Triple World Series champion Gary Hunt put on another cliff diving masterclass to win the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Hell's Gate in Possum Kingdom Lake on Saturday, and there was a victory too for Texan Rachelle Simpson in front of a home crowd as the first Women's World Series event got off to a flyer.
Brit Gary Hunt has a number of accolades already, but in Texas registered a new personal best score (and new World Series record) of 526.40 points, diving to victory ahead of Russia's Artem Silchenko (503.90), in second, and the USA's Steven LoBue (493.05), in third.
An epic final round saw some of the best diving yet in what is now the sixth season of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, with the top seven athletes from the 12 who started the competition throwing some incredible dives from 28 metres. Hunt's final dive, a front triple somersault with three and a half twists, received three 9.5s from the five international judges, and was nothing short of breathtaking.
There were also top marks for style and poise in the first-ever Women's World Series competition - the first of three in 2014 - which saw seven athletes compete from a 20m platform. Texan Rachelle Simpson, who hails from San Antonio, claimed first place, with Anna Bader, of Germany, in second, and fellow Texas native Cesilie Carlton, in third.
Head to redbullcliffdiving.com's results page for all the scores and overall standings from the second stop of the 2014 World Series. Following events in Cuba and the USA, the World Series heads to Ireland for the third of seven stops on June 29.
"I did four good dives and a new personal best score so I couldn't ask for much more. It was slightly disappointing not to use my new big dive, but I had to play this one tactically and I knew that keeping my programme was the best chance of taking the win. There was so much pressure on the last dive. There were so many amazing dives in the final round. It just pumps you up so much when you're hearing the scores come through, and you just want to keep that streak going. You don't want to be the one who does a bad dive and, yeah, I think I did alright! The crowd sounded like they were having a great time, I think I'm going to join them!"
"I'm really excited and that's actually a new personal best for me by two points. I missed my dive yesterday and was frustrated about it but came in today with a new attitude. I love when it's game day and you soak up the atmosphere and the energy. It flicks a switch for me and I'm just happy to put it down. It's my first 10 on my quint half which is super special and it's also my first podium in the States. We had three competitions in Boston but I fell short a couple of times so to put it down here in Texas feels great."
"I'm ecstatic – it means so much to me to win. My family and friends were out here and I just wanted to put up a good show and represent Texas. I've been training for a while now and I just wanted to come out and have a consistent competition. I thought I would have a good chance if I hit my dives. My last one was a little bit shorter than I would have liked but it ended up paying off. I'm going to keep training between now and the next women's competition in Norway and I'm excited to be a part of this."