Courtesy of Red Bull Meida Service Team
24 athletes to prove versatility to stay in contention during 3rd stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on São Miguel, Azores, Portugal on July 14.
When bare feet rise from the rocks, the world’s best cliff divers return to the sport’s origins on a tiny volcanic island in the Portuguese Azores for a record 7th time. Following a men’s thriller in Bilbao, which saw British 6-time champion Gary Hunt still struggling and reigning champion Jonathan Paredes from Mexico powering to his first 2018 podium finish, in the women’s it is Adriana Jimenez who will be the centre of attention after opening her account with a victory in Texas.
The Mexican diver comes to the picturesque volcanic islet as the title-defender in this majestic setting, where two of the four competition dives will be performed from the pure rocks. This is the only location on the 2018 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series calendar where the athletes will leap directly from the cliff face, just as the pioneers of this amazing sport did hundreds of years ago.
The 33-year-old is one of three previous winners in the Portugal leg of the World Series and has proven her versatility when it comes to leaping from rocks as well as a platform 21m above the ocean waves. The women’s two-time champion Rhiannan Iffland knows how to cope with these challenges as well having won in 2016, but the Australian comes from a disappointing season opener, missing the Texas podium by 0.2pts in what was the closest women’s final ever.
While the 26-year-old starts a season without victory for the first time, wildcard diver Jessica Macaulay secured her first ever podium for a female British diver in only her second appearance. With the record for the highest scoring women’s dive ever, the 25-year-old will compete on the Azores for the second time.
After two competitions in the men’s, two different athletes accounted for a win and the six podium spots were claimed by six different athletes. A mentally blocked record winner Hunt, who currently only sits in 11th place overall, and the defending champion Paredes, who just found his form during the 2nd stop keep this anniversary season wide open and the championship is completely up in the air.
As the World Series comes back to the archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic, volcanic stone in the shape of a ‘snakehead’ and the outside crater walls of the almost perfectly round islet are the ideal spots for the athletes to explore this pure discipline, spreading their wings diving straight from the cliffs like the pioneers did in Hawaii almost 250 years ago. The 24 athletes from 14 nationalities will use the platform construction placed 21m (women) and 27m (men) above the ocean only for the more difficult optional dives.
Click here for 2018’s permanent athletes.
Wildcards: Nikita Fedotov (RUS), Sergio Guzman (MEX), Viacheslav Kolesnikov (UKR), Viktar Maslouski (BLR); Jessica Macaulay (GBR), Eleanor Townsend-Smart (USA), Jaki Valente (BRA), Antonina Vyshyvanova (UKR).
MEN (after 2 of 7 stops)
1- Steven LoBue USA – 270pts
2- Michal Navratil CZE – 250
3- Blake Aldridge GBR – 240
4- Kris Kolanus POL – 220
5- Jonathan Paredes MEX – 190
6- David Colturi USA – 170
7- Andy Jones USA – 160
8- Alessandro De Rose ITA – 130
9- Sergio Guzman (W) MEX – 90
10- Orlando Duque COL – 80
11- Gary Hunt GBR – 80
12- Carlos Gimeno (W) ESP – 40
13- Alain Kohl (W) LUX – 10
14- Miguel Garcia (W) COL – 10
15- Oleksiy Prygorov (W) UKR – 9
16- Nikita Fedotov (W) RUS – 9
17- Artem Silchenko (W) RUS – 8
18- Kyle Mitrione (W) USA – 8
WOMEN (after 1 of 5 stops)
1- Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 200pts
2- Jessica Macaulay (W) (GBR) – 160
3- Anna Bader (GER) – 130
4- Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) – 110
5- Lysanne Richard (CAN) – 90
6- Yana Nestsiarava (BLR) – 70
7- Ginger Huber (USA) – 60
8- Maria Paula Quintero (W) (COL) – 50
9- Eleanor Townsend Smart (W) (USA) – 40
10- Irlanda Valdez (W) (MEX) – 30
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for aesthetic free-falls and dives of ever growing complexity, spotlighting the sport’s finest athletes as well as the most promising talents and in 2014 it introduced a Women’s World Series. Celebrating its 10th season in 2018, this rapidly progressing sport will crown two new champions during seven demanding competitions for the men and five for the women. Between June and September, this pure extreme sport will hit waters in natural and urban environments as well as remote and iconic venues of World Series classics.
For more information and updates visit www.redbullcliffdiving.com.
WATCH IT LIVE
This competition will be LIVE on July 14 at 12.30 GMT on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook & YouTube. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv.
We invite you to follow the World Series on Facebook (facebook.com/redbullcliffdiving), Instagram (@redbullcliffdiving) and Twitter (@cliffdiving).