BIRDMEN will not soar in Bognor Regis this year – but they should be taking-off next year.
Organisers of the International Bognor Birdman Rally, which was due to take flight next month, have had to cancelled it.
Barry Jones, the chairman of the event’s committee, said: “The Bognor International Birdman Committee announce circumstances have forced them to the view that it is not prudent to hold the competition this year for safety reasons.
“The event has to be held at a weekend with unusually high tides.
“This year, that will fall on June 28 and 29 – one of the busiest sporting weekends of the year.”
But hope is not lost as plans for an even bigger event for next year are already in the pipeline.
“The committee are now planning a revitalised, bigger and better event for 2015, re-establishing this famous sporting and fundraising event in Bognor Regis, its original home for the last 36 years,” added Mr Jones.
The splashtastic event was founded to provide a spectacular and entertaining opportunity for adventurous competitors to attempt to fly from a specially-built platform over the sea, employing only human power.
The competition is split into three sections –the Kingfisher class, the Leonardo da Vinci entries and the Condor class. As well as its airbourne antics, the competition has also become well-known for helping it’s flyers to raise money for good causes.
Mr Jones said: “In the last ten years, over £120,000 has been raised for causes as varied as the Great North Air Ambulance, Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, the Snowdrop Trust, Help for Heroes, whale and dolphin conservation and the Connecticut Cancer Education Fund.”
Nick Stuart-Nicolson, the chairman of the Bognor Pier Trust, said he hoped the competition would continue.
He said: “The trust supports the Birdman committee in what they are doing and it is very sad it will not be going ahead this year.
“It is important the trust’s work to help restore and improve the pier continues and like Birdman, it is very important this is supported by the public.
“A rejuvenated pier, which if it could be extended, would help Birdman and other events.”