THE ELUSIVE Worthing Birdman £10,000 jackpot will claimed tomorrow after two veteran flyers glided way past the magic 100 metre line today (Saturday, July 12).
Tony Hughes became the first man to fly over the jackpot line in the competition’s history, soaring above the waves to 117.1 metres.
But friendly rival Ron Freeman smashed it moments later, registering 159.8 metres.
“I feel like I’ve won the lottery,” said Mr Freeman.
“I dedicate this flight to Derek Trotman, who was one of the organisers who sadly died of cancer earlier this year.”
The man who flies the furthest after tomorrow’s final flights will claim the £10,000 but today’s distances guarantee someone will take home the prize.
Before the record flights were set, numerous fun entrants flung themselves from the platform, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.
Among them was American Sean Frawley, an inventor who now lives in Hong Kong.
He spent two weeks building an impressive craft, which flew him a respectable distance of 76.1 metres.
He was watched by members of his family, including his 85-year-old grandmother Gloria, who flew in from New York specially for the occasion.
She said: “He did great. This is the first time seeing him and I’m really proud. He has always been interested in building things so it didn’t surprise me at all that he is taking part in Birdman.
“It is such great weather here and the people are so congenial.”
See the Herald on Thursday for the full report and pictures from both days, including a round-up of the event’s charity flyers.
See the video above for an interview with the Birdmen.