Spectators go quackers at Great Yarmouth duck race

17:00 23 September 2012

Crowds watch the start of the race, including Paralympian Jessica Jane Applegate

Crowds watch the start of the race, including Paralympian Jessica Jane Applegate


Things were going quackers on Great Yarmouth’s Waterways today (Sunday) after the popular seaside attraction was overrun by a cluster of brightly coloured ducks.

The yellow plastic swimmers were launched onto the water for the town’s annual charity duck race.

Eager spectators gathered on the banks of the meandering course to watch as the 2,500 squeaky competitors made their way to the finishing line.

Among the ranks of yellow ducks was a special golden quacker who joined the race in honour of Paralympian champion Jessica-Jane Applegate.

The teenage swimming star from Gorleston, dressed in her Team GB tracksuit, joined Great Yarmouth mayor Colleen Walker on top of a bridge to watch as the ducks were launched down stream.

The duck race is organised by the Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club and has raised more than £60,000 since in began in 2000.

Alan Spinks was among the organisers of this year’s event and was designated ‘duck master’ for the race, wading into the water behind the plucky plastic contenders to ensure each of them crossed the finish line.

He said: “I stay behind them to keep the stragglers from getting into the bushes.”

Scores of spectators braved the blustery conditions to cheer on their duck in three races, with winners being handed cash prizes.

Mr Spinks added: “This is probably the worst weather we have had in 13 years but we get a lot of people along to see it.

“I think people like the spectacle of seeing 2,500 ducks going along and they have always got a chance of winning a prize.

“And we have the Waterways, it’s the ideal setting for this. You couldn’t get a better place to run a duck race.”

All the money raised on the day will be split amongst the club’s chosen charities.


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