Will the rising generation of athletes knock the long-time dominators off their thrones in the 14th season of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series?
Seven bustling, breathtaking venues around the globe await the daredevil cliff diving elite in a year that will culminate with the 99th stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Auckland, New Zealand – one of three brand new locations. Last season, the sport’s emerging talents clearly stated their claim to the title, and in 2023 the cards are being reshuffled. This year the world’s 24 best high divers will try to maximise their performances across a calendar that combines the tried and tested with the novel and original, and holds all the trump cards for surprises.
Where will the World Series compete closest to its fans and most remotely? Find all the facts here:
· After the introduction of the World Series in 2009, the global sporting spectacle will celebrate its season finale in New Zealand. Hosted in new territories in Auckland, the King Kahekili Trophy will be awarded to the best female and male high divers of the year in front of a large number of spectators.
· Before the season culminates in this special setting, in six more spots across the world the world-class athletes will launch themselves from heights of 27m (men) and 21m (women), hitting the water less than three seconds later.
· Three brand-new locations feature on the World Series calendar for the 14th edition. As well as the Auckland showdown, these are Takachiho in Japan and Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm.
· For the second season running, Boston will once again provide the opening launchpad for this year’s Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. The Institute of Contemporary Art, set against the skyline of one of America’s oldest cities, bore witness to a very special first chapter in last year’s fight for the coveted King Kahekili trophies. A maiden victory for two of the sport’s young guns – Aidan Heslop of the UK and Canada’s Molly Carlson – set the tone for one of the most exciting seasons in cliff diving history.
· Back in Europe, the iconic Eiffel Tower will provide a cliff diving déjà vu only two weeks later. While France had already played host to the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on eight previous occasions, last year’s ninth edition provided a first-ever opportunity for the divers to show off their skills right in the heart of the nation’s capital city. In what is perhaps the sport’s most prominent setting yet, awestruck tourists and spectators will be forgiven for shifting their cameras away from the majestic wrought-iron monument and towards the flying figures swooping acrobatically into the Seine River.
· This year the World Series will mark a special anniversary when it returns to the beautiful Puglia town of Polignano a Mare – the home of European cliff diving – for the 10th year since 2009. The past five competitions have been dominated by the record-setting champions, Rhiannan Iffland and Gary Hunt, and the pair have both lifted two of their multiple King Kahekili trophies at season finales in the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, writer and interpreter of the world-famous song ‘Volare’.
· August takes the World Series to new waters. Japan will mark the season’s midway point, as the stunning Takachiho Gorge, deep into the mountains of Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu will set a truly spectacular scene for the season’s fourth instalment; seven years since the cliff diving elite made their one and only visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.
· The Swedish capital city Stockholm will debut as host for the 12 daring women and men who will dive from up to 27m with the royal palace in the background.
· Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina has on three occasions played host to the season’s penultimate stop, a potentially pivotal point where one great dive or poor mistake can decide titles. This year, that interesting stat will be added to when the divers battle it out from the beautiful Stari Most at the sixth of seven stops.
Who are the fresh faces and look outs in the fight for the crowns?
· Not only three new locations, but also three new athletes in the permanent line-up will spice up the 14th season: American’s Meili Carpenter and James Lichtenstein as well as Miguel Garcia from Colombia are currently preparing for their first ever fully-fledged season.
· Overall, eight women and men were confirmed for the current Red Bull Cliff Diving line-up. At every stop up to four wildcards per category will fire up what is already an eagerly anticipated 2023 World Series.
· A brief look back at 2022, reminds us of the three-way battle of three different generations of divers in the men’s competition. With the last dive of the season, record champion Gary Hunt of France won, ahead of British talent Aidan Heslop and Romania’s Catalin Preda.
· On the women’s side, Australian dominator Rhiannan Iffland needed a Canadian shake-up before she secured the title a sixth consecutive time.
What else is brand new and worth knowing in this sport that combines acrobatic free falls from up to almost three times the Olympic diving height and speeds in excess of 85km/h?
· During two days of competition, divers from 17 different countries will push the boundaries of this rapidly progressing sport and produce two new champions during seven tough and testing competitions as they leap, twist and somersault from breathtaking heights.
· Pure concentration, body brilliance and mental mastery are the mandatory components in the athletes’ quest for the glorious King Kahekili Trophy at venues ranging from natural wonders and visual feasts to historic sites and untouched waters.
2023 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Calendar
June 3 – Boston, USA
June 18 – Paris, FRA
July 2 – Polignano a Mare, ITA
August 3 – Takachiho, JPN
August 19 – Stockholm, SWE
September 9 – Mostar, BIH
November 19 – Auckland, NZL
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
The launch of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2009 marked the beginning of a new era for this pure and captivating sport. The world’s best cliff divers have been part of this extraordinary journey taking the sport to new levels of performance and perfection, creativity and courage, adrenaline and adventure.
At every single stop in 2023, 12 women and 12 men will showcase their aesthetic abilities during a two-day event to impress the international jury and make the spectators’ jaws drop in not just the three brand new locations. Each single dive is up to 27 meters high, 85kmh fast and hardly three seconds long – three irrevocable facts that the athletes counter with physical and mental mastery in their quest for the glorious King Kahekili Trophy.
From remote places to urban spots, seas, rivers, calm and wild waters, the uniqueness of each dive site adds to the magic of these unparalleled sporting competitions watched by thousands of spectators on site or on screen. Seven stops between June and November will define the overall champions in the 14thseason of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.