The ACUA is hosting the 3rd Sort-of-Annual Noble Duck Race for the SHA 2022 Philadelphia conference. All proceeds go directly to the ACUA’s student travel and scholarship programs (ACUA Student Awards). The race will be run (floated?) in the Lazy River pool at the Holiday Inn Resort, Pensacola Beach, FL.  The ACUA is grateful for their support!

Depending on the number of ducks sold, multiple heats may be held with the winners advancing to the final. All races will be recorded and uploaded to the ACUA YouTube channel. Sporting of outrageous hats while viewing is encouraged but not required.

Owners of ducks winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in the final race will be awarded Starbucks gift cards in the amounts of $25, $15, and $10 (USD – hope you like coffee cause that’s what you’re getting).

The race will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at 2 pm CST
(weather permitting)

Countdown to Race Day!

Purchase* your specially bred and trained duck today! Ten shiny U.S. dollars gets you one duck, and you may buy as many as you like. Increase your odds and fill your duck stable! Don’t miss out -ducks will only be on sale until Friday, January 21, 5pm CST or until they sell out!

Lazy River pool at Holiday Inn Resort. Site of the 2nd Sort-of-Annual Noble Duck Race, January 10, 2021

History of the Noble Duck Race

In 2019, at the SHA Conference in St Charles, certain former ACUA Board members held an impromptu rubber ducky race taking advantage of the hotel’s decorative lobby water feature. Conference attendees “purchased” the ducks with proceeds going to the ACUA’s student travel and support programs. The race proved to be a hit, significant funding was raised for students, and everyone involved had a great time (except maybe the hotel staff, who were not informed ahead of time, forgiveness being easier to obtain than permission). Venerable archaeologist Dr Vergil Noble’s duck won the race, giving his name to the event.

Help to Commemorate the Inaugural Duck Race

If you have any photos or video of the 1st Noble Duck Race in St Charles that you are willing to share, please send them via It is a free platform that does not require registration or an account. In the To line please send them to In the Subject line please use DUCKS.  The ACUA will edit your videos and photos together and post it for posterity on the ACUA YouTube channel.

*Ducks will be retained for future races