Red Arrows dazzle skies with daredevil moves as they mark return to Portsmouth after two-year absence

THE Red Arrows were once again in town after a two-year absence as they wowed the crowds with their famous daredevil moves.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 7:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 9:02 pm

It was the first time the Red Arrows had been to Portsmouth since their display during the D-Day 75 celebrations in 2019.

And they offered a reminder of their enduring popularity despite the brief performance as they dazzled the skies and poured out their famous coloured smoke.

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Red Arrows flying above Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesday 20th October 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Spinnaker Tower was lit up in honour of the famous band of jets that were taking part in a display in support of the Pacific Future Forum event on the HMS Prince of Wales.

Those who had braved the chilly conditions and strong gusts on the Round Tower were not disappointed.

Julie Drayton, 63, of Southsea, said: ‘You can’t put into words how good they are. They fly so close to each other at such speed. They are absolutely brilliant.’

Julie’s friend Kerry Walker, 58, of Farlington, added: ‘We’re Red Arrows fans and have seen them a few times. We waited all day to see them but it was worth it.’

Red Arrows flying above Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesday 20th October 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

It was a family outing for Jan Hopwood, 67, with son Marc Hopwood, 48, and mum Doreen Paddon, 88, enjoying the show.

Jan said: ‘We’ve seen them before and we thought we would come down to see them in action. They are brilliant and fascinating to watch with all their moves.

‘I asked mum if she was sure she wanted to come down as it was windy but she was determined. It was worthwhile.’

Doreen said: ‘They are very skillful and it is scary to watch but they are brilliant.’

Red Arrows flying above Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesday 20th October 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

Marc added: ‘I love watching them. You see what they do and think of all the training it must take.’

Stacey Gordon, 28, of Copnor grew up watching the Red Arrows and wanted her daughters to experience the same thrill. ‘They are amazing. I’ve always watched them since I was a child,’ she said.

‘They are fascinating and are outstanding with all the twists and turns. I could watch them all day. They should do a longer show. It’s the first time the kids have watched them.’

Stacey’s daughters Maddie, 13, and four-year-old Demi-Rose, enjoyed the spectacle. Maddie said: ‘It was very cool.’

Steve Hayward, 68, of Southsea, and Carole Jenkinson, 67, of Cowplain, were regular spectators to Red Arrow shows.

Steve said: ‘I think they did extremely well in challenging conditions. I’m surprised they could do the loop with all the clouds which shows the skill of the pilots.’

Carole added: ‘They are just brilliant.’

The famous aircrafts flew in from the east over Hayling Island before leaving to the west with them flying over Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent.

The Red Arrows then headed back to Bournemouth where they had started out earlier.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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