- The duck is released in the Kodaikanal lake by the members of the Kodaikanal Boat & Rowing Club.
- Participants try to catch it in the least available time.
- The Duck Race festival is celebrated as part of the Kodai festival.
The rules of the game are simple, but the game as it is difficult. The Duck Race competition that is organised by the Kodaikanal Boat & Rowing Club as part of the Kodai festival was both thrilling and enthralling. As the six-member teams tried their best to catch the duck, the duck made an elusive escape.
The game is interesting, not because of the main character-The Duck-but also because of the hard time all the teams had in catching it. Each team is given 15 minutes after the club releases a duck in the water with much fanfare and waving the red flag.
Following this, five or six teams race towards their 'prey' to get the catch within the minimum given time. Each team has two male rowers who maneuver the boat and a female catcher who sets herself atop the hull of the punt and spreads her arms out to grab the neck of the duck. There is, however, one rule that can easily disqualify a team. If the catcher falls in the water in her pursuit to win, the team is disqualified. While it is a breezy catch every year, this year's competition was tough.
Whenever the participants came closer to the duck and surrounded it on all the three sides, the duck ducked them easily. It even flew for a few meters to escape the catchers. G Bhavani Shankar, honorary secretary of Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club said, "There was much expectation among the audience as the teams, which participated in the same event yesterday, returned empty hand. We gave 5 minutes extra time yesterday, but none could catch it."
Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle about their experience, Dr Venkatapathy from Coimbatore and his friend Sheik Abdul, a businessman from Chennai said, "I have been participating in this competition for many years, but never witnessed such fast moving duck."
So, the uncontested winner of the tournament this year was the duck who evaded all its catchers pretty successfully. Last year, Ritika, a student of fashion designing, was the winner who caught the duck in just 2.13 minutes.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:04 PM IST