AN ‘OVERWHELMED’ Ron Freeman cried tears of joy as he registered what he believes is a Birdman world record following a flight of 106-metres at Worthing Birdman this afternoon (Saturday, August 10).
The defending champion, however, failed to win the £10,000 jackpot for a 100-metre flight, as his forward distance only registered at 62.8 metres.
Due to strong winds, the veteran chose a sideways flight path, in an attempt to record the longest distance of the day – which will still win him a monetary prize.
But Mr Freeman said he ‘didn’t care’ about not winning the money, and wanted to prove a 100 metre flight could be done.
He said: “I am in bits. People said 100 metres couldn’t be done, but I knew it could.
“It’s a world record distance. When I saw the 106-metre message come up, I leapt out of the diving boat.”
Before the competition started, experienced flyers were sceptical about whether they would be able to reach the magic 100 metre-mark, due to the heavy head-wind.
It was for this reason that Mr Freeman, and another of his competitors, decided to take the sideways path.
Elsewhere, colourful crafts and costumes were the order of the day, as less-serious competitors took a leap for their chosen charities.
For the full report and pictures, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, August 15.