The 2017 season begins on the edge of Europe
After uncountable hours in the swimming pool during the off-season, the near-perfect rectangle of the 2017 season-opener on Ireland's Aran Islands will evoke at least a familiar feel amongst the divers. The first dives off the cliff diving platforms surrounded by Irish wilderness are anyway daunting enough for both men and women in the World Series' 60th event.
The fabled Serpent's Lair – 'Poll na bPéist' in Gaelic – on Inis Mór, the big island among a group of three is a 'blowhole' or a shoreline window to subterranean caverns, which spurt out water each day as high tide approaches. What gives this place an inexplicable and mysterious nature is the almost rectangular shape of the hole.
Weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and the welcoming people combine to make the island of Inis Mór breath-taking. Off the west of Ireland, on the edge of Europe, a ferry journey from Galway city brings you to one of the country's most popular tourist destinations with its unique geology, archaeology and tradition.
While for the men this will be the third time the cliff diving elite returns to the place where you can sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland and touch the past after 2012 and 2014, the women will for the first time compete at this extraordinary pool-like venue.