14 male divers and 8 female divers took part in the first rounds of competition for the latest stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo on Friday.
The men dove directly off the cliff from the 25-metre-high 'Snakehead' rock, with Artem Silchenko's reverse somersault with tuck propelling the Russian into first place after the first round with a total of 100.70 points. Colombian wildcard Miguel Garcia also impressed, winding up the first day in second place with another excellent execution of a triple somersault with half a twist in the pike position.
"I'm happy today – I used this dive only here, and I never practiced for one here and I ripped it today, I'm so happy," said Silchenko. "The off-the-cliff location is different to last year. I can't tell you what's more difficult. All platforms are the same, but it's very different when you're diving off rocks."
There were surprises too, with Steven LoBue, Gary Hunt and Orlando Duque all struggling with their first-round dives. The trio have their work cut out if they're to progress from their head-to-heads to the final, with Steven LoBue taking on Artem Silchenko, Gary Hunt is paired with Jonathan Paredes, and Orlando Duque squaring off against Andy Jones.
The fifth stop in the 2015 World Series also features women's competition, with the first two rounds complete on Friday. Mexico's Adriana Jimenez is the overnight leader with 156.50 points, followed by German Anna Bader (141.50pts) and the USA's Cesilie Carlton (137.60pts).
"I'm enjoying it a lot and that's the most important thing for me," said Jimenez. "The platform is a stable place and on the rocks you have to find a way to stand up and find a spot because there are little rocks everywhere and the take-off is different. It's a new experience for me."
The competition will resume on Saturday with the two head-to-head rounds and the final for the men, and the third and final round for the women.
Keep up to date with the latest from the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo by going to redbullcliffdiving.com/live from 12pm/midday CET.
Seeding Round results and head-to-head pairings – Men
1. Artem Silchenko (RUS) – 100.70pts v 14. Steven LoBue (USA) – 60.80pts
2. Miguel Garcia (COL) – 95.00 v 13. Sergio Guzman (MEX) – 74.10
3. Jonathan Paredes (MEX) – 83.60 v 12. Gary Hunt (UK) – 74.10
4. Andy Jones (USA) – 83.60 v 11. Orlando Duque (COL) – 76.00
5. David Colturi (USA) – 81.70 v 10. Blake Aldridge (UK) – 77.90
6. Michal Navratil (CZE) – 81.70 v 9. Anatoliy Shabotenko (UKR) – 79.80
7. Jucelino Junior (BRA) – 81.70 v 8. Kyle Mitrione (USA) – 81.70
Results after Round 2 – Women
1. Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 156.50pts
2. Anna Bader (GER) – 141.50
3. Cesilie Carlton (USA) – 137.60
4. Rachelle Simpson (USA) – 135.20
5. Ginger Huber (USA) – 124.00
6. Tara Hyer Tira (USA) – 122.50
7. Yana Nestsiarava (BLR) – 121.80
8. Lysanne Richard (CAN) – 121.50