PORT ANGELES — Some 300 to 400 people cheered as 30,441 yellow rubber ducks cascaded off a dump truck into the Lincoln Park Pond on Sunday during the 29th annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby.
The ducks “raced” for the finish with the help of water hoses wielded by firefighters with the Port Angeles Fire Department. The holder of the tickets for first 50 ducks won prizes.
The top prize — a 2018 Toyota Corolla provided by Wilder Toyota — was won by Steve Zenovic.
“Pretty cool,” he said reached by phone at home after the race. “I never win anything so this is pretty interesting.”
Zenovic said he didn’t know Sunday know what he will do with the car.
“I’ll talk it over with the rest of the folks,” he said.
The number of duck tickets sold — each cost $6 — was exceeded by those of only one year. In 2008, 36,660 duck tickets were sold.
“We’re extremely happy with the results of the race,” said Bruce Skinner, executive director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation. “It’s the second highest duck total by hospital foundation sales groups in the 29-year history of the event.”
Proceeds will benefit the hospital foundation and the Sequim Rotary Club’s charitable projects.
Some ducks hung back as the dump truck’s back door failed to open at first. It was unjammed and the rest of the ducks joined the yellow mass creeping toward the finish as several spectators said, “Wow. That’s a lot of ducks.”
Boy Scout Troop 1460 of Port Angeles came to the rescue when an expected food vendor didn’t materialize.
“We ran down the road and cleared Saars out,” said Scoutmaster Jared Minard.
Five Scouts, with the help of Minard and Assistant Scoutmaster Rory McDonald sold at least 300 hot dogs, they figured.
Proceeds will go to programs for the Scouts, Minard said.
A smaller duck race, the Bub and Alice Olsen Very Important Duck (V.I.D.) Race was held just prior to main race at 2 p.m. Businesses and individuals, including those from outside the North Olympic Peninsula who do business with local companies, purchased special V.I.D. ducks emblazoned with their logo. They were priced at $300, $600 and $1,200 each.
A special event for children also was held — the Duck Derby Duck Pluck. Children gathered at the Kids’ Pavilion to decorate ducks which were placed in a wading pool and plucked out by a blindfolded official. Prizes were gift certificates to Baskin-Robbins.
The top prize, a $100 gift certificate, went to Tony Cargo. Second place, a $50 gift certificate, went to Oliver McClure and third prize, a $25 gift certificate, was won by Elliot McClure.
Winners also received trophies, while all entrants were allowed to keep their artistic duck creations.
The Duck Derby Duck Pluck was presented by Olympic Kids Dental.
The races were presented by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].