'Birdman' Ron Freeman breaks own record for furthest unassisted flight

Freeman looks set to land top prize of £10,000 in ‘birdman’ competition

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The Independent Online

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Ron Freeman, the man who has beaten his own record for the furthest unassisted flight in a “birdman” competition.

Freeman, from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, is in the running to win the £10,000 top prize money for the competition after he soared 159.8 metres in the Worthing International Birdman competition in West Sussex yesterday.

The high-flyer beat his 141.5 metre record that he set at last year’s event, but he was not the only competitor to surpass the 100 metre mark that makes them a contender for the prize money. Tony Hughes currently sits in second place after reaching 117.1 metres.

Last year Freeman missed out on the £10,000 prize due to strong winds, which made him take a sideways route to leap off the pier, rather than a forwards one.

The competition itself is known for its eccentric fans as much as for the participants’ talents.

 

While people build their own gliders, hang gliders and human-powered air-craft to leap off of seaside jetties with, people enjoy turning up or taking part in varying stages of fancy dress – one person leapt into the sea dressed as a Minion from the film Dispicable Me this year.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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