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Beccles Duck Race bigger than ever

PUBLISHED: 18:34 28 September 2008 | UPDATED: 07:41 01 August 2010

They're off! Beccles duck race gets under way

They're off! Beccles duck race gets under way

Victoria Nicholls

A punk rocker, a fairy, and even a Pirate of the Caribbean were all seen on the open water in Beccles yesterday.

They were, of course, clever designs by youngsters hoping their colourful makeovers might give their duck the edge at the 4th Beccles Duck Race.

They're off! Beccles duck race gets under way

A punk rocker, a fairy, and even a Pirate of the Caribbean were all seen on the open water in Beccles yesterday.

They were, of course, clever designs by youngsters hoping their colourful makeovers might give their duck the edge at the 4th Beccles Duck Race.

The waters of the River Waveney sparkled in the sunshine, where 2,500 miniature ducks were sent bobbing downstream, their owners cheering them to go faster.

There was a carnival atmosphere at Beccles Quay, where the festivities got underway well before the ducks were released into the water to start their 130m glide. As well as flocking to the barbecues, stalls and funfair rides, crowds gathered at the show arena, where a dogs from Waggy Tails Dogs Agility, and gymnasts from Beccles Royals Club wowed the crowds.

The gospel choir from Sir John Leman High school gave a polished performance, and the TS Brave Sea Cadets made time to put on a water display, despite stewarding the races. They scooped out the first 50 ducks to finish in each of the three heats and put them through to the grand final.

Liz Goldspink, one of the organisers, said the event was getting bigger every year.

“It has been absolutely fantastic. The weather has helped. We couldn't have hoped for anything better - It was a brilliant day.”

She said that preparations for the day had been hampered, when someone stole all eight advertising signs which had been put up on the main routes into Beccles in three days. A last-minute board which was put up on Friday was also taken within two hours.

“Other signs that that were positioned near have been left,” she said. “We've no idea why.”

Top honours and £100 in prize money went to C Whiting, with Riley Brown taking second place and Deni Lake coming third. Early Bird Pre-School beat off competition from 55 other companies to take first place in the corporate race.

The Duck Race event raised at least £500 for each of seven schools in the Beccles area.

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