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World’s top cliff divers are afraid of diving into Irish sea-pool

June 23, 2017 Sports No Comments Email Email

Shaped by Mother Nature and no bigger than a shoebox – at least from the cliff diving platforms high above the mysterious blowhole of Serpent’s Lair on Ireland’s Inis Mór. The almost perfectly rectangular sea-pool makes for an ideal stage for the opening act of this year’s Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Starting off at the deep end, it’s a premiere in this location for the women and remains a stiff test for body and mind for the men in their third showing on the edge of Europe. The 22 athletes are intent on starting the season strongly, as those who make it through this exposed and elemental venue, are definitely ready for the most unpredictable, six stops strong season.

The Serpent’s Lair is the World Series at its wildest and it poses the world’s best cliff divers a unique challenge. “Ireland is one of the most unique and exciting but also terrifying locations,” says Colturi, “but going into my 8thyear of cliff diving, I’m relying on the experience that I’ve had over the years, to bring me through and get me over those mental fears and mental challenges of feeling nervous and anxious and scared and not prepared for a tough season ahead.”

Inis Mór was for centuries a local secret, one that’s only been shared with the wider world in the last five years. Standing on the 21m (women) and 27m (men) platforms the divers will look out to a vista of jagged rock and rolling ocean. Below them, the target: a natural sea-pool formed by thousands of years of the push and pull of the sea. Thanks to a network of underwater tunnels and caverns the ocean flows in and out of the pool meaning that the water rises and falls with every crashing wave.

The result for the cliff divers is a moving target: “Because it’s a blowhole you have water coming in and then the level is going up and down a little bit,” explains cliff diving legend Orlando Duque, “it’s really slow but you have to be aware of that, because at one point you can be diving at one metre more or less and if you miss that and you’re miscalculating, it can be pretty bad.”

Reigning champion Rhiannan Iffland from Australia, can look forward to fierce competition from the likes of American diver Cesilie Carlton and Adriana Jimenez from Mexico City, who’s enjoying the best form of her career at just the right time. Jimenez was victorious at April’s FINA High Diving World Cup in Abu Dhabi, edging Iffland into second place.

After months of training, preparation and exciting build-up, the 2017 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will start in three days’ time. The sell-out crowd at Inis Mór will witness 14 men and 8 women of 12 nationalities, including wildcard invitations, taking to the air in pursuit of victory.

Click here for 2017’s permanent athletes – men | women

Wildcards (men, women): Alessandro De Rose (ITA), Alain Kohl (LUX), Artem Silchenko (RUS), Igor Semashko (RUS); Meili Carpenter (USA), Yana Nestsiarava (BLR).

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for exhilarating action and dives of ever-growing complexity. The series features elite athletes as well as young up-and-coming talent and a Women’s World Series was introduced in 2014. In 2017 the sport’s best athletes will once again leap, twist and somersault from up to 27m with no protection, except their concentration, skill and physical control during six competitions around the world.

This competition will be LIVE on June 24 from 11 AM GMT on, Red Bull TV and Facebook. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at SAT details are attached.

Please also find a link to the Cliff Diving documentary which is now available from Red Bull TV

Looking forward to hearing if this is something of interest to you, if you have any questions at all or require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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