EVERYTHING is said to be going swimmingly in preparation for the annual Chester Duck Race.

Organised by The Countess Charity in aid of the Babygrow Appeal, this year’s race is once again supported by Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester.

The date for diaries is Saturday, September 16, and the race will be held at The Groves.

The corporate decorated ducks will be available for viewing from noon with activities for the children to take part in.

Many companies have already pledged their support including Allington Hughes Law, Hanky Panky’s, Virgin Money and Dandy’s Topsoil.

Adam Dandy from Dandy’s Topsoil took away the coveted ‘Fastest Duck’ trophy 2016.

Mr Dandy said: “We are proud supporters of The Countess Charity's Chester Duck Race for the Babygrow Appeal. We think it's a fantastic way to bring together the local community and businesses alike to raise awareness for such a wonderful cause."

Jemma Ali from Allington Hughes Law says they are proud to support such a great event and that they are able to get the whole office involved.

She said: “It ensures fun for all the family whilst providing support for The Countess Charity and the Babygrow Appeal. We are also enjoying the process of transforming our Allington Hughes duck."

Hanna Clarke, corporate and events fundraising manager for The Countess Charity, said: “The Duck race is such a fun event to organise and take part in. We have already had a high demand for the Corporate Ducks with all the companies not wanting to share their decorating ideas the completion is that fierce!”

The Adopted Corporate Ducks are invited to Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester on September 7 for drinks, nibbles, networking – and to check out the competition. The adopted ducks will then take pride of place in the city centre before waddling back down to the Dee for the big race.

Anyone wanting to sponsor a corporate duck to decorate for the 2017 Duck race is asked to contact Hanna Clarke on 01244 366 240 or hannaclarke@nhs.net

As well as the large corporate ducks there will be over 5,000 Baby Ducks entering the river from the suspension bridge.

The Baby Ducks are £2 each with cash prizes up for grabs for a podium finish. Baby Ducks can be purchased from the Countess Charity Office or online from Eventbrite.

Thanks go to Puddle Ducks Chester for supporting the Baby Duck Race prizes. First place prize is £250, second place prize is £150 and 3rd place prize is £100. The ducks will be taking the plunge at 3pm.