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40,000 rubber ducks flood Brisbane River to raise funds for cancer research

40,000 rubber ducks are tipped into the Brisbane River. Photo: Bradley Kanaris Crowds flock to the banks of the Brisbane River to watch the country’s largest duck race. Photo: Bradley Kanaris
Nanjing Night Net

Inflatable ducks race down the Brisbane River. Photo: Toby Crockford – Fairfax Media

The Brisbane River was transformed into a sea of yellow on Saturday afternoon for Australia’s largest duck race, raising funds for Princess Alexandra Hospital cancer research.

The race was all about adding some colour to the fight against cancer and was part of the Summertime Riverfest, which has been consistently growing during its 10-year history.

“We’ve gone from a family of ducks to a fleets of ducks over the years,” said chief duck wrangler and event organiser Simone Plunkett.

This year was also the 10-year anniversary since the first cancer vaccine was discovered by Professor Ian Frazer, whose work has been consistently funded by the Princess Alexandra (PA) Research Foundation.

“We fund some pretty innovative cancer research and I’m pretty confident the next good cancer breakthrough is going to come out of the PA,” Ms Plunkett said.

“There are over 1300 researchers at the PA who specialise in cancer research, but it is just so expensive.”

Summertime Riverfest 2016 featured more than 400 metres of event space, four duck races and attracted a crowd of an estimated 10,000.

It was hoped $500,000 would be raised.

“This event is raising awareness for cancer in a fun way and encouraging people to get on board … and stop cancer in its tracks,” Ms Plunkett said.

It was also the first time Summertime Riverfest would run into the evening, with the festivities wrapping up at 10pm after a midday start.

“We will have to wait and see if we get a change from the families into the festival atmosphere,” Ms Plunkett said.

“Hopefully we will get that next big crowd through and we can get our volunteers out with their big yellow tins emptying Brisbane’s pockets,” Ms Plunkett said.

The ducks were collected at the end of the event to be reused next year.

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