re taking expressions of interest for both attendance and for entering a duck. Once we have a date and venue set, we’ll open up for official duck registration. You can let us know you’ve bought your duck and are ready to go, using our Duck in Progress (DIP) form.


We’d like to run our first Duck Race sometime between May and August 2021, either at the weekend of a bank holiday. When we’ve fixed up a date we’ll let you know.


We operate in Bristol and also have links in Bath so it will be near a river in one of the two cities. Once we’ve found the perfect spot, we’ll let you know.

Event Volunteering

We’ll need people to help us run the event. If you’d like to get involved, we’d love to have you. Some of the roles required are as follows:

River Support: We’ll need a couple of people in boats able to support stuck ducks and retrieve them all once they pass the finish line. You’ll ideally need a boat and a long stick, although we do have both we can lend you.

Prize Draw Ticket Sales: We’ll need people to help sell prize draw tickets to spectators.

Betting Station Staff: We’ll need a few people to take bets from spectators: this will include writing the name and details of the spectator and the name of the duck they wish to bet on. After the race spectators will need to be allocated their prize tickets ahead of the Prize Draw.

Auctioneers: We’ll need someone with the skills to auction off the ducks to the highest bidder. We’ll also need auction assistants to take payment and hand over the ducks to their new owners.

Photographer: We’ll need someone to document the event. You’ll need a fancy camera and the skills to get the perfect shots. This includes the race itself, the atmosphere and the winners of the various sub-events.

Spectator Support: We’ll need people to help ensure everyone knows what’s going on and what they need to do, where they need to be, etc.

You can fill in our online Duck Race Volunteer form to let us you know you’d like to volunteer.