DEL MAR — The Rotary Club of Del Mar’s third annual Chili & Quackers Challenge went from a ducky derby to a rescue at sea after rip currents prevented all but about 20 of the 1,600 rubber racers from making it to shore during the Oct. 15 event at Powerhouse Park.
About halfway into the three-hour fundraiser, Del Mar lifeguards emptied four large plastic bags of rubber ducks into the ocean. They bobbed around for about 15 minutes before one slowly came ashore.
After another 10 minutes, about 19 more made their way to land before lifeguards headed out to collect the remaining 1,580 or so.
The winners included Dick and Marilyn Bigelow, John Hayden, Ashley Roberts, Ellie Boomer, Jessica Daly-White, Sabrina Jaime, Paige Matthews, Samantha Jaime, Tom McCarthy and Craig Gallagher.
Prizes included a 42-inch flat-screen, high-definition TV, an iPad, iPod and iPod Nano, Stratford Square and Sbicca and Brigantine restaurant gift certificates and an Estancia La Jolla getaway weekend.
In addition to the ducky derby, the fundraiser featured a chili cook-off for restaurants and individuals, children’s games, crazy hair designs, face painting and a silent auction that included a surfboard autographed by famed local surfer Rob Machado.
Rubber ducks were available for $10 for a single quack or in discounted packs that ranged from $25 for a quackers trio up to $100 for a flock of 20.
The cost to enter the chili cook-off was $50 for restaurants and $30 for individuals. Tastes were $1 each. Judging was based on aroma, consistency, red color, taste and after taste.
Jimmy O’s took home top honors in the restaurant category. Among the individual contestants, Andy Hughes has bragging rights for the next year for his ying & yang chili.
Solana Beach firefighters were named best theme for their Chiligan’s Island display.
Last year the event raised about $17,000 for various Rotary Club projects. Sharyn Daly, this year’s president, said she expects to net about $10,000 because the club lost some key sponsors.
Founded in 1954, the Rotary Club of Del Mar currently has 72 active members and is one of 32,000 clubs worldwide.
The group meets weekly at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
For more information, visit delmarrotary.org.