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PHOTO GALLERY: Lovely weather for a duck race on the Wensum

PUBLISHED: 16:37 08 July 2012 | UPDATED: 18:55 08 July 2012

The start of the Duck race on the Wensum, part of the Lord Mayors Celebrations. Photo: Steve Adams

The start of the Duck race on the Wensum, part of the Lord Mayors Celebrations. Photo: Steve Adams

Forget the Olympic torch relay and forget Wimbledon, the week’s real sporting highlight took place on the River Wensum this afternoon.

The Great Norwich Duck Race was contested by more than 3,500 brightly-coloured plastic ducklings as part of the Lord Mayor’s Celebrations, and raised a record amount for scout groups around Norwich.

In the morning, the Norwich Six Bridge River Swim was won by 14-year-old Sophie Alden, as the youngster beat the field in a one-mile race from New Mills Yard to Cow Tower.

The ducks were set off from the Julian Bridge in Riverside by Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton and Sheriff of Norwich John Jennings and were soon jostling for position and dodging boats as they bid to be first across the line, cheered on by families on the riverbank.

Jane Stafford, one of the duck race organisers, said: “We’ve sold more ducks this year than ever before, and we have had donations as well. “By the time we’ve added it up we should have around £8,000.”

The money will go towards the rebuilding costs for the headquarters of the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts, and will benefit other scout groups who sold the ducks.

Mr Gayton said the race had been another highlight of the weekend’s celebrations.

He said: “It was nice to see a good crowd turn out, despite the tennis being on and the weather. The race was great fun and all the money raised is going to a good cause.”

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