Worthing Birdman competition grounded over increasing costs

Worthing Birdman competition Image copyright eddie mitchell
Image caption The top prize of £10,000 is only awarded for flights of more than 100m

The Worthing International Birdman competition has been cancelled indefinitely, the organisers say.

This year's competition had been due to take place in August, with a prize of £10,000 for the longest leap over 100m from the pier into the English Channel.

The Worthing Town Centre Initiative (WTCI) said it would not continue to organise the event "for the time being" due to escalating costs.

The WTCI said other projects in the town needed investment.

'Last Birdman'

The annual contest involves people throwing themselves off the town's pier in machines and various costumes.

The organisers posted on their website: "2015 was the last Worthing Birdman."

A spokesman for WTCI said: "The organisation has been thrilled with the success of the Worthing International Birdman over the past eight years.

"The response from the crowds and support of the businesses, together with the bravery of the competitors has generated phenomenal publicity for Worthing.

"It has also been a vehicle for huge sums of money to be raised for charity."

Last year's top prize was won by Tony Hughes who flew just over 106m (347ft) at the two-day event on the West Sussex seafront.

The 2014 competition saw Ron Freeman claim the prize with flights of 159.8m (524ft) on the Saturday and 159.4m (523ft) on the Sunday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In 2011 one competitor said he had only decided the day before to enter the event and did not have the time to prepare a flying machine.
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The "fun flyers" enter the competition on the second day to raise money for charity

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