Duck Derby on the Brain

Sat, Jul 11th 2015 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The annual Duck Derby on the River Brain at Bridge Street, Witham


The Duck Race is on the same day as Witham Carnival in early July.  Most of our ducks are yellow with a number on and you can buy a numbered ticket for a duck and if it reaches the finish in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th place will win you a cash prize.   Some ducks are red and these are sponsored by local corporate concerns and these run (swim?) a separate but simultaneous race for a different set of prizes.  Below President Roy (below) shows you how to check a duck.  

Proceeds go to support giving year-5 school pupils in the Witham a dictionary Dictionary as selected by their  school.

Duck Race Rules

The race is run according to the rules of charity lottery rerulations.

The detailed rule may be seen below:

Duck Race Rules April 2018

1 The race(s) will be organised by the Rotary Club of Witham.  The race(s) is an event aimed at raising money for charity through the Rotary Club of Witham Trust Fund, which is registered with the Charity Commissioners, charity number 282232.

2 There may be more than one race running concurrently.  For the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005 each race constitutes a separate lottery for which licences have been obtained.  Separate prizes will be awarded for each race run.

3 Plastic ducks will be floated down the river Brain. Tickets may be purchased, each ticket will bear a number linking it to a numbered duck, and specific race.

4 Purchasing a ticket gives nominal ownership of the duck for the duration of the race. The actual ducks remain the property of the Rotary Club of Witham.

5 Prizes will be awarded to the "owners" of ducks as advertised, and indicated on the tickets.

6 Those purchasing  tickets  accept that while the organisers will endeavour to ensure a fair race, there are a number of circumstances in which an element of luck will favour a particular duck or adversely affect other ducks.  In particular, but not limited to: 

a ducks failing to enter the water appropriately.

b ducks carried by the current or the wind into the bank or other obstacle.

c a group of ducks arriving at the finish together, it may then be necessary to select winners and ignore similarly placed ducks.

7 The race(s) will start at the time advertised, and indicated on tickets.  In unforeseen circumstances the organizers reserve the right to change this time and/or date.  If the race(s) cannot be run for whatever reason, then the winners will be selected by drawing numbers.

8 Race(s) will be started by launching all the ducks a point to be chosen by the organisers on the day depending on weather conditions and water flow.  The organisers will endeavour to place all the ducks in the water at or about the same time and place. The finishing line further downstream will be indicated by “Finish” sign. There will be a device placed across the river to catch the ducks.

9 Should there be little flow on the river or should there be an adverse wind the organisers may need to assist some or all of the ducks to proceed to the finish. As far as possible ducks that are of the same size and shape will be used.  If however, the ducks are slightly different, they may have different characteristics and move at different speeds.

10 The organizers may, at their discretion, disqualify any duck, that is interfered with, or for any other reason 

11 The organisers will try to contact all winning owners, using the information provided on the tickets.   

12 The personal information about ticket purchasers collected by the Club will only be sufficient to contact a winner and will normally be either a phone number or email address and will be kept only on the ticket counterfoil.  This information will not be passed to any third parties and will be destroyed by cross-cut shredding not later than one week after the race.  The number of the winning ducks may be published on the Club web pages and at the Town Hall, but the names of the winners will not be published.  

13 Photographs of the race and people along the river bank may be used for publicity purposes by the Club in subsequent years and attendance at the race implies acceptance of the possibility of photography.

14 The Rotary Club of Witham reserves the right to deduct reasonable expenses prior to passing the money raised to the Rotary Club of Witham Trust Fund. The money raised from this event will go to a variety of causes that local Rotarians decide to support.  Neither the Rotary Club of Witham or its members will benefit from any monies raised. 

15 Any disputes may be referred to the Council of the Rotary Club of Witham.  Its decisions are final. 

'What We Do' Main Pages:

One of the many Rotarians who volunteer to immunise children across the World administering the vaccine

Rotary has a World-wide programme to eradicate polio. This work has continued despite the pandemic when the World has been thinking about a new disease.

Templars School and a dictionary page

Every Year-5 or Year-6 child at a junior school in Witham is presented with a dictionary. And Autumn 2021 was no exception despite covid-19.

I found the back runner

The Carnival Day Duck Race is run in July every year. The ducks enter the River Brain after the Carnival procession has passed along Bridge Street about 215 PM. But, of course, the race did not happen in 2020 or 2021 but we intend to be back in 2022.


For 68 years seniors living in Witham have come to a tea party given by the Rotary Club of Witham. Unfortunately we had to cancel the Party for 2020 and 2021because of the covid-19 but hope for some similar event in 2022.

The Club supported several cahrites during the last year despite the disruptions of Covid.

Here are a few logos of some charities we have recently supported and selected photos of recent presentations of typical donations.


Membership leads to fellowship - enjoyment of each others company and friendship - and service to the community