Hundreds of people turned out as the big Salford Duck Race made its return. The popular annual event sees hundreds of rubber ducks thrown into the water for a race in the Manchester Ship Canal basins at Salford Quays.
Lockdown restrictions meant it had to be canceled for the past two years. However big crowds turned out and took advantage of the warm bank holiday weather as they lined the stretch of water near the Helly Hanses Watersports Center for the race this afternoon (Friday).
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It began with a race involving 32 large decorated ducks all sponsored by local firms. That was then followed by the showpiece ‘community race’ where all the individually numbered smaller, yellow rubber ducks entered by members of the public were thrown in.
This year a total of 700 people paid £2.50 to enter a duck in the race with a fire engine hose manned by a firefighter providing the current to propel them along as families cheered and craned their necks to how theirs was doing. Prizes for the winners included tickets for shows at the Lowry Theater and a year’s supply of Irn Bru.
All the money raised was in aid of a good cause. The final figure raised is yet to be calculated. But all the proceeds are going to MedEquip4Kids who organized the event.
Based on Deansgate in Manchester city centre, the charity tarted out in 1985, and has gone on to raise more than £24 million to fund neonatal and pediatric medical equipment.
It also has bankrolled sensory and play facilities in hospitals, specialized equipment for disabled children, and mental health support. The main community race was won by Jessica Bradley, 31, from Worsley, who was the event with her dad Tony and two-year-old daughter Ivy. Her prize from her was a cocktail-making experience at The Alchemist bar chain.
“i’ve never won anything in my life” Jessica said. “So I couldn’t believe it. We’d been meaning to bring Ivy for a couple of years now and we’ve obviously not been able to. So it was great to be able to bring her today. She was really excited. “
In the corporate race, pathology services firm The Doctors Laboratory won best dressed for their duck they named ‘The Quacken’ despite finishing to second to last. Site lead Diane Benson said: “We obviously hoped we might win but we’re not sure the water was sprayed in our favour! But we’re really chuffed to receive the prize as we the team put a lot of effort into decorating our duck .”
Hayden Cowap, 26, Corporate Fundraiser forMedequip4kids said: “It was awe-inspiring really the number of people. This is our seventh duck race but we couldn’t do it for two years. So we’re so glad everybody came back, supported us and enjoyed the day.”