Sweden’s Assman hosts human duck race

Sweden's Assman hosts human duck race
Claes Blixt pepares for the big day
The small western Sweden village of Uddebo will play host to a slew of "flabby old men" dressed as ducks racing down the Assman waterway next Saturday.

The race will pit the amphibian wits of around 15 participants clad in tight-fitting wet suits and heads adorned with plastic duck regalia.

Prizes will be given for the best-dressed human duck and bets will be taken on the fastest swimmer. Local artist Claes Blixt will be among those seeking to waddle ahead of the field.

“Spectators will be able to place bets on the fastest ‘duck swimmer’ and there will be a prize for the one that looks the most ridiculous,” Blixt told The Local on Friday afternoon.

Uddebo is a small community in the Västergotland county of western Sweden. It has an official population of around 250, which has been in decline for some years. Even the local football team was discontinued a couple of years back due to lack of numbers.

The duck race is part of “Gula Dagen” (Yellow Day) – an event organized by “Gula Huset” (The Yellow House) which is a new local initiative and part of an attempt to breath new life back into the sleepy village.

“Uddebo is a little village that has pretty much met its maker in recent years. But now a group of creative people want to resuscitate a country village, and not just to benefit those who want to sit inside and watch television,” said Blixt, who makes a living giving courses in coffin making.

“Gula Huset is a building that has fallen into disrepair but since it was taken over by the collective about six months ago it plays host to exhibitions, courses and other exciting happenings.”

The day will also feature exhibitions by local artists, music and an auction of a painting of the US president Barack Obama.

When asked by The Local how he saw his chances in the race, Claes Blixt laid down the gauntlet to his fellow man-ducks.

“It is mostly a bunch of flabby old men that are taking part. I am lean, lithe and lightning fast – the prize is there for the taking.”

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