More than 3500 people turned out to watch would-be Birdmen and Birdwomen leap, fly or just plummet from the end of Russell wharf during the town's Birdman Festival on Saturday.

The 12-year-old event had been facing extinction after losing funding and many of its long-term organisers, but a new band of volunteers rallied together to save what has become one of Northland's most popular winter festivals.

This year's Supreme Birdman trophy went to Jess Magon as Total Green Bird, from Total Marine Group in Opua.

Okaihau 13-year-old Bohemia Sanders whips up a Hawaiian-style stir-fry in the wok cook-off. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Okaihau 13-year-old Bohemia Sanders whips up a Hawaiian-style stir-fry in the wok cook-off. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Fourteen-year-old Bella Marsh of Christchurch, winner of the first heat of the wok cook-off, with her mum Hayley Marsh. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Fourteen-year-old Bella Marsh of Christchurch, winner of the first heat of the wok cook-off, with her mum Hayley Marsh. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kids compete in the dinghy race. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kids compete in the dinghy race. Photo / Peter de Graaf
It seems Whangarei 6-year-old Myles Wells, left, can't wait to get started in the spaghetti-eating race. Photo / Peter de Graaf
It seems Whangarei 6-year-old Myles Wells, left, can't wait to get started in the spaghetti-eating race. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kids compete in the 10-and-under spaghetti-eating competition with winner Moana Copplestone of Whangarei, 8, taking an early lead. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kids compete in the 10-and-under spaghetti-eating competition with winner Moana Copplestone of Whangarei, 8, taking an early lead. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Seven-year-old Ayla Cowie from Umawera, left, checks out her competition during the spaghetti-eating race while 6-year-old Myles Wells from Whangarei wears his plate to show he has finished.
Seven-year-old Ayla Cowie from Umawera, left, checks out her competition during the spaghetti-eating race while 6-year-old Myles Wells from Whangarei wears his plate to show he has finished.
Eight-year-old George Holland from Russell competes in the kids' fishing contest. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Eight-year-old George Holland from Russell competes in the kids' fishing contest. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Shane Maddren from Ngaiotonga, left, and Allen-John Reti from Waikare compete in the oyster-shucking challenge. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Shane Maddren from Ngaiotonga, left, and Allen-John Reti from Waikare compete in the oyster-shucking challenge. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Ten-year-olds Stevie Dawkins, of Orewa, and Meg Gray, of Red Beach, as the Dr Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Ten-year-olds Stevie Dawkins, of Orewa, and Meg Gray, of Red Beach, as the Dr Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Paihia siblings Patrick, 9, Alana, 10, and Austin Kell, 5, compete in the fancy dress contest. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Paihia siblings Patrick, 9, Alana, 10, and Austin Kell, 5, compete in the fancy dress contest. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Competitors in the kids fancy dress contest, from left, Paihia siblings Patrick, 9, Alana, 10, and Austin Kell, 5, and Auckland's Sylvie Raistrick, 6. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Competitors in the kids fancy dress contest, from left, Paihia siblings Patrick, 9, Alana, 10, and Austin Kell, 5, and Auckland's Sylvie Raistrick, 6. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Batman Austin Kell of Paihia with Little Batman Austin Kell Jr, 5. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Batman Austin Kell of Paihia with Little Batman Austin Kell Jr, 5. Photo / Peter de Graaf
New Yorker Chris Burke as Compost Man, representing Russell Recyclers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
New Yorker Chris Burke as Compost Man, representing Russell Recyclers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Jess Magon as Total Green Bird, this year's Supreme Birdman. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Jess Magon as Total Green Bird, this year's Supreme Birdman. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Family Shark, from Okiato and Auckland, won the best team and best stage show titles. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Family Shark, from Okiato and Auckland, won the best team and best stage show titles. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Jess Magon (Total Green Bird, front) and Chris Burke (Compost Man) wait for their turn to jump from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Jess Magon (Total Green Bird, front) and Chris Burke (Compost Man) wait for their turn to jump from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Guy Neeley, 11, of Auckland, as Grandma Shark in the Family Shark entry. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Guy Neeley, 11, of Auckland, as Grandma Shark in the Family Shark entry. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Nine-year-old Alex Ballin with The Penguins, a team from Russell's Hellhole Cafe boosted by family members from Christchurch. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Nine-year-old Alex Ballin with The Penguins, a team from Russell's Hellhole Cafe boosted by family members from Christchurch. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Russell Bowling Club team, from left, Grace Maioha, 15, Teina Reid, 15, and Sophia Hornell, 17, was named crowd favourite. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Russell Bowling Club team, from left, Grace Maioha, 15, Teina Reid, 15, and Sophia Hornell, 17, was named crowd favourite. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell firefighter Braden Davies in a pedal-powered flying contraption with assistant Tane Sigley, 15. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell firefighter Braden Davies in a pedal-powered flying contraption with assistant Tane Sigley, 15. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Birdman veterans Maryanne Hooson and Pania Sigley, of Russell, put on a show of military force. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Birdman veterans Maryanne Hooson and Pania Sigley, of Russell, put on a show of military force. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell Recyclers' Compost Man (New York's Chris Burke) takes the plunge from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell Recyclers' Compost Man (New York's Chris Burke) takes the plunge from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Penguins' flax glider plummets from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Penguins' flax glider plummets from Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Supreme winner Jess Magon, of Total Marine's Total Green Bird, readies for take-off. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Supreme winner Jess Magon, of Total Marine's Total Green Bird, readies for take-off. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Supreme winner Jess Magon, of Total Marine's Total Green Bird, launches herself from the end of Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Supreme winner Jess Magon, of Total Marine's Total Green Bird, launches herself from the end of Russell wharf. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Thousands crowded Russell's waterfront to watch the spectacle. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Thousands crowded Russell's waterfront to watch the spectacle. Photo / Peter de Graaf
It almost goes horribly wrong for Russell Fire Brigade's Braden Davies as he pedals his flying contraption up the take-off ramp. Photo / Peter de Graaf
It almost goes horribly wrong for Russell Fire Brigade's Braden Davies as he pedals his flying contraption up the take-off ramp. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell Fire Brigade's Braden Davies soars from the end of the wharf in a pedal-powered flying machine. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell Fire Brigade's Braden Davies soars from the end of the wharf in a pedal-powered flying machine. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge Blair Tuke, an Olympic sailing champion, shows his appreciation. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge Blair Tuke, an Olympic sailing champion, shows his appreciation. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge and Olympic sailing champion Blair Tuke with Supreme Birdman winner Jess Magon of Opua's Total Marine Group. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge and Olympic sailing champion Blair Tuke with Supreme Birdman winner Jess Magon of Opua's Total Marine Group. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge and Olympic sailing champion Blair Tuke, right, with Supreme winners from Total Marine, from left, Andrew Johnson, Tim Yeates and Jess Magon. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Celebrity judge and Olympic sailing champion Blair Tuke, right, with Supreme winners from Total Marine, from left, Andrew Johnson, Tim Yeates and Jess Magon. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Five-year-old Future Te Kani from Moerewa with a robotic Rob Hardiman. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Five-year-old Future Te Kani from Moerewa with a robotic Rob Hardiman. Photo / Peter de Graaf