Ducks out in winning colours

There were no sitting ducks in this quirky race in the city of Erfurt, in central eastern Germany, on Sunday.

Instead, spectators were treated to a fun competition that saw thousands of colourful plastic ducks make their way down the Gera River.

Called Entenrennen, or Duck Run, this annual 25-year-old tradition is held to mark the end of spring.

Residents buy these ducks for €3 (S$4.80) each, decorate them and then send them racing along a 2.9km route from Luisenpark to the 690-year-old Merchant's Bridge.

It is not all plain sailing. The ducks have to traverse wild rapids, stones and branches in the river, as well as avoid getting picked up by children along the way.

The owners of the first 20 birds that cross the finishing line win shopping and travel vouchers. There is also a prize for the most beautifully decorated duck.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Ducks out in winning colours'. Print Edition | Subscribe