Stu Thompson had the best seat in the house at the annual birdman competition in the Mount yesterday.
The outhouse seat, that is.
The professional clown, known as "Skyte", was dubbed reigning champion for the creativity and effort put into his flying throne.
The 40-year-old Tauranga father-of-five had spectators in fits of laughter when he cast his outhouse flying machine over the end of Pilot Bay's Salisbury Wharf at midday yesterday.
His colourful mobile, complete with a shark's head protruding at the front, earned him a perfect creativity score - although he did not rank well in the distance stakes.
A natural entertainer, Mr Stuart had the crowd - estimated by organisers to be several thousand strong - worked up with his antics on the wharf before he even began his run-up.
And to punters' delight he managed to eject himself from the outhouse on hitting the water, as the multi-coloured cubicle smashed into smithereens around him. The six-times competitor was all smiles afterwards.
"I was very happy with the jump. I got a helmet full of water and for the first time I didn't get water up my nose because I was sitting down," he chuckled."And at least I can re-use my cistern."
Contrary to popular belief among bystanders, Mr Thompson was not inspired while actually on the throne - and he did not know how he would spend the $1000 first-place prizemoney.
Mr Thompson was among enterprising company at yesterday's More FM Birdman competition, with eight other imaginative entries.
The runners-up, earning $500, were the all-female Flying Grannies and third ($250) was Miss Squarepants.
Temperatures hit high - P3