Captain Quacker will not be defending his championship.
Hey, Kentucky Derby horses retire after their wins; why can’t he?
Besides, it’s a young duck’s race. One duck year equals 18 human years, at least according to Captain Quacker.
“I’m old now. I’ve done my duty. It’s time to step aside and let someone else take the glory.”
He’d like to keep it in the family, however. Captain Quacker promises to be wading in the reeds, cheering for his off-spring in this year’s 28th Annual Rotary Club of Comox Ducky 500.
“My sons Wingston and Bill, will be racing this year, as will my daughter, Feather. I’ve been training with them since April and I think they could be the dark-ducks, so to speak.”
Last year’s Ducky 500 was one for the ages.
Captain Quacker remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I got such a good first kick,” he said. “I led wire-to-wire. I looked over my shoulder after the first 30 metres and I already had a 10 duck-length lead. From there I caught a current and there was no one catching me. It was a race for second.”
His adoptive family, Gayln Franklin and Kelly Shopland, were the big benefactors of Captain Quacker’s historic swim.
They won the grand prize – a cruise vacation.
Oddsmakers were not fooled. Captain Quacker was one of the favourites going in, mostly due to his genes.
He comes from a long line of rubber duck-racing phenoms.
His grandfather, Major Mudhen, won the inaugural Rotary Duck Race in Maple Ridge in 2011.
His great uncle Donald won the 2010 Quacker 5000 in Campbell River. His great-great grandfather, Moses Mallard, won that same race in 2006 and his third cousin, twice removed – Woody – won the Pincher Creek Rotary Duck Race in 2013.
“Our family was built for speed,” said Captain Quacker.
There is still time to buy a duck for the 2015 Ducky 500. Rotarians will be at locations throughout the Comox Valley until race day, July 1.
The grand prize this year is, once again, a cruise vacation (or $5,000 cash). Second prize is a Disneyland family vacation (or $3,500 cash). Third prize is four days at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.
For a complete list of prizes, as well as contest rules, go to ducky500.ca
Quality Foods Comox will have tickets for sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday this week, and tickets are also available at the Comox Valley Record office (765 McPhee Ave. Courtenay). Other sale locations can be found online at ducky500.ca. Get yours today.
With any luck, you’ll draw Wingston as your duck. Or Bill.