Thousands enjoy Clacton Air Show

THOUSANDS of people flocked to Tendring's sunshine coast yesterday to watch the second day of the Clacton Air Show.Officials estimated that as many as 35,000 spectators descended on the famous seafront to enjoy a packed programme which was kicked off by display favourites The Red Arrows.

By Roddy Ashworth

THOUSANDS of people flocked to Tendring's sunshine coast yesterday to watch the second day of the Clacton Air Show.

Officials estimated that as many as 35,000 spectators descended on the famous seafront to enjoy a packed programme which was kicked off by display favourites The Red Arrows.

Organisers had feared there could be another wash-out after Thursday's event was battered with rain, wind, spray and poor visibility.


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But yesterday all of the flights booked to appear were able to do so and thrilled onlookers with amazing demonstrations of their agility and manoeuvrability.

Crowds were able to see the Harrier jump jet performing a range of runs as well as the traditional hover - blasting up water and nodding menacingly to the crowd.

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Meanwhile one of yesterday's cancelled teams, The Blades, were finally able to show their incredible routine, which left onlookers both old and young open-mouthed with wonder.

The four pilot team, flying Extra 300LPs, enthralled enthusiasts and casual onlookers alike as their leader, former Red Arrow stalwart Andy Offer OBE, took them through head on passes at closing speeds of 400 knots and performed low-level loops, rolls and gyroscopic tumbles.

Earlier there had been a moment of poignancy as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight brought back echoes of bygone days when the skies were home to the heroes of the RAF, fighting against the Luftwaffe.

Yesterday Terry Allen, leader of Tendring District Council, which runs the event, said he felt the Air Show had been a great success and had made up for the previous day's disappointments.

“The relief started in the morning when I got up and saw the blue skies. We kept our fingers crossed. I think everybody's optimism kept the wind and rain at bay.

“In the end, the sun shone all day. The difference in seeing all those happy faces was very different to the opening day, where people were huddled under umbrellas. It was a completely different atmosphere.

“The final flight was the aerobatic group, The Blades - they were tremendous. All the charities there did well, the shops have done well and the stallholders were all happy.

“The place was packed and the weather was great. You couldn't have got a cigarette paper between the people on the beach.

“I am really pleased, the staff deserve a lot of thanks and I'm sure we can build on this for next year.”

n A total of 39 people were given ambulance crew attention at yesterday's event, with two taken for further treatment - one to Colchester General Hospital and one to Clacton and District Hospital.

On Thursday 22 patients were seen with four taken to hospital. All of yesterday's incidents were related to minor injuries and illnesses.

Medical cover for the show was provided by the East of England Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance Service who joined forces for both days of the event.

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