British Win at third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

British diver Gary Hunt won for the third time in a row as the stars of Cliff Diving brought the waterways of Kragerø to a standstill in an exciting climax to the third stop in the 2010 World Series.

La Rochelle, Yucatán and Kragerø – the World Series has reached its midway point and Briton Gary Hunt is the man of the 2010 season so far. With the maximum haul of points he stands out from the rest. Bright sunshine and more than 12,000 spectators on boats and ships crowding the Skagerrak strait in Norway’s summer hot spot on Saturday afternoon cheered the cliff diving elite to deliver peak performances.

17 points ahead of his nearest rival, and not giving away a single point after three out of six stops, the 26-year-old has three reasons to feel safe in his leading position: “I’ve very recently come from 10m Olympic-style diving and I think that makes my form a little tighter. The consistency this year has been much better. It’s been a great start for me, it couldn’t have gone better, but there’s still three competitions left. It’s not in the bag just yet and I’m going to play around with a new dive in the next competition so let’s see how that goes.

After another battle for the podium today, Artem Silchenko (RUS) and Orlando Duque (COL), separated by only one point, are fighting for the second overall position. With another second place the Russian further underlined his claims to be number one: “I beat Orlando who’s a great diver but I lose to Gary. Second place is good but I want to win and I can do it, I know it.

Orlando Duque, Photo: (c)Dean Treml / Red Bull Cliff Diving

The competition for the top six has never been so tight, only 0.05 point dividing positions 7 and 8, 1.5 points between rank 7 and 9. Forced by the new format the athletes have to take out their most difficult dives already in round two. Out of twelve participants Alain Kohl (LUX), ranked on a personal best 4th today, is the ninth to reach the top six and gives striking proof of the World Series’ claim of having the world’s best high divers.

Steve Black. Photo: (c)Romina Amato/Red Bull Cliff Diving

1,000 spectators for each athlete – the divers’ view from the 26.8m platform on the skerry could hardly have been more impressive. Thousands of boats on the water and spectators along the shoreline turned the picturesque Kragerø archipelago into a floating arena.

From a solid rock in the Oslo fjord, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series heads to southern Italy for the next stop in Polignano a Mare on August 8.

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Photos by Dean Treml, Romina Amato and Dean Treml, courtesy of Red Bull Cliff Diving