Puddle Ducks bring the world to Harbour Quay

Second year for puddle duck watercraft brings worlds to Port Alberni.

This Saturday, June 29, Port Alberni and out-of-town puddle duck watercraft will be competing to be crowned the world champion.

A dedicated group of local puddle duckers has taken on the task of organizing the 10th Annual Puddle Duck World Championships Harbour Quay. Racing starts at 10 a.m. and will continue until 3 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to a great race,” local puddle ducker and world championship coordinator Chris Finlayson said.

“With the weather being what it has been lately, we should have some good wind and I think that competition will be fierce,” he added.

“We have some very experienced sailors competing, lots of local boats, and a couple from out of town, including one competitor from San Jose, Calif.”

Spectators can watch the races from all along the waterfront at Harbour Quay. The race course will start in front of the new Harbour Quay breakwater, and go down to the lighthouse at the Maritime Heritage society and back.

The port authority will also have the Harbour Chieftain out on the water to help provide on-the-water support.

“I can’t say enough about how much help the port authority has been to us in ensuring that this event happens,” Finlayson said.

The idea of a puddle duck racer is simple: an affordable sailboat to introduce people to the sport and encourage them to learn more about sailing. One can be built for around $300 using basic tools.