Tour de Duck splashes to Indianola

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

INDIANOLA — Thousands of ducks flew the coop Saturday afternoon after being swept away in a strong current, causing Indianola residents to groan and take a two hour break from their revelry to herd them all together.

It was quite a scene.

But they were perfectly cooperative, being rubber duckies, and the participants took it in stride as the second annual Tour de Duck rubber duckie race washed into the community.

Three lucky residents gained their own recognition when their ducks managed to stay on target during the mass migration, benefitting greatly from the rubber duckies’ determination to stay within the netted course. Wally Frizzell won first place and $1,000 with his rubber duckie, with $500 going to Don Lockwood and $250 to Bill Womach.

Volunteers manning three boats were less fortunate, chasing the rest of the duckies around the course area at the Indianola Spit for several hours before all were rounded up.

This year’s event offered two new races for interested participants — instead of just picking what looked like a lucky duck, residents had the chance to build their own “green,” or solar and wind powered ducks and “hummer,” or battery and gas powered ducks. The two races were held before the traditional fund-raiser, and additional trophies were given out for the prettiest, the ugliest and the least likely to finish.

“Mine has been subject to so much ridicule, I’m not sure I want to tell you which one it is,” said Indianola resident Steve Wald with a laugh. He admitted to having constructed “Roboduck,” created primarily out of Styrofoam with a diver’s stream attached to the bottom to keep it balanced once in the water. “His superstructure is mainly a cooking set from Costco and his nose is a form from the craft shop.”

Roboduck managed to win first place in the green powered division, as well as the ugliest entry, followed by Don Miller’s duck in second place and Gaby Saze’s in third. Sheldon Spearbeck won first in the hummer division, with Donald Moore in second place and Lee Lannoye’s duck in third place.

The race was the brainchild of Joan Lobdell, and she again filled the role of organizing the event along with co-organizer Cheryl Lannoye, who dressed up as a duck for part of the festival. The event was started last year to raise money for the Indianola Clubhouse renovations, which will again benefit from the rubber duckie race this year.

Lobdell estimated after about an hour of the rubber duckie party, that roughly 1,500 to 1,700 of the bath toys had been sold to residents wanting to help their community. By the end of the day the race had raised about $13,000.

“We’ve had fabulous weather and the perfect spot to hold the race,” Lobdell said. “Could you ask for anything better?”

Indianola resident John Lane agreed, adding he used to play at the end of the spit where the race was held when he was a boy, and it was the perfect spot for residents to cheer on their creations and ducks.

“I grew up down here,” he said. “It’s a very special place.”

In addition to the three races, Lobdell and Lannoye helped arrange entertainment by local musicians, games and food, all themed around rubber duckies.

“This is one of those things where they’ve figured out a way to help boost the clubhouse, and it will probably turn into a long term thing,” said Indianola resident Sonny Woodward. He added it is a good way for neighbors to gather and have some fun every year.

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