The Birdman Rally

Yesterday Sambo and I took a drive up to Yanchep so I could show him around and he could get a feel for the place. He has been a little apprehensive about the possible move so I thought if we went and had a bit of blokey fun then it might ease his anxiety.

So we jumped the fence and went for a walk along the controversial skybridge, headed up to the beach that is just by our doorstep and went for a swim, checked out the surf at The Spot and then drove up to Two Rocks to look at the remains of Atlantis Marine Park.

It was a beautiful morning, swimming with dolphins and generally having a lot of laughs. I even stopped in a quirky garage sale where a bloke was selling about $300.00 worth of reticulation cable for just $20.00 so that was a cool score.

While at the Two Rocks Marina I began to tell Sam the story of the old Birdman Rally that stopped in Perth sometimes in the late 70’s (much to my chagrin). In case you are too young to remember the Birdman Rally was a charity event that involved people launching themselves off a 10 m tower into the marina in a self designed and contructed flying machine. Most were feeble and hilarious, but the odd one did glide just enough to possibly constitute ‘flying’.

I was disappointed when it ended and often wondered what it would take to get it resurrected. (Probably a truckload of insurance money) I googled it and saw that there is a version happening now in Victoria, but its sad that such a fun and crazy event got lost. At least I loved it…

Here’s a pic of the original at Two Rocks. If anyone wants to resurrect it then let me know and I’ll lend a hand!

Apart from the Birdman Rally Yanchep was well known for Atlantis Marine Park, that also died a death due to lack of custom and ‘Grass Skiing’ an activity that involved what looked like skiing down a large grassy slope. Again (I’m guessing) the distance from customers meant it wasn’t a profitable business and it also shut down.

Here we are 20 years on and I’m curious to see what develops in the ‘far north’ as the rest of Perth expands to meet it.

5 thoughts on “The Birdman Rally

  1. I used to love the Birdman Rally. So many memories.

    What about the choc milk carton regatta?

    These kids these days don’t know what they’re missing.

  2. Excellent article. I’m from Perth, Australia…and it brought back memories. I still visit Two Rocks in summer for its beach and drop the odd fishing line in the marina. Yanchep is an excellent location. It’s a shame it’s not a best kept secret anymore!

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