Photo Gallery: Norwich goes quackers with toy duck race

Thousands of toy ducks made their leisurely way down the River Wensum this afternoon as Norwich went quackers.

As part of the Lord Mayor's Celebrations weekend, the Great Norwich Duck Race saw people pay �2 for the chance to enter their plastic duck in the contest.

The ducks were launched from the top of the Lady Julian Bridge in Riverside just after 1.15pm and floated down towards Carrow Bridge, with prizes up for grabs to the winners.

The event was organised by the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group to help raise money for their �360,000 project to build a new headquarters at their Old Lakenham site.

Most of the money raised will help them move closer to achieving their aim of starting the project in 2012, but a portion will also be donated to the Lord Mayor of Norwich's charity of choice.

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Organiser Jane Stafford, who is also the secretary of the Sea Scout's fundraising project, said: 'To date we've raised �170,000 towards our target and today's event raised just under �7,000.

'This is the second year we have held the event here and it's been really good fun. This weekend's celebrations really show Norwich at its best. We're grateful to everyone who entered as it makes our aim of rebuidling the headquarters a little nearer.'

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And the race garnered a global audience. A number of ducks were snapped up by people in Canada so the race was filmed and streamed on Facebook so the international competitors could keep tabs on the progress of their ducks.

There was an added race this year, The Corporate Duck Race, which saw businesses pay for giant toy ducks to take part in the contest, with the money raised going to the charity of the winner's choice.

Given it was a duck race, the surname of the winner was fitting. The duck belonging to Peggy Sparrow, from Hellesdon, crossed the finish line first, scooping her �200.

In second place was Mark Sayer from Forncett St Peter (�150), in third was David Simnor, from Norwich (�100) and Gillian Russell, from Essex was floated in fourth.

The corporate race was won by Graham Pike, of Watton-based Green Cuisine. His company's prize of �500 will be donated to his chosen charity - The African Appeal, which was launched by Oxfam and Save The Children after the worst droughts in East Africa for 60 years.

• Make sure you get the Evening News tomorrow for our 12-page pull-out packed with pictures from the weekend of Lord Mayor's Celebrations.

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