The Sun dappled through the trees on a damp course here at Maxton today.
An unexpectedly large expectant crowd had gathered, cheering loudly as the ducks broke free at the start. Tension mounted as they slowed and bunched at the first turn.
The down was already flying in the rear as the stragglers paddled to keep up.
There was plenty of jostling, but no penalties were incurred as the field spread out over the next section of the course. The runners (or rather, floaters) sped up as they heard the crowds cheering from the grandstand at the finish.
And it certainly was a grandstand finish. The ducks came bobbling down the burn at a great rate of knots. A roar of excitement rose from the stands as a large group jostled together on the final straight. Then just as the group went quackers as they fought for position to shoot under the bridge, No 97 skimmed past on the outside to take the inaugural title by a short beak, in a course record time of 21 minutes!
The spectators will be pleased to note that there were no rammings, drownings, leakings or failures of drucks tests. We counted them all out, and we counted them all safely in!
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