THOUSANDS of little, yellow, rubber ducks attempt to paddle themselves into the Guinness Book of World Records on the Thames this weekend at the annual Great British Duck Race.

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Organisers plan to have 175,000 ducks involved, smashing the current world mark of 165,000, set at last year’s event. The year before there were a lonely 30,000.

Each plastic participant is ready to be adopted as part of a fundraising effort for children’s charity, the NSPCC. Ducks cost £2 each to sponsor and the sponsor of the first ducks over the line win prizes with a top haul of £10,000.

With that many ducks involved, there’s no place for other river traffic, making the Great British Duck Raceone of the rare occasions when the Thames is closed for a private function.

The starting point for the race is Molesey Lock, just to the west of London, where people can follow the ducks’ progress from the tow path, with the finishing line one kilometre along the river.

The Great British Duck Racetakes place on 6 September at 1.30pm.

Update 8 September 2009
The World Record was indeed broken at this year’s Duck Race with 205,000 plastic ducks completing the course.