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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Festival: Red Arrows

A DISPLAY by the Red Arrows will wow the crowds on Sunday – the perfect way to mark National Armed Forces Day.

“If we did nothing else but the Red Arrows we’d have a huge, huge audience – it really is the icing on the cake but it’s a special event all round,” said Gerard Richardson, chief executive of the festival committee.

The Red Arrows have now performed nearly 4,000 displays world-wide, in more than 50 countries, and are widely regarded as one of the world’s most skilled and famous military aerobatics teams.

In their Hawk Jets they will perform manoeuvres including the ‘apollo loop’ a spectacular upside-down loop, the ‘heart to double roll’ and the ‘twizzle’, with the finale of the ‘viken break’ an incredible move that will see the jets zoom away in different directions in the shape of a fan after flying tantalisingly close together in a pyramid formation.

Air displays have long been a staple of Whitehaven Festivals, and other attractions this year include the Cossack Display Team (which will perform formation aerobatics with two YAK 52 aircraft) and The Black Knights Royal Artillery Display Team, formed in 1977 after the amalgamation of two Independent parachute teams. 29 Commando Regiment Parachute Team “The Buccaneers” and 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery’s’ Team

All eight members serving on the team are regular serving soldiers on loan from one of the 15 Regiments within the Royal Regiment of Artillery and most have served on active operations from Afghanistan to Northern Ireland.

Also taking to the skies will be the Dakota aircraft. The Douglas C47 (DC3) Dakota ZA947 was manufactured in March 1942 and initially issued to the United States Army Air Force. That year the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force and served mainly in Canada but was latterly used in Europe until declared surplus to requirements in 1971.

The Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough then bought the aircraft and during her time with the RAE, she was used for a variety of tasks and trials. In 1992 the Defence Research Agency, the successor to the RAE, declared her surplus to requirements and offered the aircraft for disposal.

The aircraft was adopted by Strike Command and issued to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1993.

The tall ships

THE first of the tall ships to arrive for this year’s festival was the Ruth, owned by Topsy Turner who skippered the first tall ship ever to come to the festival back in 1999.

The Kathleen & May tall ship is due in today (Thursday). “There is no doubt that the Kathleen & May will be a big draw. It’s been proved at past maritime festivals just what a stand-alone attraction it is to have one or more tall ships in the harbour,” said Gerard Richardson.

“This is an absolutely beautiful vessel, not a replica but an original trader built in 1900. She’s been before and it’s going to be a joy to have such an historic ship back in our port.”

The Kathleen & May is the only wooden triple-masted sailing schooner still in existence, one of only 60 famous tall ships on the UK’s national register of historic vessels (her neighbours include the Cutty Sark and HMS Victory).

This beautiful and graceful tall ship has been completely and sympathetically renovated to its original 1900 specification.

X-TREME action will be back at the festival for some stunning jet ski displays by the slipway in between the Sugar Tongue and Lime Tongue.


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