What better way to initiate our new partnership with the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, than in the picturesque medieval French city of La Rochelle. The city, whose name literally translates, ‘little rock’, plays host to what is often considered the scariest platform of the entire competition.
Situated at the top of the 14th Century ‘Saint Nicolas Tower’, the 27m platform can be reached upon climbing 120 steps, whereupon each diver plummets in to the cold water of the Bay of Biscay, at speeds of up to 85kph…
Coffee and croissants anyone?
With such excitement, it’s little wonder the event attracts 70,000 spectators!
Cliff diving’s origins date back to the late 1700s when the last independent chief of the Hawaiian island of Maui, King Kahekili, used cliff diving as an initiation rite for his warriors, challenging them to follow his example by jumping off cliffs to prove their loyalty. The old Hawaiian principles of “mana” and “pono” (power and balance) became the key elements of lele kawa (cliff-diving)…
Prior to the event, cliff diving heavyweight Orlando Duque visited the ‘Aquarium La Rochelle’ to enjoy some quiet time in the three-storey shark tank! With 3,000,000 tonnes of sea water, the Aquarium is home to a whole host of water-loving creatures, including a family of piranhas.
On his encounter with the sharks, the 38 year old Columbian told Red Bull the following:
“It does take some courage to be close to such big animals but I happen to be comfortable around sharks. Being underwater is always such a calming experience that I forget about the danger and focus on enjoying the moment.
In our sport it’s absolutely crucial to keep the fear in check and concentrate on your goal, just as the shark does, when he hunts for prey; nothing else exists in these moments”.
Don’t miss out on all the action from world elite divers, including Orlando Duque, Britain’s Gary Hunt and Frenchmen Cyrille Oumedjkane and Hassan Mouti…
France: May 24-25 / Denmark: June 21-22 / Portugal: June 28-29 / Italy: July 13-14 / USA: August 23-24 / UK: September 13-14 / Brazil: September 27-28 / Thailand: October 21-26