The Worthing Birdman: Elkins v Worthing Town Council

HHJ Simpkiss has now handed down judgment in this much publicised and long running claim by a hang gliding competitor to have won the 100 metre Jackpot at the 2009 Worthing International Birdman Competition. Dismissing Mr Elkin’s claim to have flown the requisite distance and not 99.87 metres as measured by the Judges of the competition, HHJ Simpkiss found that the facts were inconclusive and that the Court should not in any event admit evidence obtained long after the conclusion of this sporting event. Adopting the dicta of Sir Robert Megarry V-C in McInnes v Onslow Fane (1978) 1 WLR 1520 the Judge held that the courts should be slow to interfere in the outcomes of such competitions where the umpire’s decision should be final. The case attracted widespread interest in both the local press and on the television and saw Mr Elkins represented by leading counsel. Those wishing to see Mr Elkins incredible flight and to decide for themselves whether he did or did not reach the 100 metre buoy should go to:

Clifford Darton, instructed by Mr Stephen Netherwood of Bennett Griffin LLP appeared for the successful defendant.