Slightly more than what was initially expected has been raised for charity in this year's Plumber Dan duck race with the first place winner donating their prize money to Jigsaw Whanganui.

Thousands of ducks floated down the Whanganui River in what has become an annual event to raise funds for Jigsaw Whanganui and support local families.

Jigsaw Whanganui's Gayna Ryan said it was a good day for everyone involved.

"Everything went well on the river and none of the ducks went off to do their own thing.

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"We really appreciate how the community has got in behind it and next year will be five years which is great.

"It fits with us because it's a family event and family is what we're about.

"We're of course incredibly appreciative of Plumber Dan who is very generous and handles all the organising on the river."

Ryan said the family aspect of the event fits well with what Jigsaw is all about. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Ryan said the family aspect of the event fits well with what Jigsaw is all about. Photo / Lewis Gardner

Members of the Whanganui Kayak Club were on the river to make sure every rubber duck was collected once the race was finished.

Ryan said more than $11,000 was raised from the event and that this year's winner is based in Melbourne, and decided to donate the $1000 prize rather than get it transferred to Australia.

"We were blown away really; we certainly didn't expect that at all," Ryan said.

"It's a pretty nice feeling.

"Every year we need to find over $250,000 in funding, so this is a big help and it is good to connect with the community.

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"They get to learn who we are and what we're about so it's good on all fronts."

Ducks are dropped to start the fourth Plumber Dan duck race. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Ducks are dropped to start the fourth Plumber Dan duck race. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Crews were on the river to make sure every duck was collected. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Crews were on the river to make sure every duck was collected. Photo / Lewis Gardner
A large inflatable duck was placed on the river to promote the event. Photo / Lewis Gardner
A large inflatable duck was placed on the river to promote the event. Photo / Lewis Gardner