Race in yellow

No face-to-face appointments – for the last two years of the pandemic, this also applied to the yellow plastic ducks, which traditionally start at the Planegg duck race. Twice the ducklings could only compete against each other digitally: videos showing the ducks swimming in the private pool or rushing down a gutter were sent to the Martinsrieder Verein Miteinander eV – the best films were awarded prizes. The organizers are very happy that the ducks can go into the water together again this year, says Daniel Kleindienst from the club’s board of directors, who is co-organizing the Planegg duck race. He estimates that around 500 of the yellow plastic ducks will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 10th. At the finish line at the Würmbrücke near the Friedenskirche in Graefelfing, the families then wait to see whether their duck – all of which are numbered – will get a good place. There were around 800 visitors in 2019.

My week: Most recently, in 2019, the ducks in the Würm drove to the bet.

Most recently, in 2019, the ducks competed in the Würm.

(Photo: Florian Peljak)

The most important task for the organizers is to get the duck car fit again a few days before the start, says Kleindienst. Two lattice wagons from the wholesale trade have to be assembled for this, they are the collection containers for the registered ducks, which are collected on the day of the race and thrown into the water from the Würmbrücke on Germeringer Straße in Planegg . Then they drive about a kilometer to the Friedenskirche. The organizers are focusing on sustainability for the first time this year: In addition to new ducks, which can still be bought in Planegger shops this week for five euros, recycled ducks from previous years can also compete for a starting fee of three euros. With the proceeds of the festival, half a diaconal position in the church is financed.

In the pandemic, the contact has fallen asleep a bit

The organization of the popular family festival is a special challenge this year, Kleindienst learns. Many helpers would have to be activated again first, in the past two pandemic years the contact has fallen asleep a bit. The festival is a tour de force: Beer tables, refrigerators, toilet vans, garbage cans and stalls for selling food must be set up from 8 a.m. on Saturday. On top of that, a finish line has to be created in the Würm: Wooden beams and a net are fixed in the water so that the ducks are “channelled” and don’t get stuck in the bank area, Kleindienst knows. By the time everything is cleaned up after the party, it will be 10 p.m. A lot of effort, but worth it, says the organizer: “When the children are all crowded onto the bridge by the church and the first ducks come into view on the Würm, it’s a great atmosphere.” He himself will stand in the Würm with waterproof trousers and collect the first ten winning ducks.

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