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Unfortunately, after the initial countdown, when the pin was pulled on the stroke of noon, nothing happened, which left hundreds of onlookers and the organisers scratching their heads.
But 10 minutes later, after a bit of tinkering and another countdown, the rubber ducks took flight and landed in the Water of Leith, setting in motion the seventh annual Charitable Dunedin Duck Race.
Event co-ordinator Peter Smith said the event had raised between $30,000 and $40,000 in previous years, and he expected this year’s race to raise a similar amount.
The proceeds of this year’s event would be split between the Otago Hospice, local surf life-saving clubs, Scouts and St John, he said.
The event also included a corporate duck race, in which businesses could sponsor a duck and decorate it to generate extra funds.
Those proceeds would be given to the hospice, he said.
As well as the races, there was a duck craft decorating station and carnival firstname.lastname@example.org