Crowds flock for the Grand Norwich Duck Race

Heading towards the line it looked like there would be no stopping it.

It had led from start to finish and wanted to enjoy every second of this glorious moment.

But as it turned to look back at those in its wake, it stuttered and fell in front of the line and could only watch as a fellow competitor stormed past to take the unlikely victory.

It was drama worthy of the World Athletics Championships, but instead it was the Grand Norwich Duck Race that was providing the excitement along the river bank in Norwich this afternoon.

Crowds lined the route from St George's Bridge to Fye Bridge as they watched 86 ducks go head-to-head in battle in the event organised by the Ribs of Beef pub.


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In the end it would be the tiara-wearing duck belonging to Tombland Jewellers that pipped the early leaders Zin Zeera Restaurant to victory.

Third was A.H. Plumbing, fourth was Caithness Crystal and fifth was No 17 in a race which featured a wide range of designs, from Spiderman through to a racing Lotus.

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The fun was all to raise money for Break, the Norfolk charity which helps vulnerable people in the community and their families.

In a following race for smaller ducks, history would dramatically repeat itself as once more the leading duck tied up before the line and was overtaken by a late surge by duck 571.

Each of the ducks, which totalled over 5,000, was allocated to a raffle ticket, with a total of 44 prizes up for grabs.

The winning duck won a framed signed Norwich City Football Club shirt for Linda Knightly, while second won a framed Jake Humphrey hat for Natalie Hunt.

Martin Green, fundraising officer for Break, said the day had been a great success.

He said: 'The duck race has really taken over what we are doing. It started off with quite a small target, but over the last month it has grown.'

He estimated that the event would raise between �10,000-�12,000 for the charity, with an auction for the corporate ducks expected to be very popular.

Enjoying the day were Steven and Jenny Bell, with their children George, eight, and Eleanor, seven, from Wramplingham.

They had painted Dave the Duck on behalf of the charity Star Throwers - which cares for people affected by cancer.

Dave the Duck came in 18th in the corporate race and the family said they were 'very proud' of his efforts, adding that they hoped to buy him back in the auction.

The duck auction takes place at The Maid's Head Hotel, in Norwich, on Thursday, September 8 from 6.30pm.

•For more on the auction visit www.break-charity.org

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