The big, yellow rubber duck is back in the Whanganui river and this year there is a smaller companion to keep it company.

"I thought it looked lonely," says the man responsible.

Those in the know will be aware that the presence of the ducks is a signal that the annual Whanganui River Raft Race is imminent.

Dan Goldsworthy, known as Plumber Dan resurrected the race which had its heyday back in the 1970s and ran a successful race with 31 contestants last year.

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The rules are simple: each team must consist of a minimum of four members, each member must wear a life jacket, no powered devices (human power only) and no polystyrene.

"Polystyrene breaks up in the river and there are plenty of better materials to use," says Dan.

"We had some really creative entries last year and I'm hoping to see people get even more imaginative this year."

Plumber Dan's own imagination led to a duck race in November which raised $10,648 for Jigsaw Whanganui.

Competitors paid for small plastic ducks which were raced downstream from the Dublin Bridge in November.

He has also been plotting a birdman competition for Whanganui which would follow similar lines to the ones held in Queenstown and Wellington where men and women in outrageous costumes pitch themselves into the water.

"I was aiming to hold it in April but I have decided to postpone that one until next year," he says.

Instead the busy plumber will be joining his sister and two brothers for a snow boarding holiday in Japan after the raft race is over.

Meanwhile, the Whanganui River Raft Race will be held on Saturday February 25.

Enter online at The hits.co.nz or call Plumber Dan on 021 635517.

Cost is $50 per raft and entrants can win up to $300. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Plunket Wanganui.