The coronation of the male and female 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Champions takes place in Yucatán, Mexico, on October 17-18.
Ik Kil Cenote is a natural phenomenon which looks like an imaginary place with root-covered walls, crystal-clear waters, lush green vegetation and wildlife; this October it's the truly stunning setting for the coronation of the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champions. The first-ever female World Series champion will be confirmed, as well as the 'brilliant Brit' Gary Hunt who will be crowned overall winner after securing the title at the penultimate stop in Bilbao last month. Competition among the men remains high, particularly for one of the coveted top-five places and a guaranteed spot for next season. After a long season of sensational diving, vital ranking points are still up for grabs and the final showdown on the Yucatán Peninsula will provide cliff diving at its most spectacular.
"It's been a wicked year and it'll be a pleasure to dive in Mexico knowing the title is already secured," says Gary Hunt (910pts), with a hat-trick of wins to his name already in 2014. Besides the top spot, nothing has yet been determined. Defending champion, Artem Silchenko (680pts), from Russia, moved up in the overall rankings from fifth to the position of runner-up by winning the competition in Bilbao, ahead of America's Steven LoBue (660pts) who is in third place. The season of 85kph dives comes down to the wire and with only the top five of the overall standings qualifying automatically for next year, the fight is tight. England's Blake Aldridge holds fifth, but Jonathan Paredes is nipping at his heels and only 10 points behind (540pts), in sixth, before stop number 7 on home soil. Positions four (Orlando Duque, 590pts) to eight (Michal Navratil, 460pts) are all still focused on making the cut.
In the Women's World Series, it's Texan Rachelle Simpson coming to Mexico as the leader of the standings. After two straight wins from 20m, she is 80 points ahead of six-time European cliff diving champion Anna Bader, from Germany. The third spot in the women's standings is currently shared by Americans Ginger Huber and Tara Hyer-Tira, as well as Mexican Adriana Jimenez (200pts). As the top four divers from the first Women's World Series are automatically qualified for the 2015 series, Cesilie Carlton (180pts), the FINA high diving world champion, is still in the running for automatic qualification.
For the coronation of the 2014 champions, the World Series returns to the root-covered sinkhole close to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Mexico and will feature three female and four male wildcard divers. Mexico's Adriana Jimenez, Lysanne Richard, from Canada, and Tara Hyer-Tira, from the United States, will get their chances to dive into the Cenote Ik Kil's natural formation, as well as four South American male divers: Edivaldo Keda Moura, Jucelino Junior and Jose Wilker, from Brazil, and Christian Arayon, from Colombia. Their performances will be assessed by five international judges, among them four-time Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis.
For more information on the final stop of the season, including timings, head to the Mexico event page.