Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Bognor International Birdman Contest - Bognor Regis, England

Men (and women) were not born to fly, and should any further evidence of this be needed, then the annual Bognor International Birdman competition in Sussex, England is ample proof.
Held on the first weekend of September every year, this is a contest between eccentrics, fancy dress enthusiasts and wannabe aviation pioneers to see who can fly the furthest after running off Bognor's pier.
Some take it rather seriously, spending a small fortune adapting their hang-gliders into fancy flying machines. Alas, these noble inventors rarely get much further than the comedy entrants dressed as fairies, pirates, library books and cowering donkeys.
Any competitor that manages to fly 100m off the pier under their own power wins a GBP25,000 prize.
However, the contest has been going since 1971, and no-one has yet managed to conquer that distance.
So, while there is a vague element of serious competition, the whole event is largely about giving the general public a chance to watch a lot of people in silly costumes making an exhibition of themselves.
And getting very wet.

Getting to Bognor Regis, England

Nearest international airport: London Gatwick is the closest, although Bournemouth and London Heathrow are fairly accessible from Bognor Regis.

Using public transport: Bognor Regis is in Sussex, on the the south coast of England. The nearest major city is Brighton, from which there are regular buses and trains. However, there are also regular trains from Central London and Clapham Junction station, from where the journey should take just over an hour.

More details: Bognor Internationial Birdman Official Site

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