Slideshow: Crowds brave the weather at Lowestoft air festival

Hayley MaceHundreds of thousands of people braved heavy rain and thunderstorms to watch some of the world's most famous aircraft at the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival today.Hayley Mace

Hundreds of thousands of people braved heavy rain and thunderstorms to watch some of the world's most famous aircraft at the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival today.

Organisers estimate that about 160,000 people made their way to the seafront to watch nearly five hours of flying displays.

Festival managing director Paul Bayfield said that the Avro Vulcan and Red Arrows had been favourites with the crowd, as always.

'When the Vulcan hit on full throttle, or almost full throttle, that was just breathtaking,' he said.


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He said he is hoping for better weather and good crowds again tomorrow.

As well as heavy rain and thunderstorms, there were even reports of a funnel cloud which passed south of Lowestoft near Pakefield. A spokesman for UEA-based Weatherquest said they did not have confirmation of a funnel cloud, but that the weather conditions made such an event possible.

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Highlights included formation displays from The Blades, wingwalking by Team Breitling and daring aerobatics by the Matadors Red Bull air race team with reigning air race world champion Paul Bonhomme, as well as ground displays, games and exhibitions on the Royal Green.

The Yak 52s formation team, which features six Russian-designed two-seater aircraft, returned to Lowestoft for the first time since 2004 and performed synchronised aerobatics over the beach.

Tomorrow's flying starts at 12.30pm with the Red Arrows.

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