Spirits are not dampened by the weather as Red Arrows return to Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 September 2018

Red Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon Horn

Red Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon Horn

Simon Horn

Dark skies were lit up by the red, white and blue streaks of the Red Arrows as pilots took on their most challenging display to kick off Sidmouth’s annual Regatta weekend.

Red Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon HornRed Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon Horn

The distinct roars of the RAF planes soared over the seafront to be met with loud cheers from the estimated 15,000 strong crowd who braved the cold to watch the display last Friday.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was unable to make it for the second year running after strong winds grounded the aircrafts on the morning of the event. Christopher Holland, Sidmouth town council’s clerk, said although the weather had not been ideal, the town still had a buzz and received a lot of support.

He said: “The Red Arrows really pulled all the stops out, it’s one of the best displays I’ve seen. If people remember back to the first year they came they managed to only have a low fly pass, this year they were able to do a full display complete with the synchronised pairs.

“There was a big buzz and it was quite heartening that people still came along. The town was really busy. The expectation was there and then the Red Arrows came across, it was fantastic, I had a tear in my eye. It was the most challenging display they have had this year.

Red Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon HornRed Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon Horn

“The regatta is a celebration of Sidmouth and we like to play our part to kick that off.”

Visitors and residents also answered organisers call to arm for collectors with many turning out on the day.

New restrictions were in place this year including the closure of the Esplanade for the first time and an air display water safety zone.

Extra car parking and buses were also put in place to allow for free flowing traffic to enter and exit the town.

Red Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon HornRed Arrows in Sidmouth. Picture: Simon Horn

The amount raised on the day is still being total up but Mr Holland hopes with the council’s approval the event can take flight again.

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