IMAGINE thousands of plastic ducks staring into your soul as they float past you along the river.

This will be the alarming site greeting people at the Westcott Recreation Ground for Swindon’s Famous Duck Race on May 28.

The Rotary Club has ordered in fifteen-thousand plastic ducks ahead of the charity competition which sees residents pin their hopes on tiny pieces of beaked rubber. Entrants of the competition are in with a chance of winning £1000 if their duck shows the verve and tenacity to reach the finish line first.

Brighter Futures is among the charities benefitting from the large-scale fundraising effort.

Roy Parkinson, long-time Rotarian and chief duck-seller for the race, said: “You shouldn’t miss the start. The ducks are put in a giant hopper and tipped in the water by a JCB. It’s quite a site – it looks like a yellow waterfall.”

From the top of the stream the ducks will travel a quarter of a mile towards the finish, netting cash prizes for seven lucky winners.

The Drakes Race for businesses kicks off the event at 2:15 pm, followed by a school students’ race at around 3.00 pm.

Roy told the Adver: “For people with young families it’s a fantastic day out and it needn’t cost too much. Children are given ducks to decorate – they can see their own duck race along which causes a lot of excitement.

“We will make substantial contributions to the Radiotherapy Appeal because we’re determined to see that finished. Everyone knows someone who’s either got or has had cancer. When you’re diagnosed the last thing you need is four weeks of travel to Oxford, but there’s no alternative.

“Setting up this radiotherapy unit will benefit an awful lot of people. I can’t think of many charities that help quite as many people in the town.”

Swindon is one of the few areas in the country where residents do not have access to radiotherapy services within a 45-minute travel time. Seven-hundred patients travel to Oxford every year to receive treatment, but many of them encounter heavy traffic and parking difficulties along the way.

Some of the money raised from tombola, food and fairground sales at the event will go towards the new radiotherapy unit planned at the Great Western Hospital. Attendees also have the chance to meet some pups at a dog show once the races are over.

Nationwide and McArthurGlen are among some of the major sponsors of the event.

Roy added: “Every penny we raise finishes back in the hands of the people who need it most.”