Thousands of people will head to the Sussex coast this weekend for the annual Worthing Birdman competition.

Almost 40 weird and wonderful human-powered flying constructions will take off from the pier and travel as far as they can.

A top prize of £10,000 will be going to the machine that flies the furthest beyond 100 metres.

Fun flyers and serious competitors will be aiming to take to the skies on both days, many raising money for charity.

A specially constructed ramp has been set up on the pier and flights will start at 11.30am today and at midday tomorrow.

The event has been held in Worthing for the last seven years and regularly draws in huge crowds.

The best viewing area is the beach between the pier and the lido and a big screen will also be set up.

Organisers are also planning a wide range of entertainments, including a demonstration from the Xtreme Action Jet Ski Display team and performances from the Salvation Army Band and local singers.

Among those watching will be Edward Thomas, ten, from Findon, Worthing, who was given two VIP tickets for today's event after winning a drawing competition to design an ultimate flying machine.

Edward, who goes to St John the Baptist Primary School in Findon, said: “I really enjoyed designing my ultimate flying machine and can’t wait to see the birdmen in action, flying off the pier.”

The youngster will be joined by his proud mother Francesca on the day and they will also be treated to refreshments and afternoon tea as part of the prize.

The competition was run by Storringon-based company Just Printing.

n See Monday's edition of The Argus for a Worthing Birdman picture special.