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In Pictures: Duck Derby takes to the River Lagan in Belfast

It was a dramatic photo finish in the Duck Derby after hundreds of the little yellow rubber critters made their way down the River Lagan yesterday.

Despite the chilly start to December, participants and spectators braved the bitter weather in the hope their duck would emerge victorious from the many sent down the Lagan yesterday.

In an event organised by the Mac to promote its Christmas show Hatch, scores of the bath-time favourites were released to be guided by the current in a battle for first place.

Prizes included family passes to the show, beginning this week, hampers from sponsors Lidl and £100 for the overall winner.

One of the organisers of the event, Meave Hawkins, said: "This is the first time we have made our own Christmas show.

"We wanted to do something that was full of adventure and the event today sums up the show."

Joanne Brittain (31) from Bangor, along with husband Ken (37) and daughter Ellie (1), were just one family who had released a duck.

She said: "We read about it in the Belfast Telegraph and thought it was something fun to do on a Sunday morning."

Joanne Abbott (28) from Stoneyford, along with her daughters Rachel (4) and Rebekah (2), were eagerly awaiting the results of the race.

"We're here to get into the Christmas atmosphere and have a fun day as a family," she said.

Hatch will open at the Mac on Wednesday and run until January 5.

Ticket prices range from £9.50 for children and £12-£22 for adults.

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