Ducks get ready for Lions’ annual race

Sidmouth and District Lions Club's annual Duck Derby day took place on Sunday, 14 July at the Byes.

Sidmouth and District Lions Club's annual Duck Derby day took place on Sunday, 14 July at the Byes. Ducks away. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 7649-29-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

The Lions Club of Sidmouth will be staging its annual Great Duck Derby on the River Sid in The Byes from 2pm to 4.30pm, on Sunday (July 9).

Each year, the event raises thousands of pounds for local charities and worthy causes. It comprises two big races down the River Sid – one featuring little yellow ducks, sponsored by members of the public; the other with red ducks sponsored by local business organisations.

The Great Duck Derby is not just about raising money for worthy causes and Sidmouth Lions aim to make the event a fun afternoon for families and especially for young children – with events taking place from 2pm.

There will be ‘duck and spoon’ races, a bouncy castle, a big slide, plus fun games for children.

Children wishing to participate in the ‘duck and spoon’ races need to assemble adjacent to the Sid Park Road pedestrian bridge at 2pm.

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The main public duck race starts at 3pm, when hundreds of little yellow ducks are launched into the River Sid from Sid Park Road bridge, to race downstream to the finish line at the weir by Salcombe Road. This year’s main charity beneficiaries will be Parkinson’s UK and Devon in Sight, the local sight-loss charity.

The lucky ‘owners’ of the first 19 yellow ducks to pass the finishing line, by the Waterloo Bridge weir, adjacent to Salcombe Road, will receive prize money from just over £1,000 of cash prizes.

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The £1 duck tickets are on sale at Paper Moon in Fore Street, Annies in Old Fore Street and at No. 83 for Cards in High Street. The tickets may also be purchased from the Lions stall outside the Co-op store from 10am to 4pm today (Friday, July 7) and outside the Lidl store in Woolbrook tomorrow (Saturday, July 8). Any remaining tickets will be on sale on Duck Derby day from the Lions’ gazebos, until shortly before the start of the main duck race.

The Corporate Duck Race starts at 2.45pm. Proceeds from all the business donations have to be used for the benefit of charitable organisations chosen by the three winners. Sidmouth Lions also stipulate that, in order to conform with the charitable ethos of Lions Clubs International, the winners’ donations/chosen charities must each be for the welfare of mankind and preferably within East Devon.

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