"Plastic fantastics" of a different and smaller kind were on the Whanganui River on Saturday. In fact more than 1300 of them.

They were all taking part in a unique duck race from Dublin St Bridge to the City Bridge and all to raise money for Jigsaw Whanganui.

The idea was the brainchild of local plumber Daniel Goldsworthy and he said the event has raised $10,000 for the Jigsaw.

"That was our target and we reached it. We actually sold out of ducks. We had about 1300 of them but sold tickets for more ducks than we had," he said.

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The top prize for first plastic duck across the line near the City Bridge was $800 with an assortment of other prize winners for the next ducks home.

Mr Goldsworthy said the winds were an issue for some of the ducks which got blown off course.

As it was he had colleague Mike Bates working for hours in his workshop adding screws to the bottom of the ducks to provide ballast and keep them upright. Pre-race tests showed the ducks had a tendency to topple onto their sides.

Next year he said more ducks will be available and he's also devising plans to keep the tiny flotilla to the centre of the river. That will make it easier both for spectators and certainly for the race organisers.

After the event he and his team of helpers spent about two and-a-half hours retrieving the little ducks from the river bank.