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  • Southside

Death-defying Red Bull divers are set to stun

Friday, 10th May, 2019 7:59am
Death-defying Red Bull divers are set to stun

Red Bull Cliff Divers, Anna Bader and Orlando Duque, show off thier moves ahead of the Dun Laoghaire spectacular.

Death-defying Red Bull divers are set to stun

Red Bull Cliff Divers, Anna Bader and Orlando Duque, show off thier moves ahead of the Dun Laoghaire spectacular.

A BRAVE 22 high-flying cliff divers will be stunning the crowds at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series that is coming to Dún Laoghaire Harbour this weekend.

The world’s best male and female divers from 19 countries will jump from eight storey-high platforms into the water below, performing three seconds of acrobatics on the way down in a bid to be crowned winner.

Both Saturday and Sunday events are free and kick off at 5pm, however, organisers have advised everyone to arrive early.

The Sunday event will feature the Irish finals and will be broadcast live on Youtube and Facebook from 7pm.

Though the World Series has been held on the rugged Aran Islands three times previously (in 2012, 2014 and 2017), this year the second of seven stops of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will be hosted in Ireland’s capital city for the first time.

Located on Carlisle Pier, the divers will have a panoramic view over Dublin Bay from the platforms, with Poolbeg Lighthouse, Howth Head, Dalkey Island and the whole of Dún Laoghaire in the immediate vicinity.

Among the brave men and women who will be leaping from 27-metre-high platforms in the action-packed World Series this weekend are British boys Gary Hunt and Blake Aldridge

On the men’s side, British diver Gary Hunt will be gunning for glory again.

The 34-year-old is the seven-time World Series champion who last took top spot on the podium last year.

Hunt was the winner at the last Irish event, the Serpent's Lair in Inis Mor, in 2014 and 2017, and will be hoping for another victory in Irish waters on May 12 to help boost his overall score and retain his title.

Fellow Brit Blake (36) will be hot on his heels and hoping to better himself from his third place overall in 2017.

The Londoner has successfully transitioned from an Olympic Games finalist in synchronised platform diving to the winner of two World Series events from the 27-metre platform. 

Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes scores consistently well for his rip entries, immaculate form in the air and technical proficiency.

American diver Steven LoBue has also performed well in previous years, coming second in 2018. At 5ft 3in, he may be the shortest man on tour, but he’s also a natural gymnast who has established himself as the World Series' - “spin master” – he was the first man who did five somersaults in less than three seconds.

Ukraine’s Oleksiy Prygorov, a 2008 Olympic bronze-medallist from the 3m springboard, and Andy Jones, an American former acrobatic performer in Cirque du Soleil, are also ones to watch.

For the women’s competition, Rhiannan Iffland can’t do much wrong. The Aussie has come out on top for the past three years and will be hoping to retain her crown this year.

At just 27, she’s the most decorated female in the sport's history and became the first person to dive in one of the most captivating places on earth, in Australia's Northern Territory.

The laid-back lass from New South Wales, who has a trampoline background, says her goal is to "build bigger dives, be more consistent, but most of all enjoy the travel and adventure that comes with the competition”.

The likes of Adriana Jimenez, from Mexico, and Canada’s Lysanne Richard will be hoping to pip Iffland to the post, having consistently made the podium in recent years. And Britain's own Jessica Macaulay also has her sights set on the top spot.

The 26-year-old secured the first ever podium for a female British diver in the World Series in only her second appearance.

Macaulay, who works as a high diver on a cruise ship, says: "All the divers, they just really motivate me to do my best.

“I really want everybody to do their best, always cheering people on and when they do great, it really inspires me to do great as well."

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