Nearly 2000 plastic ducks jostled for position in the fifth annual Plumber Dan Duck Race on Saturday, bringing in a record fundraising tally for Jigsaw Whanganui.
Under the watchful eye of Plumber Dan (Daniel Goldsworthy), the competitors floated down the Whanganui River from the Dublin St Bridge to the finish line near the Waimarie berth in about an hour, with their efforts raising around $20,000 for Jigsaw Whanganui.
Jigaw Whanganui CEO Tim Metcalfe said 1950 tickets costing $10 each were sold for the event, the most they had ever managed.
"We're very happy with how everything turned out, and we were only 50 short of a sell-out," Metcalfe said.
"The woman who won the main prize has been a long time supporter of our organisation, so that was nice as well."
Metcalfe said he was "incredibly grateful" for the generosity shown by the hundreds of people who bought tickets this year.
"A feature of this year's event was that a lot of the sales were from out-of-town people who bought tickets through our website.
"The operation just went really smoothly, and Plumber Dan and his crew collected all the ducks very efficiently, supported by the Whanganui Kayak Club.
"It was a fabulous community effort, and there was a big crowd watching all along Somme Pde."
Metcalfe said the money raised would go towards maintaining Jigaw Whanganui's "intensive home-based social work service".
Goldsworthy said all the ducks behaved themselves and "went in the right direction".
"In past years they've taken detours into the reeds and things, but we controlled them quite nicely and everything went smoothly," Goldsworthy said.
"There was no duck left behind at the end."
Jigsaw Whanganui's Rachel Doble said additional donations, a teddy bear raffle and a donation of painted rocks that were sold added to the fundraising total.
"We do it all on top of the work that we already do, so there's quite a lot of volunteering that goes on around this time," Doble said.
"That means that hardly any of the money goes to admin, it all goes to our social workers and our families out there in the community."
The winning duck numbers were 1567 (1st), 366 (2nd) and 157 (3rd).