Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series takes the plunge after 21-month absence

Posted on 30 June 2021 By David Henning

After a 21-month absence, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returned to the idyllic seaside town of Saint-Raphaël in France in June.

Anna Bader during the recent leg of the world series at Saint-Raphaël.

Established in 2009, the series is the penultimate cliff diving competition, with divers taking off from immense heights with intricate topsy-turvy turns ending off with elegant pin-drops entry into the water.

Cliff divers are masters of overcoming their fears (or not having any), with the final 27m jump the equivalent of an 8-story building, and divers sometimes mention how looking down from the platform makes them a bit queasy. The reason for this is that those divers are fighting a natural instinct where the brain is processing a number of signals to maintain balance and your vision gets confused as you look down that height.

Carlos Gimeno before taking the 27m drop.

This is where confidence becomes necessary because if you think you are going to make a mistake, you have already have. Aimee Harrison, one of the competitors admits that she never really got used to it.

Divers don’t get to practice these high dives regularly because there are few places where you can dive from such heights, not to mention that every diving site is different. So preparing for competitions mostly consists of practising take-offs and entries. Usually, divers get to test out the location one day before the completion for a few test dives off of the lower platforms. To find out more about the sport and how the competition works, watch the video below.

The Cliff Diving World Series is entering its thirteenth edition. After the 2020 world series was called off due to Covid-19, the 2021 series kicked off on 13 June in France, where divers flung themselves off a 27m platform into a rocky bay. You can see the acrobatic display in the highlights below:

There are still five more events this year before the cliff diving champion for 2021 is crowned. The next one will take place in Oslo, Norway, on 14 August where a platform extending from the Oslo Opera House will serve as the take-off. This is the first time a building will be used for the event.

Men’s winner, Catalin Preda’s aerial display at of Saint-Raphaël.

Judges have the best view, as they scrutinise dives carefully.

Thereafter, there will be four more events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland and Italy before a champion is crowned at the final leg in Azerbaijan on 16 October. The events are all streamed live on Red Bull’s Youtube or Facebook page free to watch.

Source: Red Bull Content Pool 

Also Read:

Four new locations for Cliff Diving World Series announced

Pictures: Red Bull

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