Cliff Diving: take the plunge in the Azores
The extreme sport of cliff-diving is growing more popular, and takes place in some of the world’s most beautiful locations
In second place is seven-time world champion and Guinness world record holder Orlando Duque. Duque, the oldest competitor in the series at the age of 38, has been all over the world with work and even took part in last year’s world series stop on Inis Mór. He has fond memories of his brief stop off in Ireland.
“I loved the cliff diving in Ireland. It is such a beautiful place and the people there were amongst the warmest I’ve met. I would love to come back some day,” he says.
One of the biggest surprises of the competition is 23-year-old Jonathan Paredes from Mexico. He stands on the winners’ podium for the first time this year, having made it into the top six in his first world series competition in France and missed the Danish podium by only 1.9 points not long before this win.
His third place position puts Russian competitor and two-time winner Artem Silchenko off the podium. Despite his solid performance, Paredes was worried his diving was not good enough.
“In my last dive I felt a little bit short at the entry, but these things happen. We had too many waves and I was really, really nervous on the platform. I was just behind Orlando, and that meant a lot of pressure for me,” he says.
Paredes made it to the world championships in February while taking part in the qualification competition in Australia.
There has been only one injury during this stop: American diver Kent De Mond was hospitalised after his jump went wrong. He left the hospital a few hours later. His final score was 136.80.
Although a single dive takes mere seconds to complete, it must include a series of well-orchestrated leaps and meet a variety of strict competition rules.
Five judges score each dive on a scale on 0 to 10, in half-point increments. The highest and lowest scores are discarded, with the remaining three added together to produce the overall score for each diver.
As part of the Red Bull world series, competitors travel the world to take part in cliff diving.
Interest in the extreme sport is continuously growing, with women now moving in on the action. The most recent stage of the world series – last week at Lake Garda in Malcesine, Italy – featured a women’s competition for the first time, as the sport’s top female competitors take the leap.
There are a total of eight stops in the current world series – the remaining four stops are in Boston, Abereiddy Bay in Wales, Rio de Janeiro and Krabi in Thailand – and it is still all to play for, with Hunt still in the lead.