Red Bull Cliff Diving: Countdown to Boston

From good old Europe, the world’s most prestigious series of cliff diving competitions leaps over the Atlantic and touches down in one of America’s oldest cities – Boston, Massachusetts. For the first time ever a stop in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will take place in a major urban venue outside Europe.

The penultimate stop will reflect life-imitating art at Boston Harbour. 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. Will the Institute of Contemporary Art building on Fan Pier witness a new winner, after the season’s closest competition in Italy?

The World Series is ready for the next step in its development and evolution.

The third season has seen setbacks: two divers were injured even before the first competition, the all- conquering Orlando Duque’s withdrawal from the Series following a skydiving injury at the end of April and Hassan Mouti’s bad landing in Athens left their mark on the divers with some inconsistent performances. Since the last competition in Malcesine, Italy, in July, the high diving elite appears to have recovered from their previous difficulties. After the final dive into Lake Garda, the judges agreed unanimously: “This was the best competition we have seen this year. A lot of divers performed extraordinarily well and the scores are closer than they’ve ever been this season.”

Thrilling until the very last dive, it was Russia’s Artem Silchenko who was the closest challenger to the reigning champion, Gary Hunt. And up-and-coming wildcard diver Jonathan Paredes (MEX) contested a place on the podium with Michal Navratil from the Czech Republic. Three times the jury awarded the highest score and, for the first time ever, the top four divers scored more than 400 points.

For the World Series standings after five out of seven stops it means only seven points divide positions two to four in the overall standings, with position five tied between the Colombian Duque and Frenchman Cyrille Oumedjkane. Alain Kohl from Luxembourg follows in seventh, only six points behind the top six. Competition is fierce and the last-but-one stop might once again shake up the rankings.

For the first time, an urban building will be the take-off board, and Boston Harbour the entry point for the World Series’ chosen 14 – wildcard divers Andy Jones and Kyle Mitrione, from the US, and the impressive Mexican, Jonathan Paredes, will complete the field of participants in Boston. The 85-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.

Impressive for the spectators and assessed objectively by five judges; among whom will be four-time Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis. The American diving legend joins head judge Claudio de Miro, José Antonio Martinez, Jeff Arbon and Sara Massenz.

In current times, Boston is well-known as a sporting city, hosting professional teams including the Boston Celtics basketball team, the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, the New England Patriots American football champions, and hockey’s Boston Bruins. Sports fans in Boston are fiercely loyal, and bringing a stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series to their waterfront is sure to add a new discipline to their list of sporting passions. The action starts at 4.00pm local time on Saturday, August 20.

Standings after stop 5:
1. Gary Hunt | GBR | 89 pts
2. Michal Navratil | CZE | 60 pts
3. Artem Silchenko | RUS | 55 pts (DNS in stop 2)
4. Slava Polyeshchuk | UKR | 53 pts
5. Orlando Duque | COL | 40 pts (injured after stop 2)
5. Cyrille Oumedjkane | FRA | 40 pts
7. Alain Kohl | LUX | 34 pts
8. Sasha Kutsenko | UKR | 29 pts
9. Kent De Mond | USA | 22 pts
10. Steven LoBue | USA | 21 pts (DNS in stop 4)
11. Jorge Ferzuli | MEX | 20 pts
12. Hassan Mouti | FRA |
14 pts (DNS in stop 4)

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2011. New divers, spectacular locations and creative tricks in the air – the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has come up with a few innovations for the third edition in 2011.