Back in March I told you about a "mad but thoroughly loveable " Englishman who was attempting to fly across the Yarra River on behalf of Lifestart Foundation. Thanks to all those who left helpful suggestions on hair removal and other ways to improve his aerodynamics! They must have worked as James (aka Birdman!) managed a magnificent leap of 7.5 metres which earned him huge cheers from thousands in the crowd! He also managed to make a big splash for Lifestart - appearing in newspapers in Melbourne and in Vietnam and presenting (in costume!) to children at Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne.
Rather angelic in his flowing, white gown; expanding lacy wings and Vietnamese hat; James added an aerodynamic, racy ruffle of "Big Red Bird Feathers" just days before the event. It was nearly 40 degrees that Saturday and the long awaited Birdman Competiton started at noon in the baking heat of the midday sun! Not that this dampened anyone's enthusiasm, everyone was in high spirits - even James who had to be there at 6.30 am to double check that his"craft" met health and safety regulations!
A purple spaceship took off first (twirling only about 5 metres)and
James was third to leap from the mighty green platform. As he prepared himself, a pre-recorded interview was shown to the crowd on an enormous video screen on the river bank. James managed to speak at length about the Lifestart Foundation. Then it was time for take off!!
James crouched down low, then dramatically spread his wings and hurtled at top speed straight over the edge of the platform! He leapt into the air, appeared to hover for a moment ....(honest!) and then crashed spectacularly into the water below! The crowds loved it!!! They cheered madly and voted "Beauty" with their boards! Even the commentator was impressed exclaiming that it had "been many years since he had seen a bellywhack like that!"
James and his family are heading back to live in the UK next month. Hopefully our crazy Melbourne competition is in his blood now and James will return again next year for an even more spectacular jump into the Yarra River.
Lots of Love from Karen.
A sincere thank you to all who sponsored James in the Birdman Competition.
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