Being asked to try to fly off a pier is not in my role at Regatta, however when the opportunity to take part in the International Worthing Birdman Competition, I literally jumped at the chance.
The task was simple... or so I thought! All I had to do was create a flying device and jump off the pier. The device – a Regatta tent. I was puzzled as to how I, your average Joe Bloggs from Warrington,was going to take to the air like Peter Pan!
In the week leading up to the event, I came to think the best way would be to put on an orange morph suit, wrap the tent around my upper body and jump - hoping that the tent wouldn’t drown me upon landing.
Little did I know that when I arrived on Sunday morning, the wind had picked up a little and was blowing back towards the platform from where I was jumping. My flying device instantly got turned from me with a tent, into just me (due to health and safety). We quickly branded the front of the morph suit with the Regatta R – and up I went, knees shaking and voice quivering.
When my time came to jump, I took the nice long walk from our Regatta van, across the beach and up the promenade.
From the beach, it doesn't look too high, but when you’re at the bottom waiting to jump, it slowly starts to look higher and higher. I was challenged with a flight of 10m – and not to come out battered and bruised like my colleague Megan. Bear in mind, however, the winner actually flew over 200m, so 10m should have been achievable!
I reached the top to be interviewed, trying desperately to get the crowd behind me by starting a slow clap - which inevitably resulted in about 5 people clapping! The steward told me to go all out – so that’s exactly what I did! My stomach turned inside out and all that came to mind was "this is a lot higher than it looks from the beach!"
I managed to stay quite straight when I hit the water but it felt like I had plunged to a substantial depth. It took me a while to get the surface but once I got there, the adrenalin of what I just done really kicked in and I can honestly say I wanted to do it again straight away!
If you want to see my attempt of trying to fly of Worthing pier then visit Regatta’s Instagram page or our tagboard at itsmyadventure.tv and search for my video.
I might not have broken the record for the longest distance or won any awards for my costume, but it was something that I will always remember. I’m already designing my costume for next year!
Jay is one of Regatta’s graphic desingers. You can share your adventure just like he did, by using #itsmyadventure