Back to the bare rocks in the mid-Atlantic for the eighth year in a row
The phenomenal rocks of Portugal's Azores islands are a true World Series classic, as this unique volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean serves as the take-off point for awe-inspiring cliff dives for the eighth consecutive time since 2012 – no other location has hosted more events.
After the season opener in the Philippines, it's back to the roots for a second time in São Miguel – volcanic stone in the shape of a 'snakehead' and the outside crater walls of the almost perfectly round islet are the ideal spots for the athletes to explore this pure sport, spreading their wings diving straight from the cliffs like the pioneers did in Hawaii almost 250 years ago. Only for the more difficult optional dives will the athletes use the platform construction placed above the ocean to define the mid-season leaders.
Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, named after the village just in front in the mainland, is almost circular in shape but broken by a sea entrance through one section of its perimeter and came about following the collapse of an old volcano. The locals call the islet 'Princess Ring'. After being used for many purposes over the centuries – from a military fort area to a vineyard – this islet was classified as a nature reserve in 1983. The crater walls are home to much endemic vegetation. Inside, the crystalline waters of the natural swimming pool have an added beauty and feature their own stunning beach.
Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – 1,369km west of the European mainland – the Azores archipelago comprises nine islands spread over three groups. This territory symbolizes the beginning of the grand adventure of discovery that began in the 15th century and led the Portuguese to have a presence in the four corners of the globe. Of volcanic origin, the Azores are undoubtedly one of the last paradises in Europe – appearing often in legends of the lost continent of Atlantis – and have brought about the closest victory in the World Series to date: 0.1 points.
2018 Steven LoBue, USA | Rhiannan Iffland, AUS
2017 Orlando Duque, COL | Adriana Jimenez, MEX
2016 Gary Hunt, GBR | Rhiannan Iffland, AUS
2015 Gary Hunt, GBR | Cesilie Carlton, USA
2014 Steven LoBue, USA
2013 Gary Hunt, GBR
2012 Artem Silchenko, RUS