A Leap into the Great American Eclipse

Orlando Duque
Cliff divers warm up for Hell’s Gate against stunning celestial backdrop

Before the 2017 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will fire back up at Hell's Gate in Texas, Helena Merten (AUS), David Colturi (USA), Andy Jones (USA), and Orlando Duque (COL), celebrated the first full solar eclipse in nearly four decades in the United States. Their leaps from a 20-meter platform in McMinnville, Oregon were captured via high-optical quality front-surface mirrors.

With two title fights in full swing, Orlando Duque is the surprise men's leader heading into the second half of this already thrilling season, while reigning champion Rhiannan Iffland is the women's front-runner once again as she returns to the scene of her first-ever victory.

Helena Merten leaps into the sky during the full solar eclipse. Photo: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool.

Vaulting into the sunless sky were just a handful of the world-class athletes who will be competing in Texas, USA on September 3. Among the four divers fortunate enough to take part in the shoot was Colombia's cliff diving legend Duque, who is no stranger to making headlines with impressive dives around the world, including his iconic 2013 helicopter dive in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

"It was one of the craziest dives I've done in my entire life," said Duque. "We knew it was going to be dark, but not that dark! Having one shot at this dive made it that much more exciting."

The 42-year-old, who is currently enjoying a resurgent season which has him sitting atop the men's division, looks ahead to Texas and future challenges from six-time champion Gary Hunt (GBR) as well as fellow eclipse diver and home-country favourite David Colturi.

Andy Jones tries on his safety glasses for viewing the eclipse. Photo: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool.
The four athletes make their way towards the diving spot. Photo: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool.

With three different winners in as many events, the latest being Italian wildcard diver Alessandro De Rose, the ninth season couldn't be any more exciting. In the World Series' fourth return to Hell's Gate, Mexico's Jonathan Paredes, who has led all of this year's competitions after two of four rounds, aims to add a fourth name to this list.

David Colturi warms up for his home soil event in Texas with a dive as light turns to dark in Oregon. Photo: Dustin Snipes/Red Bull Content Pool.

On the women's side, defending champion Rhiannan Iffland has resumed her winning ways in 2017 and will look to return to the top of the podium in Texas, where the women's World Series kicked-off in 2014 and the Australian recorded her first victory a year ago in her debut appearance.

Moving into the second half of the 2017 World Series, the world's cliff diving elite are poised to take Texas by storm, where tens of thousands of floating spectators are planning on watching the competition from the lake.

Watch Live from Texas

This event will be LIVE on September 03 from 15.00 local time (20.00 GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV and Facebook. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv

If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.