The World Series makes its 9th visit to the mid-Atlantic islet
No location on the planet has welcomed the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on more occasions than the phenomenal rocks of Portugal's Azores islands. For its 9th consecutive year as host, this typically mid-season stop could have some added spice due its rare scheduling in the business end of the season. A September date is the latest ever in the mid-Atlantic spot, and tiring limbs and minds will be tested to the limit by the natural and often unforgiving conditions, as the divers battle for crucial championship points.
Ask the athletes though, and they'll all say that they never get tired of this stunning location 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 they use the platform construction placed above the ocean.
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.
Pure drama is on the menu once again in the Azores, and the divers are sure to serve up the excitement in this most visited spot.
2019 Gary Hunt, GBR | Rhiannan Iffland, AUS
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