MORE than 30 flyers are set to join in the first hi-tech International Bognor Birdman.
The bumper turnout will take to the sky this weekend watched by drones to capture the aerial views of their escapades as never before.
One of the Condor entrants, the more serious flyers, has also agreed to have a camera fitted to his helmet as he soars from the ramp 25ft above the sea.
Organising committee chairman Barry Jones said: “It’s going to be a bit of new Birdman. We hope to show the views on the big screen to the spectators. That should be interesting for everyone to see.”
The footage is likely to be compiled into a film to be sold to bolster the event’s funds.
Another first for Mr Jones and his wife, Jenny, the committee’s treasurer, is welcoming their first Hungarian flyer since they took over the crowd-pulling event in 2002.
He will join regular favourites Ron Freeman, Tony Hughes and Paul Fessi who will all be back to try to make the longest flight. Prizes go up to £1,000.
There will be two classes of flyers this year – Condor for the more serious flyers – and Kingfisher.
Flying starts at midday on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday.
“We sincerely hope we have an enjoyable and sunny Birdman weekend and that local traders can have a financially successful weekend and competitors win and raise loads of money for their respective charities,” Mr Jones said.
“Considering the competition we have got from Worthing, I think we have got a good turnout.”
It will cost some £18,000 to stage the two days.
Bognor businesses have enabled the programme to make £1,000 profit. A £3,000 donation has come from another firm in the town. “Without this help, there would be no Birdman this year, especially as the town council has not given us any money,” said Mr Jones.
Seafront entertainment will take place on both days with dancing. drama, martial arts, American Civil War re-enactment, art and music. Lyons Coffee will be giving out coffee bags to support the weekend.
* More volunteers are sought to join the regular helpers. Anyone who can spare 3/4 hours on either day should go to the admin office in the Conservatory Bar on the pier.
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