In 1988 the weir on the River Tove was badly in need of repair, the water authority was not inclined to carry out the work unless money could be raised and Richard Sawbridge, a local farmer and stock dealer undertook to do some fund raising. The most appropriate event suggested was a Duck Race to be held on the river and the absurdity of the idea of ducks racing seemed to catch the imagination. One thousand plastic ducks were borrowed, many local people were persuaded to help with the organisation and ticket sales and 29th May 1988 on very wet afternoon the first Castlethorpe Duck Race was held, it was great fun despite the weather, and sufficient money was raised to carry out the project.
Richard Sawbridge, who was a member of the Parochial Church Council, then suggested that a Duck Race, possible held every other year, could be a good fund raiser for the church and so it was that in 1990 a second event was held, this time with a few more attractions to entertain the crowds. Over the following years the Duck Race grew and established itself in the Castlethorpe calendar events. It is always held on at the end of May and usually, but not always, on alternate years and has become one of the major fund raising events for Castlethorpe Church