Time to hang up our wings

Press Release - 24/02/2016

From the Worthing Town Centre Initiative Worthing

International Birdman Cancelled

The Worthing Town Centre Initiative (WTCI) have decided not to continue organising the Worthing International Birdman competition for the time being.

The organisation has been thrilled with the success of the Worthing International Birdman over the past 8 years, the response from the crowds and support of the businesses, together with the bravery of the competitors has generated phenomenal publicity for Worthing. It has also been a vehicle for huge sums of money to be raised for Charity.

Because the costs to deliver the event have been escalating in recent years and in the absence of significant sponsorship, after much consideration the board of the WTCI have sadly decided it is time to stop injecting money and resources into the event.

The board took the view that there are many other projects needing investment in the Town Centre and it is time to focus on those areas rather than spending the amount of money involved on a “one-off” event.

Chris Spratt Chairman of the Town Centre Initiative commented “The Worthing International Birdman has been a wonderful success for Worthing, it has raised the profile of the Town and been a key event in Worthing’s calendar. The WTCI feel it’s time to stop our investment while the event is on a high and turn our funds and resources to other Town Centre projects. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the event over the last 8 years; without their enthusiasm and passion it would not have been possible to deliver such a world class event. Of course it may be that some other organisation may choose to take on the event. It was gratifying for us that having first brought the ice rink to Worthing Town Centre when we decided to step aside a private company took the facility forward and that is always possible with the Birdman.”

The Worthing Town Centre Initiative manage the Business Improvement District and will now be prioritising other projects in the Town Centre for the benefit of the business community.




Tony Hughes touches the £10,000 jackpot prize with a distance of 106m - can he take it home?

An amazing day of flights at the 8th Worthing International Birdman. The jackpot has been won but can Tony Hughes keep the £10,000 or will someone snatch it from him again? There were some fantastic costumes today from the kingfisher competitors and thousands on the beach cheered as one by one they attempted to fly. The Leonardo Class saw some great attempts with Sean Frawley leading after day 1 with a flight of nearly 90 metres. The weather is looking good for Day 2 so it's all to play for! Flying starts at 12.45pm Sunday, off Worthing Pier.


MP4 file (360mb) - broadcast quality

Results so far - Here



#worthingbirdman Media Centre

Thank you for your interest in Worthing International Birdman 

2015 dates - Saturday 15th August and Sunday 16th August 2015

REVEALED - 2016 dates - Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August 2016 

Press & Media

Press contact

Sharon Clarke
Worthing Town Centre Initiative
Tel: 01903 203252


2015 Rules and Regulations can be found here

Flyers - Download a blank sponsorship for here

Official Worthing International Birdman Logo/Brand

General guidelines that apply to all permitted uses of the Brand Assets:

  1. Avoid using brand assets in a way that suggests any type of association or partnership with Worthing International Birdman or approval, sponsorship or endorsement by Worthing International Birdman.
  2. Don’t present a brand asset in a way that makes it the most distinctive or prominent feature on your web page, printed material or other content.
  3. Don’t use Worthing International Birdman’s brand assets in a way that is deceptive, harmful, obscene or otherwise objectionable to us.
  4. You may not present or feature the brand assets on websites containing content associated with pornography, gambling or illegal activities.
  5. You must keep sufficient space around our brand assets so they appear clean and uncluttered.


The logo

(click to launch, then right click to 'save as')

Download vector version
Download vector version (PDF)
Download JPG version
Download JPG version
Download PNG version
Download PNG version

The best way to keep on top of Worthing Birdman news, is via our facebook and twitter pages.



Social Media #worthingbirdman

It seems the whole world has gone twitter and facebook mad. Yes they have, and as we're not one to disappoint, we have our very own facebook pages and twitter profiles.

Get up to the minute news about Worthing Birdman

Twitter - follow us @worthingbirdman

Facebook - become a fan worthingbirdman

We'd love you to get involved and participate in our social media - do this by using the hashtag #worthingbirdman - this will ensure we find your post and bring it into our social media mix

A little history...

What is the Birdman Competition?

The Birdman is a flight competition for human powered flying machines held each summer in the picturesque seaside town of Worthing on England\'s South Coast.

Many flyers take part to raise money for charities, other design complex machines to aim for the distance prizes. A substantial prize of £10,000 is offered for the furthest flight should a birdman achieve over a 100 metre distance.

There are three Classes that can enter the competiton:

Leonardo Da Vinci Class is for self/team-designed built and innovative craft. This class allows one flight each day; however on the Saturday competitors can choose not to fly if conditions are unfavourable.

Condor Class is for modified hang-gliders and similar craft. This class will fly on both days and the current birdman champion is a Condor competitor.

Kingfisher class is open for fun flyers and is a great way to earn more money for charity. Individuals and teams of two can enter this category; the prizes are not awarded for distance but for the entertainment value of the flight. The public can also vote on this category to crown a people's choice winner. 

More history

Worthing Birdman Competitor Information

Serious flyers in the Leonardo Da Vinci and Condor Classes try to achieve the 150 metre Jackpot distance for a massive £10,000 prize fund; whereas the Fun Flyers, or Kingfishers, find the Worthing Birdman a must do challenge for adrenaline junkies. The Kingfisher entries are judged on costumes, entertainment value and distance and the public can also vote for their favourite.

Flyers have the opportunity to raise money for charity and the chance to perform in front of thousands of spectators; you may even get in the newspapers or on TV !!

The organisers are committed to providing the safest conditions for aviators; divers, paramedics and safety boats are all on site to ensure a pleasant flight and pre flight safety briefings are mandatory before take off!

How is are flights measured?

With the launch window during high tide lasting only two hours and a certain safety margin of water depth necessary, it is vital that the distances flown are measured quickly - and with big prize money and prestige at stake - extremely accurately.

The Worthing International Birdman continues to measure competitors in the same way as Bognor Birdman using the most advanced technology available provided by Leaderboard Ltd. Bespoke software is used enabling real-time display of wind speed and direction, time in the air and, of course, distance flown.

Distances flown will be measured using three electronic theodolites, or similar measuring devices, that are set up level with the launch platform and on the 150 metre line; the units use triangulation to accurately pinpoint the competitors' landing position. All competitors will be measured using the same measurement constants that are calculated and input into the computer before the start of the competition. On splashdown the angles are recorded electronically by the three measuring stations and are entered into the Birdman computer which calculates the horizontal distance flown in any direction using trigonometry; it also calculates any small margin or error which can occur through fluctuating tide swell.

There are two measurements taken on each flight:-

  • Actual distance flown is measured as the shortest distance between the centre of the take-off edge of the platform to the point of splash down at which the Aviator ceases to fly.
  • Forward Distance flown is measured as the shortest distance from the take-off edge of the launch platform to an imaginary line that is parallel to the take-off edge of the launch platform and passes through the point at which the Aviator ceases to fly. The Jackpot and Overall International Birdman prize are awarded on this measurement.


In a perfect measurement the three sighting lines from the measuring stations would all cross at the same exact point. In practice, however, a small triangle is formed by these intersecting lines and the measuring program will calculate the distance flown to a point in the centre of the triangle; this is the average distance and the one used to determine the prizes.

A successful jackpot prize winner must achieve the challenge as forward distance flown; and must also cross a marker buoy set 100 metres from the end of the launch ramp. Touching the water before splashdown does not count against the competitor but the Aviator will be deemed to "cease to fly" when they stop moving forward, have any significant part of their legs or body immersed in the water, or when additional force is gained from a swimming stroke, push or other external force.

The Prizes

Jackpot Prize £10,000

For the furthest flight exceeding the measured 150m; this can be acheived on either day of the competition.

Longest in the Air capped at £250

Awarded to the aviator who remains in the air the longest time. This will be paid at £15 per second aloft with a maximum prize of £250 for a flight of 16 seconds or longer.

Overall 2016 International Birdman £1000

This prize is awarded to the competitor in the Leonardo or Condor class who achieved the furthest forward distance flight during the competition.

(see competitor pack for full prize details and rules)

Other cash prizes available are:

Condor Class


  • 1st place £750
  • 2nd place £400
  • 3rd place £300


The condors flight is calculated into points each day of the competition, awarded on the furthest forward distance achieved on each day, accumulated over the weekend.

Leonardo da Vinci Class


  • 1st place £750
  • 2nd place £400
  • 3rd place £300


Leonardo's are allowed two attempts, one on each day of the competition. Prizes will be awarded to the furthest forward distance achieved over the 2 days of the competition.

Kingfisher Class

1st place £500

2nd place £250

3rd place £100

Prizes will be awarded to the most entertaining fancy dress or comic entrant in this class. A panel of judges will alllocate marks to the costume and props, the pre-launch routine to music and the crowd reaction. There is also a 'funniest moment' awarded to this class too.

pre image 0pre image 1pre image 2pre image 3pre image 4pre image 5pre image 6pre image 7pre image 8pre image 9pre image 10pre image 11pre image 12pre image 13