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Simply the best: The 2013 Bournemouth Air Festival draws to a close
4:55pm Sunday 1st September 2013 in News
The record breaking sixth Bournemouth Air Festival drew to a spectacular close with the general view that it was greatest show yet.
THE grand finale didn't quite materialise as planned, but there was still plenty to see as Bournemouth Air Festival basked in the sun again on its final day.
Sunday had been the day many were looking forward to - with the Vulcan planned to make its one and only appearance before taking part in a unique heritage flypast with the Sea Vixen, Miss Demeanour, the Meteor and Vampire.
But the Vulcan fell victim to a fuel leak and, when the Sea Vixen was also grounded with gremlins, the much-anticipated flypast had to be shelved.
The Typhoon woke everybody up on Sunday lunchtime with its ear-splitting roar and it was just the start of a top flying schedule, which saw the armed forces storm the beach and the Army and Navy Lynx helicopters take to the skies.
The jaw-dropping Blades aerobatic team made their second appearance, as did historic jets the Meteor and Vampire.
The Chinook helicopter made its final appearance of its 2013 display season over the seafront and Gerald Cooper showed his amazing skills one last time.
With the planned heritage flypast off the menu, it fell to Jonathon Whaley in his Miss Demeanour Hunter jet to give the crowds a finale to remember, before an eight-gun salute from the Royal Navy signalled an end to a fantastic four days.
Super Saturday saw a total of 446,000 people descend on Bournemouth for both the day and night displays – the most the town has ever seen on a single day in its history.
Tourism officials say over the four days, it is estimated that 1.3m people came to town.
Tourism director, Mark Smith, told the Daily Echo: “We have broken so many records.
“We’ve had the most boats on the water, around 2,000 by the end.
“We’ve had the most people that Bournemouth has ever had; there’s never been a busier day in Bournemouth than Saturday.
“It’s fair to say we’ve had the most positive reaction from the people who have been here. We’ve had a year that we’ll find difficult to top.”
Mr Smith, whose idea it was to bring the festival to Bournemouth said the event was “a massive team effort.”
It also represents a £35m boost to the local economy.
Festival director, Jon Weaver said; “I can’t believe the number of people who have come to town. It has been incredible.”
The show has become a firm favourite among many of the pilots.
Red 4, Flt Lt Martin Pert, said Bournemouth was fast becoming his top display destination.
And Jonathon Whaley, who owns and flies Hunter jet Miss Demeanour, said: “It’s like coming home. It’s such a great site.”
Michelle and Kevin Amitie visited with children Cerys, 12, Harrison, eight, a three-month-old Ffion.
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Kevin said: “It’s been a really fantastic event, and the weather has helped as it gets people outdoors.
“The big difference this year for me is that there are stalls all the way down to Boscombe, which is great. I’d say it’s the best it’s ever been.”
Myles Cann, 31, travelled from Winchester to watch the displays.
“It’s definitely the best year yet,” he said. “The displays have just been amazing.”
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