Duck race, chili cook-off spice up Rotary’s efforts


Hundreds of rubber duckies got a swim in the surf last weekend when a crowd of more than 200 gathered for the Del Mar Rotary’s first ever Chili & Quacker’s Challenge at Powerhouse Park.

The ducks were released at 4:30 p.m., racing for a spot in the first 10 to make it back to shore. The owners of the lucky ducks won prizes, including a new high-definition television, Netbook computer and a Wii game set. The ducks were up for “adoption” for $10 each.

The Chili Cook-Off featured restaurant and individual divisions. Judges were on hand to choose the winners, and attendees voted for the “People’s Choice” winner.

Rotarians Sharyn Daly and Val Myers Matthews co-chaired the event. They reported that $10,000 was raised for local charities with 1,231 surfing ducks and 30 duck prizes, many donated by local restaurants and shops.

There was plenty to do for the children, too. Dan McLellan walked on stilts and tied balloons to entertain them and they could get their faces painted by Torrey Pines High School student Kylie McGlynn from the Rotary’s Interact Club.

The Rotary has already announced next year’s challenge date: Oct. 9, 2010.

Duck Derby winners

  • Jessica Austin
  • Randy Strause
  • Diane and Bill Harp
  • Alan Galgut
  • Lynne Bath
  • Francis and Marilyn Keppel
  • Ellen Glynn

Chili Cook-off winners

  • Best overall individual: Karen and Greg Hanson
  • Best overall restaurant: Randy Gruber
  • People’s choice winner: Di Holker