Photo gallery: Restart required after strong winds hamper annual duck race in Norwich

The Grand Norwich Duck race action on the river Wensum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The Grand Norwich Duck race action on the river Wensum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Dozens of decorated ducks required a helping hand to get over the finishing line for an annual charity race.

Strong winds and the tide conspired against the smooth running of the Grand Norwich Duck Race today as around 50 sponsored ducks took to the starting line at St George's Bridge.

Thousands of spectators lined the sunkissed banks of the River Wensum for the third annual race, which this year required a restart to work out the winner.

A host of innovative and creative duck designs entered the water at 3pm, including a James Bond duck, 'Duck Vadar', jester, a jack in the box, and Super Mario, which are set to raise thousands of pounds for Norfolk-based charity Break.

Attention also turned to a duck named after Norwich City's Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfwinkel after the Canaries player expressed his interest in buying 'van Duckswinkel' to raise funds for the charity, which runs projects working with young people in care and children with disabilities.

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However, the ducks, which were sponsored by local companies and community groups, required some help from race marshals paddling canoes and kayaks to get them moving towards the finishing line at Fye Bridge, near the Ribs of Beef pub.

The eventual winner of the corporate duck race was the City College Norwich duck following a restart back down the river.

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Hundreds of baby ducks followed the main race after spectators bought hundreds of raffle tickets to be in with a chance of winning the second race of the day.

Michael Rooney, fundraising manager for Break, said the charity had received a big boost this year with the duck race and the GoGoGorillas art trail in Norwich, which is also raising funds for the Norfolk organisation.

'It has been a superb year with the gorillas. The Ribs of Beef and Break have run the duck race for three years and it has been incredibly successful and it all raises funds for a local charity which provides services for children and young people throughout East Anglia. The creativity never fails to amaze us and it is a great event for all the family,' he said.

All of the decorated ducks will be auctioned off to raise extra funds for Break on the evening of September 5 at the Ribs of Beef pub.

Keith Driver, Lord Mayor of Norwich, started the duck race and praised the 'fantastic' fundraiser.

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