Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 19:02 UK

Bognor Birdman contest cancelled

Bognor Birdman contest
This year would have been the 30th anniversary of the contest's move to Bognor.

Organisers have cancelled this year's Bognor Birdman contest following the demolition of a 60ft (18m) section of Bognor Pier.

The trust that organises the event made the decision because the water at the end of the pier is now too shallow.

The pier's new position also meant spectators would not have a clear enough view of competitors.

In a statement, the trust said it was exploring the idea of hosting the event in another town.

But chairman of the trust Barry Jones said this was unlikely.

"In Bognor the contest takes us six months to organise, so to organise it somewhere else in two months would be a timescale that, short of someone coming in with a lot of money, would be impossible," he said.

The pier owners said the demolition in March was carried out on safety grounds.

Mr Jones said added that the water depth at the end of the pier was now less than 12ft.

"Unless we're prepared to accept that people might hit the bottom and sustain an injury, I don't see the Birdman contest ever being on in Bognor again," said Mr Jones.

The Bognor Birdman contest started as the International Birdman Rally in Selsey, West Sussex, in 1971. It moved to Bognor Regis in 1978.

The contest involves people running off the end of the pier in winged contraptions in an attempt to stay airborne for the longest distance.

This year would have been the 30th anniversary of the contest's move to Bognor.




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