e n i z a Mag 2 012
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Imagine... … HITTING SPEEDS OF
IN YOUR SWIMSUIT.
… THE HEIGHT OF THE OLYMPIC HIGH DIVE. NOW TRIPLE IT. … EXECUTING A ACROBATIC DIVE FROM
METRES HIGH. IN
WORLD’S BEST CLIFF DIVERS COMPETE IN YOUR TOWN IN 2012.
IES R E S D L R O W G IN IV D RED BULL CLIFF AROUND THE WORLD
FRANCE Corsica Bonifacio
NORWAY Grimstad Barselkilen
PORTUGAL Azores S. Miguel
IRELAND Inis Mór Serpent’s Lair
Institute of Contemporary Art
UK South Wales
Pembrokeshire | St. David's
OMAN Wadi Shab Tiwi
n o i t c e P e rf
Falling free against gravity combined with jaw-dropping acrobatics â€“ thatâ€™s cliff diving. In the blink of an eye, gravity lets the divers bodies fall the equivalent of eight stories, reaching speeds beyond 85kph. With no protection whatsoever, and animated with thrilling tricks, the hand-picked athletes rely on their professionalism and experience as their bodies turn into Formula One torsos. When thereâ€™s no room for mistakes, concentration and body control is all that counts.
the best cliFF divers in the world versUs gravity twisting and flipping 27 metres through the air and hitting the water after three seconds at 85kph. three years after its inception, the red Bull cliff diving World series is established as the pinnacle of high diving competition. In 2012 this unique championship will once more be the platform for the world’s most dizzying dives in seven stops between June and september in europe, north America and the Middle east. eleven athletes will compete head-to-head for the prestigious World series title and spread the spirit of cliff diving all over the globe. In its fourth year, the World series delivers a series of innovations that will put the world’s cliff diving elite to the test.
Only the best of the best can win the title!
InG V I d F F I L c the … cOntInues
Sport at it
g ed. Cliff liff Divin e – that is all you ne achinery, C f o e c n urag nal m The Esse water and co on earth. No additio trol. The p e e d f, if cl rt A high xtreme spo on, skill and body con nciple is e st re u p e diving is th t all, just concentrati – a swimsuit. The pri et na no protectio into your trouser pock r own experience. fits h you equipment n comes wit o ti ca li p m co simple; the
“One of the greatest things in cliff diving is the fact that all you need is a swimsuit and a cliff. I showed up today to go to practice and all I did was carry a speedo in my pocket. It’s not like you have to carry a bunch of equipment with you. Just you, the cliff and the water,” Kent De Mond puts in a nutshell what the fascinating sport of cliff diving is all about. The 29-year-old American could hardly believe his eyes when he saw the Cenote Ik Kil, a root-covered sinkhole close to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Mexico, for the first time. Surrounding the spot are exotic animals, wild creatures and more than 27 metres to complicate your life in a very simple way. “The principle is so simple, but then you can make it as complicated as you want. And that’s kind of what we do,” explains Colombian Orlando Duque, winner of the World Series’ first edition in 2009. Complication in this case means animating the speedy freefall with thrilling twists and somersaults. Leaving no margin for error, but giving all the more space for “a feeling out of this world,” to use Gary Hunt’s words. For the two-time World Series champion from England, “cliff diving is so special as there are not many other sports as extreme where you don’t need any other
machinery or equipment. The feeling when you are in the air is really like you are free and in the wild. You cannot get that feeling from a 10m platform.” Being in such close proximity to nature makes all the difference for the cliff divers and adds to the sport’s principles of pure and honest competition. When leaving an eight-storey building in nothing else but a swimsuit, a body morphs into a Formula One torso within the blink of an eye, leaving no room for mistakes. In a highly technical and industrialised world like ours, it is as fascinating as it is extraordinary that reducing your needs to three basic ingredients can result in pure ecstasy. For Slava Polyeshchuk, a former world series diver from Ukraine, cliff diving has almost addictive effects: “The feeling before the dive is completely different to the feeling afterwards. If you don’t dive for a long time you’ll tremendously miss it.” Where is this permanent and long-lasting draw to the platform coming from, though? Former high-class cliff diver Joey Zuber (AUS) puts it like this: “It’s the simplicity of the sport. At the end of the day, it is just the athlete versus gravity.”
hen re applied w e w s le p ci n the n pri old hawaiia st of the Pacific back in the time se in e th K c – a b ce r id n s in the m stepping no’, power and bala requisites fo aui, d n re p la is y a e d th to o on ‘p fM are ‘Mana’ and g off cliffs, was born ave been upheld and st independent chief o been in h la iv t en d e a lele kawa, rinciples th lava that th Leap’ has ever since th p f o re e a d y a e m h t . ck s 18th century iving. It was from a ro the site of ‘Kahekili’ s. d 0 h 0 . 7 g ig 1 sport of h of cliff divin in the late rt d e o p sp m ic ju st i, je il King Kahek e birthplace of the ma th s a regarded diving from heights of around 27m, the equivalent of an eight-storey building, has a long tradition but remained largely in the shadows until the start of a series of competitions in May 2009, featuring the world’s best cliff divers. A series that has since pushed the limits of the sport and impressed more than 400,000 spectators worldwide. each year, twelve handpicked high divers from ten different countries between 25 and 46 years of age have competed in 21 competitions in the first three seasons. each has an Olympic diving background and many years of training at a professional level.
eight competitions in eight countries, almost 300 dives and 7,488m freefall at 85km/h in the three second flight – the red Bull cliff diving World series 2009 and a selected group of divers set a real standard for what cliff diving is about and re-defined the limits of this sport. never before have divers jumped from 26 metres cliffs eight times in a row. Between May and september the series was hosted in La rochelle (FrA), rotterdam (ned), dubrovnik (crO), Polignano a Mare (ItA), Antalya (tur), hamburg (Ger), sisikon (suI) and Athens (Gre). With physical mastery and pure aesthetics on the platform, and crackling tension among the spectators, the traditional sport of cliff diving leapt into a new era. And it was nine-time world champion Orlando duque (cOL) who was crowned winner after his fourth place finish in Athens on september 20, taking the World series champion title in a photo finish.
Final resUlts 2009 1. orlando duque / col 2. gary hunt / gbr 3. artem silchenko / rUs
127 127 111
In its second year, the red Bull cliff diving World series took the next breathtaking step and led its protagonists in six competitions from europe – La rochelle (FrA), Kragerø (nOr), Polignano a Mare (ItA), sisikon (suI) – to central America – Yucatán (MeX) – and the sport’s birthplace in hawaii (usA) for the grand finale. After more than 20,000 miles travelled, almost 200 three-second flights and 17,263.45 points awarded, the 2010 red Bull cliff diving World series staged its final showdown at the Kawainui Falls on hawaii’s ‘Big Island’ on september 12. In a spine-tingling competition, reigning World series champion Orlando duque took his first season victory and handed over the title to Gary hunt. the year’s dominator took four wins out of six in only his third year of high diving and took the crown from colombia to england. season II brought about innovations in the competition format as well as in the diving itself: new dives, more difficulty, more focus and an obvious challenge to the throne by an up-and-coming generation of high divers.
Final resUlts 2010 1. gary hunt / gbr 2. orlando duque / col 3. artem silchenko / rUs
109 94 80
Between March and september the World series travelled from the remote Island of rapa nui (chile) to central (Mexico) and north America (usA) and europe (Greece, France, Italy, ukraine). the third season saw three different winners in seven challenging competitions, featured three rookies and a lot of other surprises along the way: a tsunami evacuation in easter Island, the injury of the two-times winner Orlando duque in April, wind gusts up to 80kph in France on competition day, lightning in Boston that interrupted the opening round and a successful season wrap up on the shore of the Black sea, where the ‘brilliant Brit’ Gary hunt defended his overall title. At the great showdown on the crimean peninsula russia’s Artem silchenko broke a personal and a World series record by receiving three 10s for one dive and more than 500 points in total.
Final resUlts 2011 1. gary hunt / gbr 2. artem silchenko / rUs 3. michal navratil / cZe
125 91 77
ef a r entering
lling? f free fa ” says Gary o id a r f Who is a r this day to be over, am training, “I it fo a t w rs fi ’t n e ca th I “ re a minutes befo ding? Being Hunt in the e first dive!” Is he kid nd jumping ra f th so scared o d passionate cliff dive y building n a store l professiona mparable to an eight- ave to be t co uh off a heigh g can’t mean that yo athletes might in v li hese to make a b. Wrong! T ion, but never jo r u o y g in ct afraid of do orm without any prote part of their tf al la ci p u leave the fear is a cr r: e v a -s fe li ir without the l life. a n professio
It’s always different. every platform has a different height. every venue has its special characteristics. taking the picturesque city of La rochelle, annual host of a World series stop in the past three years, the platform gives a wide view over the Bay of Biscay and the old town. “I don’t know if it’s the actual height or if it’s the panorama. When you are on the platform you see all these five-storey buildings and you really feel like you’re on top of the world. You must muster a lot of courage to jump off,” explains Kent de Mond. After leaving the 27.5m platform by foot again, the American continues: “A lot of the time when we come to the locations we have a look off the platforms and we are not prepared to dive in that moment and then we wonder how we ever get off the platform doing the dives we’re doing. But when you know that you have to dive you think about it mentally, run through it in your head. By the time you are about to dive, you are so focused; you’re only thinking about the dive and not the height and I think this is the only way you can do it. the seconds before a dive are the most intense. this is when you have to block out the fear and just focus on the dive.” however, most of the divers don’t block out the feeling of fear that floods them before making a dive. “I do get scared,” says Orlando duque, “you are aware of the consequences of something going wrong. I actually try to use that to remind me of what I need to do. If I get too comfortable, I may overlook something, so I use the fear to help me concentrate so I have a safe dive.” concentration plays a central role when it comes to diving from great heights. Being able to completely focus on one thing and put aside everything else. It’s like in horse racing where the horses wear blinders to not get distracted from things and noises happening around them. translated into high diving, these blinders are the athletes’ strong minds and their ability to achieve maximum concentration. seldom but still it happens that experienced divers make a mistake and lose orientation. experiencing a bad and painful landing will definitely influence your future performance and increase the level of fear that you have to overcome before the take-off. French diver hassan Mouti, for example, did not compete in the last stops in 2011 after a training crash in the lead-ups to the third competition. “My greatest fear was to get lost in the air again. It was really scary imagining getting up on the platform again. It was a new challenge for me.”
In order to avoid this increased level of fear, russia’s heavyweight in cliff diving, Artem silchenko, follows his individual rules: “I never try to watch the others dive. I am too scared for them. We know what can happen when something goes wrong. this is also one of the reasons why I always try to not think about anything before I take off.” It’s certainly not always possible to look away and also not everybody’s cup of tea and, thus, other divers’ crashes might bring back your own bad memories. “After seeing an accident like the one of hassan, you can’t help going back and reliving your own accidents; but if you focus too much on them you’d never go up on the platform again. You just have to forget about your bad dives and believe that your next dive is going to be better,” says Gary hunt. Accidents or not, crashes or not, fear is a factor permanently present in this ancient extreme sport. resulting from a lot of respect. respect for the height, risk and impact. every single athlete is very well aware that this is a sport, which demands full concentration and full body control. And they have to master these feelings every time anew. “My way to overcome the fear is just imagining the feeling after a good dive. It’s that ’over the moon’ feeling that causes me to keep diving,” 28-year-old hunt gives insight into his personal fear management. having learned about the fear factor, the oftentalked-about relief after a good landing just got more comprehensible. the last word on this topic is left to nine-time world champion Orlando duque: “When standing on top before you dive, you feel anxious; you’re stressed, and you’re scared; then, once you’re underwater, everything switches. It’s like a 180-degree turn, and you’re suddenly super happy.”
h it new s brings wit one of ct s e a ri F e s y e d K rl o e tion of diving W t oF th snapsho r of the red Bull cliff n amid the rapid evolu ed to know yea ovatio you ne the fourth exciting inn ere are some things 12 ... d n a rs e iv d in 20 orts. h rules, new ing of all sp ive into a new season k ta th a re b the most ge and d ke the plun ta u o y re befo QUaliFication
15 aim for it and only four can make it – the qualification for the 2012 edition of the sport’s most prestigious series of competitions is hard fought. By means of a video application ten athletes have been selected in addition to the five divers who competed as part of the 2011 World series but did not make the automatic cut for season IV. At hawkesbury river in Australia Blake Aldrige, david colturi, Jorge Ferzuli and steven LoBue took the available slots for the current high diving season. the top 5 divers plus those for whom injury policy applies are qualified for a 2013 World series. the first qualification competition took place for the World series 2011 and gave three rookies the chance to prove their talent.
From an individual’s passion high diving has turned into a recognized sport, which draws people’s attention worldwide. “It’s getting more and more interesting for new divers to come into the series, because it’s kind of a prestige thing, it’s the top in our sport. Just like in any other sport there is the one event that everybody wants to participate in and wants to win. this is what every high diver wants to win. not because you’re on tV or in magazines, no. everybody in the sport knows your name after you’ve won this one,” Orlando duque explains. hardly three seasons old, the World series’ participants have pushed the sport to such a high level that American Greg Louganis – four-time Olympic gold medallist and the most successful diver of all time – predicts an even brighter future for cliff diving: “this series standardized the sport a bit. the height is always between 26.5m and 28m, they have the fixed degree of difficulty and a good panel of judges. thus, the divers know better what to expect and can prepare better. I think it’s very possible that cliff diving becomes an Olympic sport. there is so much more talent coming into the sport. It’s an exciting time for cliff diving.” the red Bull cliff diving World series aims for guaranteeing the highest possible quality in this sport, featuring the world’s best athletes and providing them with a platform to excel and express their passion over and over again.
the world’s best cliff divers fight for the title of World series champion in seven challenging competitions. eleven permanent divers from eight different countries between 23 and 38 years and up to three wildcard divers at each tour stop.
Kicking off in mid June in France, the World series goes north to Grimstad (nOr) and touches Portuguese soil for the very first time on the volcanic islands of the Azores one month later. the mid-season stop is hosted by Ireland, and after a touchdown in the sports-mad city of Boston (usA) – the only unchanged location for 2012 – Wales (GBr) welcomes the divers in early september. Only three weeks later the grand final takes place in the sultanate of Oman, in the picturesque Wadi shab.
event Format _ A competition consists of four dives: two required dives with a limited dd (3.6) and two optional dives. _ two days of competition. _ the first round determines the ranking for the head-to-head battles. _ two rounds of head-to-head: one required & one optional dive. _ Final round: seven winners & one lucky loser perform one optional dive in reverse starting order. Optional dives have to be alternated at every competition. _ the winner is the one with the highest point total of all 4 dives.
head-to-head the first required round determines the ranking for the head-tohead, 1st against 14th, 2nd against 13th, etc. In the head-to-head rounds all divers do one required (dd 3.6.) and one optional dive. After three rounds, the seven winners and one lucky loser – the diver with the highest score of all the losers – do one final optional dive. the order is determined by points accumulated by all the dives and is in reverse order.
Five international jurors will judge each dive on the following criteria: tAKe OFF POsItIOn In the AIr entrY In the WAter scOres FrOM 0 tO 10
1 head judge & 4 judges/competition selected form a pool of 10 members cLAudIO de MIrO (ItA) head judge, former Italian diving team member sArA MAssenZ (ItA) Former Italian diving team member AnKe PIPer (Ger) three-time european champion 10m MArIOn reIFF (Aut) Participant Olympic Games sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 steVe FOLeY (Aus) three-time Olympian (1976, 1980, 1984), first Australian male diver to final in both springboard and platform at the Games (1984) Ken GrOVe (Au(s)-t) two-time Olympian for Aus and Aut, Orlando duqueâ€™s first high diving coach tOnIO MArtIneZ (MeX) FInA judge, organizer of high diving competitions in Mexico (chiapas & Acapulco) since 2007, high diving shows worldwide since 1988 AndreY IGnAtenKO (uKr) Winner first red Bull cliff diving World series competition in La rochelle, FrA, in 2009, 4th overall in the same year JeFF ArBOn (GBr) Participant Olympic Games seoul 1988 renAtO rOsI (ItA) Former Italian diving team member GreG LOuGAnIs (usA) Four-time Olympic Gold medallist, most famous diver of all time
points per competition
calculation of total score of each competition: _ Five scores by five judges. _ highest and lowest score are discarded. _ remaining three scores are added together. _ this sum is multiplied by the degree of difficulty for each dive. _ scores from all four rounds are cumulated for the final competition result. _ Points will be awarded from 1st to 14th place (including wildcards). _ the winner of any individual tour stop is the diver with the highest point total from this stop.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
200 160 130 110 90 70 60
8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
50 40 30 20 10 9 8
calcUlation oF the total score in the world series: Points from each competition are added together. the top 5 results of each diver count for the World seriesâ€™ overall ranking.
tem atch sys f r c s s t in ries po f a total o world se e their worst two â€“ o ner of strik results. Win l be n o ti ti divers can e p m ividual co s 2012 wil seven â€“ ind ff diving World serie ts after all cli oin the red Bull h the highest overall p sult policy. it h re w the athlete fter applying the scratc sa competition
PLATFORM stable take-off board construction; minimum length of of 1.51.5 metres; stable take-off board construction; minimum length metres; able take-off board construction; minimum length platform of 1.5 metres; minimum width of 0.75 metres; rim at least minimum width of 0.75 metres; platform rim at least nimum width of20.75 metres; platform rim atfallleast metres beyond thethe vertical line;line; water spray 2 metres beyond vertical fall water spray metres beyond the vertical fall line; water spray
FREE FREEFALL FALL
1 1 1 sec.
PHYSICAL PHYSICAL FORCES FORCES
2 2 2
2-3G 2-3G 2-3G sec.
ENTERING ENTERINGSPEED SPEED ENTERING SPEED
3 3 3 sec.
ninn IMIPA PCAT nine IMPA einteimteims M ehsahrdae CT CT time rrdetrhathnafnrom a 10m platform s h a rd from a 10m platform er than from a 10m platform
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series maximum height: 28 m Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series minimum height: 26.5 m 25
General male competitions: 20â€“28 m
General female competitions: 18â€“23 m
The highest risk of injury occurs during the plunge, when parts of the body are already exposed to absolute deceleration and others, above the surface, are still at full speed. At this point, maximum physical tension is absolutely necessary. Immediately after hitting the water, the athlete has to actively dive away to avoid compression or contortion of parts of the body due to the hardness of the water. However, major mistakes can be ruled out because of the divers` technical training and experience. A pancake landing from such heights can be compared with a hard landing from 13 metres on concrete. That is why only about three to four dozen athletes worldwide pursue this exclusive and extreme sport. Generally speaking, high diving over 28 metres is not justifiable. Due to the rapid acceleration, almost no time benefit occurs from higher dives, but the risk of injuries increases disproportionately.
On standby next to the diving point, three scuba divers at landing point. Ambulance on standby.
Minimum water depth: 5 m
to season IV of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
It is time; time for the challenge, the moment for overcoming the fear has come. Who is this year’s pacesetter? Which dives do the athletes use as the aces up their sleeves? Before you join in and keep a close eye on the world’s most thrilling high diving competition and its athletes we’d like to introduce the judges and wildcards at each stop. Feel the passion, and enjoy reading.
the Judges PeR stoP stoP 1: fRanCe CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES ANKE PIPER (GER) KEN GROVE (AU(S)-T) MARION REIFF (AUT) ANDREY IGNATENKO (UKR) stoP 2: noRWaY CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES ANKE PIPER (GER) ANDREY IGNATENKO (UKR) RENATO ROSI (ITA) MARION REIFF (AUT) stoP 3: PoRtugal, aZoRes CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES KEN GROVE (AU(S)-T) GREG LOUGANIS (USA) MARION REIFF (AUT) SARA MASSENZ (ITA) stoP 4: IReland CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES TONIO MARTINEZ (MEX)
RENATO ROSI (ITA) ANDREY IGNATENKO (UKR) SARA MASSENZ (ITA) stoP 5: usa CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES GREG LOUGANIS (USA) JEFF ARBON (GBR) STEVE FOLEY (AUS) TONIO MARTINEZ (MEX) stoP 6: uK, south Wales CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES GREG LOUGANIS (USA) KEN GROVE (AU(S)-T) SARA MASSENZ (ITA) RENATO ROSI (ITA) stoP 7: oMan CLAUDIO DE MIRO (ITA) HEAD OF JUDGES GREG LOUGANIS (USA) KEN GROVE (AU(S)-T) RENATO ROSI (ITA) ANKE PIPER (GER)
the WIldCaRds naMe stoPs ANATOLIY SHABOTENKO (UKR): FRANCE, PORTUGAL EBER PAVA (COL), UK GENNADIY KUTSENKO (UKR): IRELAND HASSAN MOUTI (FRA): FRANCE, OMAN JONATHAN PAREDES (MEX): USA, OMAN KRIS KOLANUS (POL): NORWAY KYLE MITRIONE (USA): USA, UK SASHA KUTSENKO (UKR): IRELAND, UK TODOR SPASOV (BUL): NORWAY, PORTUGAL, IRELAND NOTE: subject to change, due to individual schedules
body & Mind
& m mselves fro o yride e o th j e ch h n t u la n Join en 11 men t-storey building with h w s n e p p a s sana What h an eigh venal’: Men ysical uivalent of u q ‘j e t it h p ig e e e h k the Let’s dy. Ph hatsoever? a sound bo rthless protection w – a sound mind in o no diving but w Only sa f if re cl o in rp t co n in eme ive. basic requir ute to the d fitness is a mind does not contrib enjoy the ride. e to in itself if th inds allow it are able m those whose
Greg Louganis, four-time Olympic gold medallist and the greatest diver of all time, joined the World Series as a judge for the first time in 2011 and was full of admiration for the athletes’ performances: “It’s not just a daredevil thing. You need to have a lot talent.” It’s not just a straight jump, but a highly complicated combination of somersaults and twists from 27 metres. Aesthetic movements which need to be performed precisely to enter the water in a safe and vertical position and which demand self-confidence, concentration, absolute body control and experience; in addition to a technically perfect education, at least 10 years of training in diving or a similar acrobatic sport and the ability to make split-second decisions based on impulses such as sight, space, time and experience. 30% body and 70% mind – for Hassan Mouti, fifth overall in the 2009 and 2010 World Series, the psychology is all important, as he explains, pointing to his head: “The whole idea is to keep your body in shape as much as you can. Up here is the thinking part of the rest of the dive. You do train, but only on 10 metres and the rest of it happens in the mind.” Before the athletes attempt the actual dive, they have already performed it in their mind a hundred times. Why? “Because you have to know what you are going to do and what it is going to feel like,” explains Gary Hunt, the two-time World Series champion. For training reasons, professional athletes break their manoeuvres down into parts as they dive from 5 to 10m boards, working on their flexibility and muscular strength. “No matter how fit your body is, you cannot dive from 27 metres with a mind that’s not ready,” Russian Artem Silchenko reduces the complex goings-on in a diver’s mind to a simple explanation. The fact that the mere thought of a high dive in a neutral and relaxed environment sees the heart rate and the body tension rise to the same high level as before the actual execution – as proved in the Red Bull Diagnostics and Training Centre in Austria – underlines the mental and physical pressures to which the athletes are exposed. “When I step to the edge of the platform, I’m ready to go. If I’m not comfortable, I don’t even get on the platform. I don’t exceed a certain point; I have to make sure that every step before the dive is right. If something is not right, I have to figure out the problem, get it sorted and only then can I make that last step to the edge
of the platform,” is how 2009 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion Orlando Duque (COL) explains what goes through a cliff diver’s mind in the moments before a dive. Mental strength is the second key component of a balanced training program. For Kent De Mond, the 29-year-old San Diego-based high diver, the natural ability to learn and train a dive on a mental basis is something that makes the difference between a good diver and an exceptional diver and is essential in high diving. Someone who has nine world championship titles to underline his talent is Orlando Duque: “I have been in the sport for a long time and we have to deal with a lot of difficult situations, difficult locations and tough competitions. The physical part is always there; you are always strong when you do your preparation. But you have to deal with that mental thing. We are all scared because we understand how hard the water is going to hit us when we make a mistake. However, we go through this whole process before we step on the platform. If I am diving today, I am going to be fit. I know it. If I show up to dive, I am fit to dive; mentally and physically, otherwise I wouldn’t come.” 27m above the water, the platform is much more than a passport to adventure, it is a “mental barrier you have to overcome,” according to Kent De Mond. Mental readiness makes the step to the edge of an eightstorey-high platform possible; however, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series divers go one stage further, as Silchenko explains: “One or two seconds before I go, my body is still there, but my brain is already flying.”
s r e v i D ALAIN KOHL LUX ARTEM SILCHENKO RUS BLAKE ALDRIDGE GBR CYRILLE OUMEDJKANE FRA DAVID COLTURI USA GARY HUNT GBR JORGE FERZULI MEX KENT DE MOND USA MICHAL NAVRATIL CZE ORLANDO DUQUE COL STEVEN LOBUE USA
KOHL “The quality of the guys in the top six last year was unbelievable. You only had to do one mistake and score lower than a 7 and you’d drop back down to 10th or 11th. It’s a good achievement for me to come in the top six.” REPRESENTING Luxembourg DOB August 25, 1982 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.68m/68kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Innsbruck PROFESSION Cliff diver MY SECRET PASSION Making children laugh STARTED CLIFF DIVING IN 2002 FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Polignano a Mare, Italy FAVOURITE DIVE Flying front ACHIEVEMENTS 2011 3rd Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in La Rochelle (FRA) 2006 5th Cliff Diving World Championship FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 6th overall 2010 7th overall 2009 11th overall
The number six seems to be crucial in the life of Alain Kohl. He started his diving career at the age of six in the late 1980s. In the year 2008, six years after he changed from Olympic diving to cliff diving, he finished three of the most prestigious competitions – Red Bull Cliff Diving at Lake Wolfgang (AUT), Hamburg (GER) and Polignano a Mare (ITA) – in sixth place. The southern Italian town was a location in 2009 and 2010 as well and, of course, the 29-year-old took sixth place each year. The new competition mode forced multilingual Kohl to qualify again in January 2011. He succeeded by finishing – make an educated guess – sixth. In his best World Series campaign to date, which also included a first podium in La Rochelle, Alain Kohl could look ahead to the 2012 World Series with his place already assured… as he finished 6th once again in the overall rankings for 2011. Before the Luxembourgian became a professional cliff diver, he worked as a correctional facility officer for about one and a half years. Prior to that, Alain spent time in uniform. For how long? Well, rumours say that it was about six years.
O K N E H C L I S “One or two seconds before I dive, my body is still on the platform but my brain it is already flying.” REPRESENTING Russia DOB February 3, 1984 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.81m/80kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Miami PROFESSION Trainer MY SECRET PASSION Chess STARTED CLIFF DIVING IN 2004 ACHIEVEMENTS 2011 Winner Real Diving, Chiapas (MEX) 2006 World Champion FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 2nd overall 2010 & 2009 3rd overall
“I got so many 10s – give me the dive sheet so I can count them all! This is my record.” After four second-placed finishes in 2011, Artem Silchenko once again saved his best for last, claiming no fewer than six 10s and securing a massive 518.30 points in the final competition in Ukraine to register the highest score ever in a Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition. Is it true that Russians are afraid of nothing? Legends say that they kill bears with their bare hands and put hungry wolves to flight, but who knows... a little bit more traceable is Artem Silchenko’s story. Born in Russia’s southwest, the 28-year-old moved to China six years ago to start his high diving career. Over the years, the tight-lipped Russian has become one of the heavyweights of cliff diving. He won the world championships in 2006 at the age of only 22 and is now famous for his great diving technique and his never-ending motivation: “I always want to win because I’m a professional Russian sportsman.”
NICKNAME Blakey Boy REPRESENTING Great Britain DOB August 4, 1982 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.70m/65kg CITY OF RESIDENCE London PROFESSION Olympic Diver MY SECRET PASSION High diving FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Locarno, Switzerland FAVOURITE DIVE Back armstand 2 ½ ss with 3 twists ACHIEVEMENTS 3 times world medallist Former world champion 2012 2nd qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2011 6th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in La Rochelle, France (wildcard) 2009 & 2010 European champion 2008 Olympic finalist
“To be in the Series now is massive. I only came on the tour last year as a wildcard. I didn’t even do the qualification and I’ve only done two competitions. Everything has been a learning curve. It’s all been happening so fast; now I am part of the tour. I just can’t wait to start scoring points.” Former British diving world champion Blake Aldridge did his first dive from 27 metres in June 2011 at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition in La Rochelle, France. Under challenging conditions and, after three rounds, the 29-year-old finished his first high diving event in sixth position. He had had his first taste of blood and was invited as a wildcard again for the final competition in Yalta, Ukraine. After accomplishing his first goal of the year – “I came to Australia to qualify for the World Series and that’s what I’ve done” – the finalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing went straight back to England to do some homework: “I’m going to put an extra twist on my armstand dive, which will give me the equal highest DD for a dive in the Series. That’s my next goal. So I’ll learn how to do that well to compete with the top guys on the tour.”
N A K J D E M OU
NICKNAME Aubergine REPRESENTING France DOB April 5, 1976 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.83m/80kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Strasbourg PROFESSION Lifeguard MY SECRET PASSION Antiques STARTED CLIFF DIVING IN 2001 FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Hawaii FAVOURITE DIVE Reverse Layout ACHIEVEMENTS 2006 2nd Cliff Diving Acapulco 1992-1994 French champion 10m FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 5th overall 2010 10th overall 2009 10th overall
Cyrille Oumedjkane was born in Strasbourg, but – as his name suggests – he is of Maghreb origin, Algeria to be precise, and it’s a heritage he proudly recalls. Considering himself a sportsman by nature, the Frenchman takes every opportunity to be active – whether cycling, swimming or diving just for the fun of it. He got into the whirl of cliff diving back in 2001. Adrenaline is what drives him and, after two average seasons - he had never come higher than sixth place in years 2009 and 2010 – he started the 2011 year in great shape. He narrowly missed the podium twice and qualified automatically for the fourth edition, but still has a score to settle: after two 7th places and one 10th place, he wants to finish in the top three in his home event in France. Could a new location bring a change of luck?
“Competing in Red Bull’s World Series is the culmination of a life committed to training and a love for the sport of diving. Qualifying for the 2012 tour is a dream come true and a start to a new chapter in my diving career. I’m so new to the sport still. I’ve been training my ass off. I’m going to try and keep getting better.”
REPRESENTING USA DOB April 30, 1989 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.73m/70kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Ann Arbor, Michigan PROFESSION Student/Athlete MY SECRET PASSION Learning to play an instrument FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Atop the ICA in Boston, USA FAVOURITE DIVE Reverse double with four twists ACHIEVEMENTS 2012 Winner qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2011 14th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston, USA (wildcard) 2011 Winner International High Diving Competition in Liuzhou, China 2009 3rd World University Games 10m synchronized and team award 2009 US National Champion 10m individual and synchronized
Veni, vidi, vici – not the competition but certainly the approval of the experts. Last August, David Colturi came to Boston on very short notice and entered the competition with only the minimum required training. His diving convinced the judges of his potential and the 23-year-old’s selection for the qualification competition in Australia was the next step. Veni, vidi, vici, take two – the competition which defines the final line-up for the 2012 edition of the sport’s most respected series of contests. He earned a 10 from the judges for his favourite dive, the reverse double somersault with four twists, and stood out ahead of British Olympian Blake Aldridge, in the season’s first meeting of the best cliff diving athletes. At only 23 years of age, the former US national 10m champion is the youngest permanent diver in the World Series to date.
HUNT “It’s a feeling that’s out of this world. There are not many other sports as extreme where you don’t need any other machinery or equipment. The feeling when you are in the air is really like you are free and in the wild.”
NICKNAME Gaz REPRESENTING Great Britain DOB June 11, 1984 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.75m/68kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Paris PROFESSION Cliff diver MY SECRET PASSION Well, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore if I wrote it down! STARTED CLIFF DIVING IN 2006 FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Polignano a Mare, Italy FAVOURITE DIVE Back 1.5 piked from 10m ACHIEVEMENTS Winner of 10 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competitions 2009 Winner High Diving World Cup 2006 3rd Commonwealth Games 10m Synchro FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 & 2010 World Series Champion 2009 2nd overall
He was handed the crown by his predecessor, Orlando Duque, after an impressive cliff diving season in 2010, and there was no let-up in 2011 as Gary Hunt won four successive competitions to wrap up a second World Series win even before the final stop in Ukraine to prove once again that he heads the list of top athletes in the sport. In recent years, Gary Hunt has tried a lot: he studied maths for two years, changed to sports and stayed for another year, and then turned to criminology. A constantly changing personality, the Englishman is the most progressive diver within the Series. He always has a new and innovative dive in mind, in order to stay ahead of his rivals. He premiered the “Triple Quad” in 2009 and within 12 months attempted a dive with a running take-off. It’s another link in the chain that connects Olympic and high diving.
“Qualification this year was definitely harder, everybody was really good and ripped their dives. It was hard and this makes me even happier that I made it into the World Series.”
NICKNAME Ferzuli REPRESENTING México DOB March 11, 1981 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.65m/70kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Mexico City PROFESSION Mechanical engineer and professional diver MY SECRET PASSION I can’t tell you, that’s why it is a secret! FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Yalta, Ukraine FAVOURITE DIVE Twist triple ACHIEVEMENTS 2012 4th qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2011 9th qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2010 World Champion FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 11th overall
Jorge Ferzuli was last season’s ‘lucky loser’ as he made it into the starting 12 after one of the confirmed divers got injured before the kick-off. During the season, the 31-year-old struggled a bit with the pressure but proved his talent with a sixth place in Boston, USA. An 11th overall finish meant he had to travel to Australia earlier this year to take part in qualification for the second successive year. With a strong and consistent performance during both competition days, the Mexican took the fourth available slot and proved that he has what it takes to compete with the very best.
“It’s a moment, just a split second before you actually lift up from the platform and at that point there is just no turning around. This one split second before you go is the most intense.”
REPRESENTING USA NICKNAME Demond-ster DOB March 6, 1983 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.73m / 72kg CITY OF RESIDENCE San Diego, California PROFESSION Acrobatic performer MY SECRET PASSION To be a filmmaker and a stuntman in movies FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT It’s hard to decide the best cliff diving spot. Different locations are better for different reasons. FAVOURITE DIVES My favourite dive is a flying front flip because it is really easy and it feels the most like you are actually flying. But my favourite difficult dive is a back double with three twists. ACHIEVEMENTS 2011 winner Real Diving Acapulco, Mexico 2008 4th High Diving World Cup 2008 6th Marmeeting 2008 5th Bled World Cup FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 8th overall 2010 4th overall 2009 8th overall
After a “mond-strous” finish to the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series‘ premiere edition in 2009, Kent carried his impressive performances over to the second season of competition in 2010. A third-placed finish in La Rochelle was the near-perfect start to 2010 and, by the end of the year, the 29-year-old had secured an excellent fourth place overall. Tipped by many to continue his rapid development and be one of the closest challengers to Gary Hunt and Orlando Duque in 2011, Kent struggled with injuries from the start and, despite another third-placed finish in his home event of Boston last August, an eighth-placed finish overall meant the native of Potomac, Maryland, would have to qualify to appear in the World Series‘ fourth season. After coming fifth in the qualification in Australia, and narrowly missing out on a place in the 2012 World Series to the top four, Kent was the ‚lucky loser‘ when Ukrainian veteran Slava Polyeshchuk withdrew from competition.
NAVRA“ITfeelIL free when I’m
diving. I love the risk and the speed in cliff diving. My body is very important to me; as it is the machine that makes me dive safely from 27m.”
REPRESENTING Czech Republic NICKNAME Supratil DOB June 5, 1985 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.84m/85kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Fort Lauderdale, Florida PROFESSION Stuntman MY SECRET PASSION Find a good sponsor and get some world records! STARTED CLIFF DIVING IN 2003 FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Polignano a Mare, Italy FAVOURITE DIVES Triple 1/2 pike, back flip to swan dive and the ‘Superman’ ACHIEVEMENTS 2011 Winner Marmeeting 2011 Winner High Diving World Cup 2009 3rd Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Germany FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 3rd overall 2010 9th overall 2009 7th overall
After winning the qualification competition for the third Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, an inspired Michal Navratil went on to finish third overall in 2011, claiming no fewer than four podiums to emerge as the closest challenger to Gary Hunt and Artem Silchenko. A fan vote on www.redbullcliffdiving.com awarded him the 2011 title for the “most improved diver”. For the 27-year-old, cliff diving means pushing his limits to excel. In September 2009 ‘Supratil’ – so named because of his Superman-style dives – signed up to perform on one of the world’s biggest cruise ships. Working alongside celebrities, like singersongwriter Taylor Swift, the Caribbean Sea has been his ‘home’ for the past two and a half years. For the World Series competitions, he leaves a paradise that he calls his place of work behind, diving into the real world in order to make his mark in high diving.
DUQUE “What we live for is that passion that we have for the sport. It’s the short period of time that we have in the air, we enjoy it like we enjoy every split second all the way until we hit the water. What moves us is a sequence of fear, relief and a tremendous rush that we feel when we finally get safely out of the water.”
REPRESENTING Colombia DOB September 11, 1974 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.75m/68kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Laie, Hawaii PROFESSION Cliff diver MY SECRET PASSION It’s a secret! : ) FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Hawaii FAVOURITE DIVE Back twist ACHIEVEMENTS Nine-times world champion 2008 winner of six Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competitions 2005 winner of Red Bull Cliff Diving, Lake Wolfgang and Winner Adriatic High Diving Cup FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 8th overall (injured after Stop 2) 2010 2nd overall 2009 World Series Champion
He started the 2011 season most successfully, winning both of the first two competitions in Chile and Mexico, before a broken ankle sustained in an unfortunate skydiving accident ended the favourite‘s chances. The off-season was fully dedicated to recovery, training and hard work as the Colombian’s expressed target is a return to top form once again by the time the 2012 World Series kicks off. With nine world championship titles, one World Series title and two Guinness world records on his side, the 37-year-old cliff diver has proved his tremendous ability, reaching a special position within the high diving scene over the last fifteen years. He was the clear favourite for the 2009 World Series and of course he measured up to expectations. He won three competitions, was off the podium only once and took the overall title. In 2010, he had two new dives in his programme, took six out of six podiums, including one victory and finished second overall. The left-hander is a perfectionist whose dedication is unswerving and the new season will be all the more interesting and the challenge even greater.
LO B U E “I feel just incredibly excited that I’ve got another go at the World Series. To compete at such a high level with the best cliff divers in the world is an honour. I am excited and humbled by this experience.” REPRESENTING USA DOB June 17, 1985 HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.61m/62kg CITY OF RESIDENCE Muncie, Indiana PROFESSION Student MY SECRET PASSION Watching cartoons FAVOURITE CLIFF DIVING SPOT Australia FAVOURITE DIVE None ACHIEVEMENTS 2012 3rd qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2011 7th qualification competition Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Cattai, Australia 2004 Olympic Trials finalist FINAL RANKINGS RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2011 10th overall
Steven LoBue is a small athlete with big aims: “I think over the next year I’ll be able to accomplish things that I don’t think anybody else is capable of. I know this is a huge goal I am shooting towards and it takes time to get there but I really think I have the right body type and the ability to do these things.” The 27-year-old has been diving since he was seven years old and describes the 2004 Olympic Trials final as his best result before entering the world of high diving. In his first full season as a cliff diver, the American, who, according to cliff diving expert Joey Zuber, is a potential powerhouse, struggled most with his consistency between learning new dives and the variety of the locations. The highlight of his first year was a fifth-placed finish in Boston. At the season finale he was, together with Ukraine’s Sasha Kutsenko, awarded “Rookie of the Year” and was thus among the favourites to win through at the qualification competition in Australia. He did not quite win but claimed another ticket for the 2012 World Series with his third-placed finish after the eight-dive competition down under.
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II battle with fear every time I step onto the platform, I think it’s the most enjoyable part of high diving. If we weren’t scared we wouldn’t have that same adrenaline rush and it wouldn’t be exciting. It’s important to use fear to your advantage. wHAt Is A peRFect DAY FoR You? Having no plans at the start of the day and then having a day filled with friends, food, juggling, diving and maybe a few beers. wHo ARe soMe oF tHe Most IMpoRtAnt AnD InFluentIAl people In YouR lIFe, YouR cAReeR? My mum has supported me throughout my sporting career so she has been the most influential, my friends and family are definitely the most important people in my life. wHAt FIRst got You Into DIVIng? Being a swimmer I was always at the pool and after a while the divers looked like they were having more fun. IF You weRen’t A clIFF DIVeR, wHAt woulD You Be? Very tough question, a criminologist, forensic scientist, struggling artist, mathematician ...? Do You HAVe AnY ADVIce FoR BegInneRs? take it step by step, be inventive, and don’t be scared to try things other people wouldn’t do. wHAt HAs Been YouR Best HIgH DIVIng eXpeRIence? learning the back triple quad. I was so nervous and it was a really big step for me. the feeling of successfully completing this dive was one of the best feelings ever.
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Standing on the very edge of a 27m platform and looking down takes already a lot of guts, but actually leaping from the height of an eight-storey building, and performing precisely-executed twists and somersaults, asks for a whole lot more. “High diving is an extreme sport and it takes a special mentality to get into a sport like that. You could be the best 1m, 3m or 10m diver in the world, but if you don’t have what it takes to put yourself up to something like 27m, then it’s not going to happen,” reveals university diving coach and 2010 World Series judge Tommy Michael. Even Greg Louganis, the most famous diver of all time and four-time Olympic gold medallist, says: “I can’t imagine diving from 27m. It’s insane to me and amazing at the same time. Where I finished, it’s only these guys’ lead-ups. 10m is practice for them.”
“Of course, the initial thought is fear, but you know what you have to do and you just do it.” Gary Hunt For the American, who joined the World Series’ judging pool in 2011, one of the main challenges in high diving is the way the athletes have to prepare for their dives: “I’d always be able to visualise a dive in order to perform it. To perfect it, I had to do it; repetition after repetition. This is where the perfection comes in, but the cliff divers don’t have this opportunity and that’s where the challenge is. It’s how much they trust their imagination and visualisation and that is the key to success in cliff diving. They are doing dives that they have not done before. They’ve done parts of it, but never actually done it. They can’t do as many repetitions from that height; otherwise they risk injury. Doing a 10-metre platform workout for me was doing 50 dives.” “Of course, the initial thought is fear,” admits Gary Hunt, “but you know what you have to do and you just do it. When I did the Triple Quad for the first time, it was more or less a leap of faith.” In recent years, and certainly since the start of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2009, the high divers have begun to do very difficult dives and are performing dives which are not possible from the 10-metre platform. According to the Englishman, who participated in the 2006
“You have to have an extreme mentality and real guts to be able to stand up to what you do and make the transition to high diving.” Blake Aldridge European 10m Championship and took the last two World Series championship titles, “this really separates the two sports and makes cliff diving unique. And it’s the only place where you can do this amount of somersaults and twists.” With Blake Aldridge, the 2008 winner of the FINA Diving World Series and a British national team diver at the Olympic Games in 2008, a former Olympian gets his chance at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series after a successful qualification in Australia earlier this year. He explains what it takes to dive off 27m: “You have to have an extreme mentality and real guts to be able to stand up to what you do and make the transition to high diving.” Orlando Duque has made this transition the most successfully and has given the sport a face. Being qualified for the Olympic Games in 1992, the Colombian has competed in cliff diving for more than 13 years. Besides winning nine world championships, he also took the World Series title in 2009 and has finished on the podium in all but two Series competitions in which he has competed. “ One of the great things about the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is that we are diving from at least 26.5m which allows us to show more difficult dives. This height, however, demands control. Usually, if you are a bit late with your movements, you can cheat a little bit at the entry, but at 26.5m you’ve got to be in control of your dive. At this height, you need to be sure of what you’re doing. Every metre you add, you’re adding on at the end of the dive and, travelling at 90kph, one metre is nothing; however, the impact on the water is much harder,” explains the 37-year old, who considered cliff diving as “the next logical step” after his Olympic career. With the London 2012 Olympic Games in mind, Greg Louganis conjures up an appealing idea: “I think both sports are very respectable and it would be interesting if there was a diver who could be successful in Olympic diving as well as in cliff diving.”
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FRANCE, CORSICA Bonifacio | City Wall of the St François Headland
JOUR FIXE! FRANCE BELONGS TO THE WORLD SERIES CALENDAR AS THE SPEEDO BELONGS TO THE DIVERS. It was host for the very first competition back in May 2009 and La Rochelle’s St. Nicolas Tower was the scariest venue to date. In its fourth year, the world’s best cliff divers come back to France for the Series’ first competition again, but have chosen the southern tip of the island of Corsica for their opening. The athletes will dive from the top of the remnants of the Saint François canon base, overlooking the Strait of Bonifacio. In the heart of the Corsican-Sardinian Marine Park, the diving site is at the entrance of a unique fjord in the Mediterranean. It offers an exceptional panoramic view over nearby Sardinia and on the small red Madonetta lighthouse set on its triangular boulder commanding the entrance of the 1.5km long bottleneck. Orlando Duque, winner of the premiere edition in 2009, has used the off-season for extensive training and will come back to the World Series after his non-diving ankle injury last April. Another athlete will celebrate his World Series comeback: French diver Hassan Mouti. He sustained injury in training last May and fought hard to make his way back up on the platform; although not qualified for the 2012 edition, he is invited to Corsica as a wildcard and will support countryman Cyrille Oumedjkane. Perched on a limestone pedestal, Bonifacio is one of the most spectacular towns in the Mediterranean. The citadel walls and ancient houses appear to rise seamlessly out of sheer cliffs that have been hollowed and striated by the wind and waves. Beneath, an inlet about 100 metres wide forms a natural harbour, home to a buzzing port. Only 12 kilometres from Sardinia, the town is distinctly more Italian than French in atmosphere, and even has its own dialect based on Ligurian Italian.
NORWAY Grimstad | Barselkilen
FISHING FOR … AFTER A BREAK LAST SEASON, NORWAY IS BACK ON THE CALENDAR FOR THE WORLD SERIES. After kicking off in the south of France, Grimstad represents the most northerly point in the 2012 season. While it’s normal for the villagers to go fishing for the catch of the day, the divers will be fishing for compliments and adulation for their breathtaking performances from the 27m platform. Despite the literal meaning of Grimstad – ‘sour town’ – its roughly 20,000 permanent residents are widely known for their genuine happiness. Probably because of the region’s good weather and the picturesque landscape surrounding the archipelago that stretches 500km from Oslo to the southern tip of Norway. This typical Norwegian coastal town was a part-time home to famous playwright Henrik Ibsen and author Knut Hamsun; the yearly Short Film Festival and the Enjoyment Festival, which focuses on cuisine and pleasure of most kinds, maybe descendants of its literary past. To keep up with two of Grimstad famous sons (and daughters), Tour de France hero Thor Hushovd and 1976’s Playmate of the Year, Lillian Müller, the cliff diving elite is called upon to perform at their highest possible level to leave their traces on one of Norway’s major tourist spots.
PORTUGAL, AZORES S. Miguel | Vila Franca do Campo
ROCK‘N’DIVE BACK TO THE ROOTS IS THE MOT TO FOR THE FIRST EVER CLIFF DIVING COMPETITION ON PORTUGUESE SOIL. Diving directly off the cliff – the small islet of Vila Franca allows the athletes to perform two of their dives straight from the rocks in a very special moment for the divers as well as the spectators. Never before in the World Series has a competition been held in such a natural cliff diving environment. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – 1,369km west of the European mainland – the Azores archipelago comprises nine islands spread over three groups. This territory symbolizes the beginning of the grand adventure of discovery that began in the fifteenth century and led the Portuguese to have a presence in the four corners of the globe. Of volcanic origin, the Azores are undoubtedly one of the last paradises in Europe - appearing often in legends of the lost continent of Atlantis. Vila Franca do Campo islet, named after the village just in front in the mainland, is located around one kilometre from the coastline and came about following the collapse of a former volcano. After being used for many purposes over the centuries – from a military fort area to a vineyard – this islet was classified as a nature reserve in 1983. It is almost circular in shape but broken by a sea entrance through one section of its perimeter. The crater walls are home to much local vegetation. Inside, the crystalline waters of the natural swimming pool have an added beauty and feature their own stunning beach. To the south of the islet stand two volcanic rock peaks used for nesting by the many marine birds that visit the island.
IRELAND Inis Mór | Serpent’s Lair
POOL DIVING “THE SERPENT’S LAIR IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES THAT YOU ONLY HEAR STORIES ABOUT,” commented Orlando Duque during a photo shoot together with Gary Hunt ahead of the first ever Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition in April 2009. “Finding the place and being able to dive there was one of the highlights of my career. Hopefully in the future we can bring a cliff diving competition to Ireland.” His hopes will get answered on the first weekend of August 2012, when the world’s best cliff divers come to the Aran Islands for the season’s halfway stage. Rumours of the legendary Serpent’s Lair – ‘Poll na Peist’ in Gaelic – circulate world wide throughout the cliff diving community. Similar to numerous other locations on the islands, the Serpent’s Lair is what fishermen call a “blowhole,” or a shoreline window to subterranean caverns, which spurt out water each day as high tide approaches. What differentiates the Serpent’s Lair from other blowholes, though, is that it’s a nearperfect rectangle, thus giving it an inexplicable and mysterious nature. Weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and a welcoming island of people combine to make the island of Inis Mór breathtaking. It is literally the ‘big island’ among a group of three islands referred to as the Aran Islands and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Off the west of Ireland, on the edge of Europe, a ferry journey from Galway city brings you to this amazing island with its unique geology, archaeology and tradition. It is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland and to touch the past.
USA Boston | Institute of Contemporary Art
TOUCHDOWN AFTER FOUR STOPS IN EUROPE, THE WORLD SERIES LEAPS OVER THE ATLANTIC AND TOUCHES DOWN IN ONE OF AMERICA’S OLDEST CITIES – BOSTON, MASSACHUSET TS. After last season’s premiere, the world’s most prestigious series of cliff diving competitions comes to town once again as the athletes of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series climb to the top of the 75-foot-high Institute of Contemporary Art building on Fan Pier to put on an exhibition of their own. As the latest ‘exhibit’ at a place of inspiration and imagination, the high diving elite will once again try to propel their performances towards perfection. The 89-foot-high platform, built on top of the ICA building, beckons individual expression and creation by way of complex diving manoeuvres. Founded in 1936, the ICA’s mission is to exhibit contemporary art. Count on the divers to deliver unforgettable impressions in this sports-mad city.
UNITED KINGDOM, SOUTH WALES STOP
Pembrokeshire | St. David’s
WHERE THE ‘DUKE’ MEETS THE EARL THE RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES WILL MAKE ITS UK DEBUT AT A SECRET LOCATION IN PEMBROKESHIRE, SOUTH WEST WALES, for the penultimate stop this September. Without letting the cat out of the bag, the competition takes place near St David’s in Pembrokeshire which is among the smallest cities in Europe with a population of only 1,800 and is built around the ancient cathedral of St David’s. Wales is steeped in history and even has its own language, spoken by almost a quarter of the population. Pembrokeshire is a spectacular maritime county measuring only 20 miles from north to south yet has 186 miles of breathtaking coastline. It has a diverse landscape of unspoilt pocket beaches, lakes, woodland and quaint villages, which have been the backdrop to films including blockbuster Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The entire coastline around Pembrokeshire forms part of Britain’s only Coastal National Park, which is home to a population of Bottlenose Dolphins and porpoises, which swim with the local surfers in many of the hidden surf spots. In its fourth season, Britain’s reigning champion Gary Hunt will finally get the chance to dive in front of a home crowd at the sixth stop on the 2012 calendar of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
OMAN Wadi Shab | Tiwi
MAJESTIC ARABIA FOR ITS GRAND FINALE, THE 2012 WORLD SERIES TOUCHES DOWN ON ARABIAN SANDS FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. The Sultanate of Oman hosts the season showdown in the gorgeous Wadi Shab. The canyon-like valley provides a most spectacular backdrop for the crowning of the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Champion. Who, if anyone, will be able to topple two-time champion Gary Hunt? Palm and date trees line the narrow, winding and old rock paths, with a series of streams, aquamarine pools and waterfalls — the Wadi combines the attractions of coastal areas and inland wonders. Wadi Shab lies in Niyabat Tiwi, a village between the capital, Muscat, and the town of Sur. Easy to reach from the Qurayyat-Sur highway; it has at least seven pools of emerald green water and is studded with dramatic boulders. One of the pools is in a cave where light streams in dramatically from above and there are fantastic echoes heard when one swims in it. Kingfishers add glorious splashes of colour. Although parts were damaged in a cyclone, it is still one of the most scenic Wadis in all of Oman. Some of the natural pools are not for swimming in, however, as the spring water is an important part of the local villages’ resources.
he t f o p o t on the
might ved — there iff ie ch n a g io t in e u b cl n & evol ago is now e case with Innovatio nd belief a few years at is definitely not th development t th eyo t of 9. What was b st and relaxation, bu eries has seen a burs in May 200 S r re n d o fo rl ti o e ti W e m p g ti m in a e be Bull Cliff Div sport since the first co massive impact on th d e R e h T . diving extreme eated a vity-defying of competitions has cr ra g is th r fo es en this seri ing. Ever since th ll as the world of div we audience as “Some years ago not many people knew that cliff diving is actually a sport in which you can compete, that it’s more than jumping from the rocks into a lake or the sea for the fun of it. The World Series opened the sport to a more mainstream audience and now good new divers are coming in,” American Kent De Mond recalls the early days, “most of them come from traditional Olympic diving but being exposed to cliff diving makes them think higher.” Cliff diving is not something that you can learn and perfect in a short time; it takes at least eight to 10 years to make your way up – literally. Besides a technicallyperfect education in diving or a similar acrobatic sport, the basic prerequisites for all high divers are self-confidence, concentration, absolute physical control and experience. Three somersaults and four twists in a three-second flight could not be executed cleanly and safely without the above-mentioned basics. “For example Gary Hunt came over to cliff diving from Olympic diving in 2009 and has brought the technical requirements over to do much harder dives,” explains sports director Niki
Stajkovic. The 28-year-old was runner-up in the World Series’ first season and has won the title in each of the past two years. His famous Triple-Quad was world-premiered in 2009 and is the first dive conceived exclusively for cliff diving. With a degree of difficulty of 6.3, it is the hardest dive in the sport to date. The first dive executed with a running take-off is also the Brit’s brainchild and gives an example of how far dedication and continuity can push the sport. “The quality of diving has always been good, but the difficulty wasn’t there. In the last years, it’s gone up exponentially,” nine-time world champion Orlando Duque (COL) recalls, “you can show good quality of dives, but the real challenge is to do it over and over again, competition after competition and maintain that consistency.” Not before the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series did the athletes have as many as six competitions in a row from a consistent height of at least 26.5 metres. Only a dozen athletes worldwide were selected to be part of the first year; and, after two seasons, only the top six and seven, respectively, advanced automatically to the next year, the rest had
to enter qualifying together with new talent. 2011 saw the first three rookies entering the World Series, offering divers like Steven loBue (uSA) the chance to aim higher: “For me as a rookie having the first real season as a cliff diver, it’s really good to be around these guys. When i came to the qualification i could only do one dive and i had to learn more to get the chance to compete. Seeing all the experienced divers really helped to push myself. the set of athletes we have in the Series is definitely the best in the world.” improvement and evolution are crucial aspects of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Besides offering jaw-dropping diving action, the World Series also intends to push the limits of high diving. Bringing together the best of their kind and providing them with a platform to excel and express their passion over and over again. “Before the World Series appeared we usually only had four to five competitions a season; which in my opinion is not enough to really make a step forward. the more competitions we have, the more comfortable we get with the height and the more we can improve and invent,” states Gary Hunt.
the sport’s rapid development has not just increased the level of complex manoeuvres in the air but is also reflected in numerous cover pages on international magazines and the increasing numbers of tv cameras at diving venues worldwide. in turn, more sponsors have emerged, supporting the athletes and allowing them to fully concentrate on pushing their personal and competitive limits. three seasons on, the World Series’ participants have pushed the sport to such a high level that American Greg louganis – four-time olympic gold medallist and the most successful diver of all time – predicts an even brighter future for cliff diving: “this Series standardized the sport a bit. the height is always between 26.5 and 28 metres, they have the fixed degree of difficulty and a good panel of judges. thus, the divers know better what to expect and can prepare better. i think it’s very possible that cliff diving becomes an olympic sport. there is so much more talent coming into the sport. it’s an exciting time for cliff diving.”
with knees straight but a tight bend at the hips.
with no bend at the knees or hips.
FREE a sequence of the above positions.
body folded up into a tight ball, hands holding the shins and toes pointed.
Acrobatic dive the Olympic high of ht ig he e Dives th es ns n from three tim ps / 4 dive positio ou gr ve Acrobatic perfectio di 9 / ke-off positions 149 dives / 5 ta TAKE OFF POSITIONS & DIVE GROUPS
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
The divers have to choose from these five take-off positions: front, back, inward, reverse, armstand, front twisting, back twisting, reverse twisting, inward twisting.
The degree of difficulty is the rating for the dives performed in a competition and is multiplied by the sum of the judges‘ scores, with the highest and lowest scores discarded. The DD of a dive is evaluated on the basis of these figures:
_ On the front group (group 1), the diver takes off facing forwards and rotates forwards.
_ Type of take off
_ In the back group (group 2), the diver takes off with his back to the water and rotates backwards.
_ Number of somersaults
_ In the reverse group (group 3), the diver takes off facing forwards and rotates backwards.
_ Position during the somersaults
_ In the inward group (group 4), the diver takes off with his back to the water and rotates forwards. _ E ach one of the four groups above can also incorporate an axial twisting movement and will therefore be considered among groups 5, 6, 7 and 8. _ A ny dive commencing from a hand stand is in the armstand group (Group 9). The armstand can be executed from either the forward or backward direction and can include twists as well.
_ Number of twists
_ Type of entry The DD in the World Series ranges from 3.6 for the required dives to up to 6.3 for the “Triple Quad” – currently the sport’s hardest dive, introduced by Gary Hunt in Turkey in 2009. According to the official Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 rulebook, the jury has to judge what is seen and not what wants to be seen. Moreover, each dive has to be judged disregarding any bias toward the diver or dive to ensure an objective result.
What exactly are the criteria that the jury takes into consideration? Head judge Claudio De Miro explains: „At the take-off we look at the elevation from the platform, the trajectory and the distance from the platform. The body position – pike, tuck or straight – is important during the execution; they have to be performed correctly. At the entrance, the most important things are the body alignment, the position of the arms and the splash.“
DIVE DIVE DEFINITIONS
A twist is any movement during a dive that occurs when the diver rotates around an imaginary vertical axis that runs from the to movement the toes. Upduring to foura dive revolutions A twisthead is any that can performed competition occursbewhen the diverin rotates aroundandancan be addedvertical to dives the runs forward, imaginary axisinthat fromback, the reverse, inward and armstand categories. head to the toes. Up to four revolutions can be performed in competition and can be added to dives in the forward, back, reverse, inward and armstand categories.
One somersault forward rotation with a 1/2 twist. Used as an entry manoeuvre, it gives the diver the best view of the water. One somersault forward rotation with a 1/2 twist. Used as an entry manoeuvre, it gives the diver the best view of the water.
FLYING POSITION FLYING POSITION
“Fly” describes dives consisting of at least one complete somersault performed in the straight position for no less than 90°. The straight position thendives be followed tuck one or pike position. “Fly” must describes consistingby ofeither at least complete somersault performed in the straight position for no less than 90°. The straight position must then be followed by either tuck or pike position.
BLIND ENTRY INTERRUPTED POSITION The last time the diver sees the water is at least half a somersault before entry and so lines up “blind”.
Dos & Don’ts: What do the judges not want to see and what do they regard as mistakes
When do the judges reduct points from their scores? _ If the arms at the entry are clearly extended above the head. _ If the arms at the entry are away from the body but below the head.
Interrupted dives incorporate a straight position after no less than one complete somersault in either tuck or pike position and must be followed by at least one additional somersault in either tuck or pike position.
_ Powerless take-offs, incorrect distance to the platform. _ Unaesthetic execution, open or crossed legs, unpointed toes, legs that are not straight in pike or layout position or entry phase. _ Short and non-vertical entries, under- or over-twisted entries.
_ For incomplete arm stands, as the body should come to rest in a vertical and straight alignment for no less than two full seconds before initiating the action of the dive. _ “Flying” dives should display a full 90 degrees of rotation upon take-off before executing the described position.
_ If an obvious break of straight position occurs after at least one complete somersault has been performed in either tuck or pike position. _ A break in position at or just before entry, an intermediate break of position and if a dive is done in a completely different position than announced.
MEDIA & A–Z
FASCINATING, CLIFF DIVING IS NIQUE. &U rage from BREATHTAKING n and media cove tio e sport to bu ri st di s w ne ation and open th rm fo in International de si in sport in d ckground an e read about this ob gl e th nd onsite provide ba ou ar ion of their choice illions of people at st M . o ic di bl ra pu e d th oa in br a out it ily paper, hear ab line. their favourite da on or mpetitions on TV co e th ch at w d an
NUMBER OF MEDIA THAT REPORTED ON THE EVENT +52%*
NUMBER OF PUBLISHED ARTICLES
"The elite are competing in a unique championship all year round, performing the most dizzying dives seen anywhere in the world.” Direct Sport, France
ON DIFF. WEBSITES
NUMBER OF TV REPORTS * 2011 compared with 2010
549 134.300 MEDIA ON SITE
SPECTATORS ON SITE
8.6 Million MEDIA VALUE IN EURO
In Acapulco, Mexico, pearl divers began to dive from the cliffs of La Quebrada in the 1930s – some with greater skill than others – in order to find the biggest and most valuable pearls. Legends recall the heights from which they jumped. The figure of 36 metres is inscribed into the top of the cliff; however many people talk about jumps in excess of 40 metres. The highest level on site is actually 25.90 metres above the sea.
The chamois or ‘shammy’ is a small towel that serves a few purposes. It keeps the diver’s body dry before a dive. This is important because the hands and legs need to be dry so as not to slip out of position in the air. At the same time, the athletes try to keep their hands wet – in the same way that some people wet the tips of their fingers to turn the pages of a book. In case of low temperatures, the divers try to stay warm by drying their bodies with the chamois. It’s dry again as soon as you squeeze the water out of the towel.
Degree of difficulty
The last time the diver sees the water is at least half a somersault before entry as he or she lines up ‘blind’.
The degree of difficulty of a dive is evaluated on the basis of the following: take-off, number of somersaults, number of twists, position during the somersaults and entry into the water.
Braking distance The braking distance for a high dive from 26m is approximately 4m after entry into the water.
Equipment There is no need for equipment. Cliff diving is the athlete versus gravity – which is one of the main reasons why so many people are intrigued by the sport.
Improvement and evolution are crucial aspects of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Besides offering jaw-dropping diving action, the World Series also intends to push the limits of high diving. Bringing together the best of their kind and providing them with a stable platform height and a set number of competitions broke new boundaries in its very first year of existence. Gary Hunt’s triple somersault with four twists – the Triple Quad – is the first dive conceived exclusively for cliff diving and has a degree of difficulty of 6.3. The evolution of high diving, which began in 2009, continued in 2010 and 2011 following intense off-season preparation. More jaw-dropping action is guaranteed in 2012, with 27-metres dives into unforgiving, concrete-like water.
High diving competitions are held at heights ranging from 18-23 metres for female and 20-28 metres for male divers. 26.5 metres – the minimum height in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series – is equivalent to an eight-storey building.
Free fall During a dive from 27m, the athletes have about three seconds of free fall in which to perform their spectacular movements before they plunge into the water.
G-force At the highest point, the G-force value increases to three, which means that the diver experiences a force equal to three times his own weight.
Heroes Outstanding achievements, broken records and unforgettable moments – cliff diving has its heroes, like King Kahekili, Enrique Apac Rios, Lucy Wardle, Olivier Favre and Orlando Duque.
Impact The force of the impact is nine times harder than from the 10-metre platform and can also be compared with a hard landing from 13m on concrete.
Jury Each dive is judged by an international judging panel of five people. The judges consider take-off, position in the air and water entry and they award scores from 0 to 10.
Guinness world record There are two Guinness world records in cliff diving. Orlando Duque’s perfect dive during the WHDF Cliff Diving World Championship in Kaunolu, Hawaii, in 2000, when he performed a double back somersault with four twists from 24.40m. He earned a perfect 10 from all seven judges and scored 159.00 points; a number which has been noted as the highest scored dive ever. The Colombian has also participated in more world championships than any other cliff diver.
Kahekili In the 1770s, a no less illustrious personage than Kahekili, the last independent king of Maui, indulged in cliff diving in the 18th century.
In the 19th century, the Hawaiian King, Kamehameha, was the first to allow the organisation of cliff diving contests with defined rules to determine the best and bravest athlete.
Cliff diving had its origin during the 1700s in Hawaii.
A pancake landing, or crash landing, from cliff diving heights can be compared with a hard landing from 13 metres on concrete. 80
Cliff diving is a very traditional discipline, which has its origin during the 1700s in Kaunolu, on the south western part of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Lele Kawa Lele Kawa is an Hawaiian meaning ‘leaping feet-first from into water without making a and was used by Kahekili, the independent king of Maui, as initiation rite for his warriors.
expression, a high cliff splash’ last an
Locations Corsica (FRA), Grimstad (NOR), Azores (POR), Serpent’s Lair (IRL), Boston (USA), Pembrokeshire (GBR) and Wadi Shab (OMN) are the seven stunning locations for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012.
Maximum height The maximum height for competitions in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is 28m. Due to the rapid acceleration, almost no time benefit occurs from higher dives and the risk of injury increases disproportionately.
Mind A lot of things go through a diver’s mind just before a dive: They rehearse the whole process mentally before stepping onto the platform. Some of them mimic the dive, recreate it in their heads and try to feel it. In the last seconds before the dive they are completely focused and the fear is gone.
The platform must be a stable take-off board constructed with a minimum length of 1.5m, a minimum width of 0.75m and a water-sprayed rim at least 1.5m beyond the vertical line.
Pressure The fact that the mere thought of a high dive in a neutral and relaxed environment sees the heart rate and the body tension rise to the same high level experienced before the actual execution – as proved at the Red Bull Diagnostics and Training Centre in Austria – underlines the mental and physical pressure the athletes are exposed to.
Requirements The main requirements for high divers are an extensive technical education, many years of experience in diving or a similar acrobatic sport, as well as courage, self-confidence, extraordinary physical control and the ability to make decisions within fractions of a second based on the following impulses: sight, space, time and experience.
Risk The highest risk of injury occurs during the water entry, when parts of the body are already exposed to absolute deceleration and others, above the surface, are still at top speed. Crash landings can be ruled out, however, because of the divers’ technical training and experience.
Regulations for safety are a maximum height (28 metres), a minimum water depth (5 metres), a stable and water-sprayed platform with a minimum length of 1.5m and width of 0.75m and with a rim at least 1.5m beyond the vertical fall line, rescue divers, paramedics and also an ambulance.
Gary Hunt’s (GBR) triple somersault with four twists – the Triple Quad – is the first dive conceived exclusively for cliff diving and has a degree of difficulty of 6.3.
Skill 041 061
Most athletes reach their maximum technical skill and mental maturity at around 30 years of age. Besides a technical education, the main prerequisite for all high divers is at least 10 to 15 years of training in diving or a similar acrobatic sport. Another necessary requirement is the ability to make split-second decisions based on impulses such as sight, space, time and experience.
Twist A twist is one of the nine main groups in which dives are classified. Any dive incorporating an axial twisting movement comes under this group. Twists of up to four revolutions are performed in competitions and can be added to dives in the forward, back, reverse, inward and armstand categories.
Vertical Position To minimise the risk of injuries and the water splash, the water entry should be in a perfectly vertical position.
A somersault is an acrobatic exercise in which a person rotates around the somersault axis, moving the feet over the head. It can be performed forwards, backwards or sideways and is an important part of each high dive.
Water is the central element in high diving. Characteristics like temperature, density and colour play important roles when the diver approaches the entry point.
From 27m, the speed at which you enter the water is 85-90kph; an acceleration that compares to a Lamborghini Murciélago.
Take-off At the take-off, the diver leaves the platform. After the take-off, the diver has about 10-12 metres in which to do his tricks. A good take-off almost guarantees a good entry.
Training A balanced training program includes springboard diving, flexibility and power training, as well as mental conditioning.
Water entry The most dangerous part in cliff diving is the water entry. Even if the divers have a good line and break the water’s surface perfectly vertical, it still hurts. With their bodies under tremendous pressure, the water is like a wall; with forces nine times harder than those faced by Olympic athletes from a 10-metre tower.
Web www.redbullcliffdiving.com is the official website of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. It contains up-to-date news, divers’ profiles, picture galleries, videos and the latest information about the stops and results.
Zero protection Cliff divers do not have any protection except their own experience. Their diving ability is their only protection against injuries.
Media rvice Se
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