With the 4th tour stop in La Rochelle, France on Saturday, June 18th 2011, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series already reaches its midway point. An enthusiastic crowd of 70.000 spectators is expected to the old port!
People have been passing between the Saint Nicolas Tower and the Tour de la Chaine to enter the city of La Rochelle via the seaway since 1345. In the early evening hours of Saturday the 42 metre-high landmark and former jail will once again be the point of departure for the cliff diving elite. The platform, which must not touch the almost 700-year-old tower, is the highest in the whole series of competition at more than 27.5m.
La Rochelle represents a pivotal moment in the Series. Gary Hunt, reigning World Series champion, comes to France as the overall leader and, after a moderate start to the last competition, the Brit has been working on his diving routine and wants to step up his game. Frenchman Cyrille Oumedjkane has made an impressive development this season. From qualifier to top-six finisher and podium aspirant, the hopes of the French crowd will rest on his shoulders.
Fellow countryman Hassan Mouti is forced to watch the competition on home soil after his bad landing in Athens three weeks ago. Wildcard divers Kris Kolanus (POL), Kyle Mitrione (USA) – who both took part in the Series’ qualification in January – and Britain’s Blake Aldridge will complete the field of participants.
The competition can only take place between 7pm and 9pm, when the tide in the Bay of Biscay is high enough to secure the required water depth of five metres!