Rain just swell for 1000-strong field in Port Fairy's duck derby

HEAVY rain reduced the crowd yesterday for a traditional highlight of the Moyneyana Festival’s New Year’s Day activities.

About 1000 people endured the wet weather to watch the Moyne River duck derby, in which about 1000 plastic ducks bought by competitors float to a finish line.

Ten-year-old Eva Murtagh’s duck was first across the line, winning her $700 and a trophy.

Eva was holidaying in Port Fairy from Hong Kong, where she lives with her mother, who is from the south-west, and her Irish father.

Second was Nicole Dwyer and third John Rahilly, both of Port Fairy.

In the corporate duck race, which was contested by 49 ducks, Jamie Hetherington, of Southall Building, was the winner, taking home $1000.

The races raise money for the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club.

Moyneyana Festival spokesman Reg Harry said heavy rain forced the postponement of the Port Fairy wooden and classic boat sail past from yesterday until 1pm today.

But Mr Harry said ideal warm weather on New Year’s Eve helped attract what was believed to be a record crowd for the Moyneyana Festival New Year’s Eve parade.

He said about 12,000 people were treated to a record 70 floats.

The parade’s award for the Graham Woodrup Memorial champion float went to a replica of the 1966 USS Enterprise from the Star Trek series. 

The float, which tied in with the festival theme of Retro 66, was entered by The Stump hotel.

The Inglis Barby Memorial Award went to the Drunken Knights entry, featuring riders dressed as mediaeval knights. The award for the best community group entry went to the Alias Captain Spock entry.

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