Kodaikonal: In a duck race competition organised by the Kodaikanal Boat & Rowing Club here on Sunday at the lake as part of Kodai festival this year, the winner was the duck.
Though the six-member team comprised two men rowers and a woman catcher, tried hard to catch the duck for nearly 15 minutes, the duck evaded successfully the members attempt to catch it.
The sport started after G Bhavani Shankar, honorary secretary of Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club, released the duck into the chill water with much fanfare and waving of the red flag from his boat.
The time allotted for the teams to catch the duck is 15 minutes and they should not fall inside the water. Immediately after the commencement of the event, the team members who were waiting 200 metres away from the umpire, steered the punt towards the duck, while the woman lying on the edge of the punt, put their arms out to grab the neck of the duck.
In each attempt, when the participants came close the duck and surrounded it on three sides, the duck easily ducked them.
It also flew for few metres to escape from the team members' grasp. 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," said Bhavani Shankar.
After hard chase, the six-member team also got exhausted today. "I have been participating in this competition for many years, but never witnessed such fast moving duck," said Dr Venkatapathy from Coimbatore and his friend Sheik Abdul, a businessman from Chennai.
The entire team members and audience gave a loud applause appreciating the duck, which emerged as the winner this year. Last year Rithika, a fashion design student from Chennai won the competition by managing to catch the duck just after 2.13 minutes. Sheik Abdul and Hanif were the rowers of the winning team....