This year’s Worthing Birdman was a resounding success with crowds flocking to the beach to watch all the competitors; Ron Freeman narrowly missed out on the £10,000 jackpot prize despite smashing the 100-metre flight target - because he went sideways off the pier due to the strong winds.
Ron Freeman flew 106m but alas he could not claim the £10,000 prize for the furthest flight over 100m because strong winds caused his hang glider to go on a sideways route, thus rendering his attempt invalid.
“It was the most perfect flight I've ever done,” said Mr Freeman. “I just took off and got good lift on take off and I knew I was going to go far”
In 2009, Steve Elkins flew 99.86m at the competition.
Mr Freeman's forward distance off Worthing Pier was just 63m, meaning he missed out on the cash prize, but he was delighted to set what he claimed was a new total distance record on Saturday.
“I got it spot on. I was determined to do the 100 metres. It's never been done before,” he said “The jackpot distance is straight out from the pier but I decided not to go for that because the wind was too strong,”
The Birdman event was created in 1971 in Selsey, near Chichester, and the event was moved to Bognor Regis in 1978. The competition was moved to Worthing for two years in 2008 amid fears over the stability of Bognor pier.
But when the event returned to Bognor in 2010, the Worthing version remained.
Editor’s comment: Well done to all the organisers for a great day out – this event must be fantastic for the local Worthing economy and we look forward to next year’s event – save the date: Worthing Birdman 2014 will be held on 12-13 July 2014