Catalina Island

20th Annual Rubber Ducky Derby

And the ducks are off and running, errr swimming, to race to the shore with a little push from the Harbor Department at the Annual Rubber Ducky Derby. Photo courtesy of the Rubber Ducky Derby
And the ducks are off and running, errr swimming, to race to the shore with a little push from the Harbor Department at the Annual Rubber Ducky Derby. Photo courtesy of the Rubber Ducky Derby

You couldn’t ask more idyllic weather than that of this past Sunday, April 10, when only the day and evening before Catalina Island was receiving a beautiful deluge of rain. But even Mother Nature knows it’s not nice to mess with the annual Rubber Ducky Derby, one of Avalon’s hokiest but highly entertaining traditions. Mary Scheckling was once again on hand to call the races. Mary has been the emcee for almost every derby since its inception 20 years ago. It truly was a beautiful day which made the event that much more enjoyable and the slight on-shore breeze helped push the ducks to shore. Many of the Kids at Play Players and their parents were on hand to make sure all ran smoothly. The first splash down was at HIGH NOON, the corporate race started off the event. This year’s event hosted 25 businesses from within the community that sponsored extra-large ducks for this race. Besides bragging rights, the wining business displays a perpetual trophy within their place of business for a year. The corporate race included Descanso Beach Ocean Sports, Original Jacks, Island Rentals, SCICo., Bluewater Avalon, A Touch of Heaven Day Spa, Christy Lins Accountancy Corp., Zeller Construction, Catalina Art Association, Catalina Animal Clinic of Catalina, Catalina Beverage Company, Catalina Island Inn, the Seaport Bistro, Catalina Broadband Solutions, Fine Line Construction, Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa, Pancake Cottage, Catalina Yamaha, Sign Crafters, Catalina Business Enterprises, The Steamer Trunk, Angry Inch ½ Bottom Services, Lloyd’s of Avalon, Steve’s Steakhouse and Afisihinado. The lucky ducky that stuck highest on the beach for a count of 10 was Catalina Canyon Resort & Spa. This was the largest corporate race the Derby has ever seen and the Derby owes KAP Parent Donna Neville much thanks for rounding up the business community’s support. Next up were the individual heats, over 800 ducks competed this year and the lucky race winner was Susanna Savitt, coming in second was Bryan Baze and third place went to Nathan Lafluer. They each won an extra-large duck trophy, ribbon and certificate. The other competition is the Show Duck (or best decorated) Category and taking top honors was Jen Small for a threepete. There was a great group of judges and the Avalon Harbor Department was on hand to gently encourage the ducks to the shore. Other water support included Jim Parrish and Rambo, they were in the official race boat, (which was graciously provided by Avalon Boat Stand) while Sean Baze and Sol Torres were in kayaks (provided by D.B.O.S.) making sure ducks stayed within the course. All of the volunteers helped ensure another successful event. Special appreciation goes to Lola, Sean Sterling, Guillermo Torres, Abbey Rose, Edie Parrish and Sloane Cliffton for all their extra help and work. Chef Greg and his team from Island Caters/Seaport Bistro were on hand to provide tasty lunch plates to all the hungry spectators. “Thank you for your continued support of this amazing program and supporting live theater,” said Sean Brannock, KAP Director, to all at the Derby. “The Rubber Ducky Derby is a great event that reminds us how special our unique community is. Your contributions have made the difference in the life of a child.” The benefactor of the event was Kids at Play, a nonprofit children’s theater company. KAP has been encouraging the youth of the community to become creative over the past 24 years. The program happens twice during the school year. Each 10-week session helps the kids work on self-esteem, individuality and creativity while working towards a common goal of producing a live performance.