THE weather may have rained off an annual duck race, but it did not dampen the generous spirit of its organisers.

More than 500 tickets were sold, at £1 each, for Barnard Castle Rotary Club’s duck race, which the club hosts annually as part of the Barnard Castle Meet celebrations.

The event takes place in the River Tees, by the green bridge, in Barnard Castle, but the decision was taken by organisers to cancel the race because the river was deemed too swollen as a result of several days worth of heavy rain.

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A spokesman for the Rotary club said: “We have a load of very disappointed little yellow ducks here, still in their winter hibernation box.

“When the day dawned for the Rotary duck race on the Saturday of the Meet weekend, it was decided, very sensibly, that the water level was too high and fast for the rescue party to safely go into the river to round up the little fellas as they raced past the finishing line.

“The only option then for the Rotary club to choose a winner was to put all of the ticket stubs into a box, swirl them around, and pick out a winner.

“Thanks go to everyone who participated, we hope for better weather next year.”

The winning ticket belonged to Suzanne Angus, from Barnard Castle, who was presented with a £50 prize.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will be shared between the Rotary club’s local, national and international charities.