Companies including Bar Lounge, Red Door and Dandy’s Topsoil had all paid £200 for the larger decorated ducks to compete in the first race of the day.
While members of the public paid £2 each for the 5,000 smaller but brightly-coloured ducks, each with a unique number, released high above the Dee from Queen’s Park suspension bridge.
Unfortunately, there is no accounting for the unreliable British weather.
Blustery winds resulted in most of the corporate ducks paddling upstream away from the crowds towards Boughton . At least one, however, did make it through to the finishing line by the bandstand with the prize of a team-building day for the victorious business.
Some will say the Roman Gods must have been smiling down on Adam Dandy, owner of Dandy’s Topsoil, as his Pokemon-style duck came home in first place.
Mr Dandy, whose 10-year-old son Lewis picked up the prestigious duck trophy on his behalf, has come to prominence for spearheading the Dig Up Deva campaign to demolish Dee House and expose the unexcavated half of Chester’s amphitheatre.
In the second race of the day, the smaller, more streamlined ducks of the general public fared better in the conditions and swam downstream as intended. There were cash prizes for the first three ducks home of £250, £150 and £100.
Sue Bennett, who works in the Babygrow fund-raising office as a volunteer, said: “The Babygrow charity aims to raise £3m for a new neonatal unit for the special care babies. So we’re gradually getting there – not quite – still a way to go.”
Talking about the different fund-raising activities throughout the year, she continued: “There’s the Santa Dash at Christmas, the Walk the Wards in a few weeks’ time and the mini-marathon. So there are always different fund-raising events going on. They are all well attended. Certainly the Santa Dash, you’ve got hundreds of Santas dashing through the centre of Chester!”
Commentating on the event were Babygrow Appeal committee member Ian Gibbons, an anaesthetic practitioner at the Countess and presenter for Radio Deeside and Gavin Matthews from Dee 106.3.
The crowds were told the appeal total was close to passing the £2m mark which meant it was hoped building work could start next year if the fund-raising continues at the current rate.
Presenter Gavin said: “Brilliant, brilliant news and as I said earlier, so many people have contributed towards that £2m. You know those £10, £20, £50 donations from coffee mornings , raffles and cake sales. They all add up, as you can see, to nearly £2m.”