Speedflying off Beachy Head

HOR 090911 Russell Dalton, speedflying of Beachy Head for charity. photo by derek martin
HOR 090911 Russell Dalton, speedflying of Beachy Head for charity. photo by derek martin

A HORSHAM adrenaline junkie plans to jump off Beachy Head for charity.

Russell Dalton, 23, from Hillside, Horsham, will ‘speedfly’ off the 530ft cliffs onto the rocky beach below to raise money for famine victims in the Horn of Africa.

Speedflying is an adrenaline sport where participants fly down large vertical descents using just a small paragliding style wing.

“The object is to fly as fast and as low to the terrain while swooping down mountains and cliffs,” said Russell, who plans to launch at the end of September.

“You basically jump off the highest thing you can find and off you go!”

Russell, whose other hobbies include kitesurfing and firebreathing, said that the jump would be relatively safe, as long as conditions are favourable.

“The launch will have to go according to plan in order for the flight to work,” he said.

“The tide and the wind have to be just right.

“There’s nothing worse than landing in the sea. That would be rather unpleasant.”

Russell has already flown twice at Birling Gap in East Sussex with a camera attached to his helmet, the smaller height being good practice for the main event.

“The main problem comes if you don’t fully commit to the run,” said Russell.

“If you don’t push off properly you’ve got problems.”

Russell decided to raise money for famine victims in the Horn of Africa after watching news reports of starving families.

“I saw reports of families having to travel for miles and leaving kids on the road to die,” he said.

“Over 10 million people in the area are currently affected by a severe drought – the worst in the region for 60 years. It really touched me.”

All funds are donated through ‘Just Giving’ and go directly to Tearfund’s East Africa famine support programme.

Further information can be found on Russell’s website at http://jumpbeachy head.wordpress.com.