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Quacking good fun on the River Wensum for the 2016 Grand Norwich Duck Race

PUBLISHED: 18:53 28 August 2016 | UPDATED: 21:00 28 August 2016

The Grand Norwich Duck Race 2016. Photo: Mark Ivan Benfield.

The Grand Norwich Duck Race 2016. Photo: Mark Ivan Benfield.

Mark Ivan Benfield

There was quacking good fun on the River Wensum as several thousand people turned out to watch this year's Grand Norwich Duck Race.

The event - organised by children’s charity Break - is now in its fifth year and saw huge crowds of people line the riverbank to watch 121 decorated ducks compete on Sunday.

The quirky characters created a colourful spectacle on the water as they raced from St George’s Bridge to the finish line at Fye Bridge, with Queen Bouducka winning first place.

Just before the race of decorated ducks there was also a race of 3,000 little ducks.

Sarah Bunn, from Break, said: “I think this was probably the biggest and best year yet for the Grand Norwich Duck Race - we had the most ducks, the most supporters, and the most amazing weather.”

Winning ducks

Queen Bouducka paddled to victory and claimed first prize in the race.

The duck, who was inspired by Boudicca, Queen Of The Iceni, was sponsored by Iceni Magazine and Jill Watkinson.

She was one of 17 ducks that had been designed by artist Sally Adams who also wore a colourful duck-inspired outfit yesterday.

Sally said: “I’m thrilled Queen Bouducka won - it is right and proper really as she is a queen after all! What a hoot the race was.”

Colin Jeffery, from Iceni Magazine, said: “I’m really pleased, especially as Queen Bouducka toppled over at one point!”

Second place went to the Pokémon-inspired Pika-Duck, who was created by artist Jeni Lawes and sponsored by Osiris.

The duck that came third was H8chi, a black and orange duck designed by artist Sarah Daniels and sponsored by No 8 Thorpe Road.

She added: “It was amazing. Thousands of people came to watch the race and people really got behind the event. There were groups or entourages for each duck. People made a real event of their duck being part of the race.”
Following on from the race, the decorated ducks are set to be auctioned at the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich, on Thursday, September 8 from 6pm.

The hope is that the race and auction will together raise more than £10,000 for Break which offers support to children, young people and families in need across East Anglia.

Sunday’s race was organised by Break in partnership with The Ribs of Beef pub, Norfolk Paddle Company, the Broads Authority and the Maids Head Hotel.

For more information about Break and how you can bid for a duck in the Grand Norwich Duck Race auction, visit www.break-charity.org

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