Sunday, August 3, 2014
Colourful creations inspired by super heroes, a Jedi master, a country and western star and the Statue of Liberty were amongst the runners and riders for a popular river race.
Months of preparations, involving painting, sticking and gluing culminated in the fourth Grand Norwich Duck Race on Saturday for a 100 metre dash down the River Wensum.
Almost 100 oversized rubber ducks, sponsored by local companies, community groups and organisations took part in the annual event to help raise thousands of pounds for Norfolk charity Break, which organised last year’s popular GoGoGorilla’s art trail and the forthcoming 2015 GoGoDragons project.
Hundreds of spectators lined the banks of the river between St George’s Bridge, near Norwich Playhouse, to the finishing line at Fye Bridge by the Ribs of Beef pub, to cheer on their favourites, which included ducks designed in honour of Dolly Parton, the Chuckle Brothers, Yoda, Batman, Captain America, and other clever creations.
However, the slow flowing river and lack of a breeze meant that the competitors needed a little helping hand to get them from start to finish. The winning duck was sponsored by Ashton KCJ.
The corporate race was followed by 3,000 little rubber ducks, sponsored by members of the public for £2 each, being released down the same course.
Organisers spoke of their delight following the good turn out and their dedication was rewarded with the sun coming out for the event.
Sarah Bunn, senior fundraising officer for Break, said she hoped the duck race would raise around £10,000 for the charity, which supports vulnerable young people.
“This is an annual thing and is an opportunity for companies that can not get involved in GoGoDragons and GoGoGorillas to get involved in this.”
“It is not going to any special causes, but all of the money will go to changing young people’s lives in Norfolk,” she said.
The Break event used to be held on the August bank holiday Monday, but was moved to a Saturday to see if it attracted more families.
The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Judith Lubbock, formally started the race, who praised the “marvellous” talents of the artists that designed the ducks.
More money will be raised for Break when the fancy dress ducks are auctioned off on Thursday 14 August at the Maid’s Head in Norwich from 6pm.
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