Stockbridge ducks race for charity

Forget the football World Cup. Few events in Edinburgh's Stockbridge are more eagerly awaited than the annual duck race. It's an epic tournament of sporting prowess that knocks South Africa into the shade.



The Duck Race takes place this year on Sunday, 4 July. Ducks are on sale now at many of Stockbridge's excellent bars and shops, including Hectors, the Bailie and the Antiquary

Anyone can take part. All you need do is buy a yellow, plastic duck (for £1.50), then bring it along on the day.

The race is like a version of Pooh Sticks. But played with rubber ducks. Anybody with a duck drops it into the water by the bridge near the Stockbridge Pizza Express with its distinctive clock tower. 

The ducks bob about at the starting line, floating on the Waters of Leith. The start of the race is signalled when the duck wardens lift the net across the river, releasing the ducks. 

The thousand or so ducks make their way downwater, cheered by the surrounding crowd. At the finishing line the duck wardens fish out a handful of winners, identified by the numbers written on them. Their owners receive prizes donated by charity. 

The event has run since 1998 and is a popular Stockbridge institution. Proceeds go to Edinburgh charities.  A fun day out for all the family. And not one of those infernal vuvuzela stadium horns in sight.

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