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Bognor International Birdman 2001

By: Mark.

The Bognor International Birdman is flight competition for human powered flying machines held each summer in the seaside resort of Bognor Regis on England's south coast. A slightly more accurate description is a bunch of idiots in fancy dress jump of the end of the pier in aid of charity.

On hearing about the crazy event, one club member was heard to exclaim "We could do that, we could build a flying machine and and feel the wind beneath our wings as we glide over the white-topped blue seas of the English Channel". Well, actually he didn't say anything of the sort because Beer had been taken, but the jist of the drunken discussion is that the club should visit the competition to take notes with a view of entering the following year. And so a plan was hatched...

 

Planning

Of course, the plan started with food and drink, so a BBQ was arranged at a secret location near Southampton for the Saturday before. This allowed everyone to discuss tactics.

Detailed planning continued late into the night, designed fabulous flying machines which became more elaborate as the beer and wine flowed... (and nobody got tied to a bed that night).

 

Photo at BBQ
Steve and Shirley stuffing themselves with food
Photo at BBQ
Tactics being discussed
Photo at BBQ
Jane without her back to the camera. Notice the huge spread of food on the table.
Photo in Bognor
This must be the assigned bike parking then!
Photo in Bognor
The brave would-be aviators studying the form of this year's competitors
Photo in Bognor
That water looks cold, and its a long swim from just under the end of the pier which is where most of the competitors hit the waves.
Photo in Bognor
This year's winner in sexy skin-tight wetsuit with his elaborate flying machine.

Observation

Bright and early next morning (not THAT early of course), the brave aviators headed off the Bognor with their notebooks at the ready. After securing a prime observation point (those bognor beach pebbles are really hard on your bum after a few hours), the wonderful men (and ladies, well OK, not the ladies, they are more sensible than to jump into the cold sea) in their (future, imaginary) flying machines settled down for the day, and voted who should tramp back up the beach and go and buy ice-creams for everyone.

A good day was had by all, and the sun even came out for a while.

 

Next stage

Blow that for a laugh, the water's freezing and it's much too much like hard work, we're all off down the pub mate.

And so, another great plan of mankind is assigned to the that great dustbin in the sky.


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