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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 July 2006, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Rubber ducks in race on the river
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Prizes for first duck across the line included diamonds and holidays
The River Thames was transformed into one very large bath for London's first ever charity duck race.

About 20,000 rubber ducks in sunglasses were launched into the water at Battersea Park for the delayed start of Sunday's Great London Duck Race.

But things did not go quite to plan as the strong tide swept almost half the toys out of the roped-off channel they were supposed to float along.

Winning duck, number 335, took half an hour to cross the finishing line.

Some of the escaped ducks were scooped up in nets.

People adopted ducks for 10 and prizes included diamonds worth 4,000 and a luxury holiday to Egypt.

Organisers hope to raise thousands of pounds for Nightingale House, a care home for the elderly in Clapham, south-west London.

Duck racing originated in the US where events such as the Rubber Ducky Derby have already raised millions of pounds for worthy causes.

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