Cliff Divers Set Sail for Glory in Portugal

Andy Jones
Jones and Iffland's discovery diving tour of Lisbon harbour ahead of Azores stop

Australia's two-time World Series champion Rhiannan Iffland and former Cirque du Soleil performer Andy Jones from the US launched from the beam of a caravel in their quest for history. Following the traces of some of the world's most significant explorers, the duo dived into the Tejo river right next to Torre de Belém and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, two of Lisbon's most famous sights honouring the Age of Discovery.

While the famous Portuguese discoveries, which allegedly set sail from the country's capital city, revealed the Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in the 15th century, the elite cliff divers discovered the phenomenal volcanic setting in 2012.

This modern day discovery has established as the World Series' most prime and pure cliff diving location as 24 of the world's top athletes leap directly from the cliff face for a record 7th time this weekend.

Rhiannan Iffland dives into the Tejo river as she attempts to rediscover her winning formula in the Azores this weekend. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

Facing the Atlantic, where once the caravels popped up on the horizon, the daring men and women need to prove their versatility from up to 27m to stay in contention during the only stop of the 2018 World Series where the athletes will leap directly from the rocks, just as the pioneers of this amazing sport did hundreds of years ago.

Iffland and Jones will move from Lisbon harbour to the voclanic rocks in the mid-Atlantic. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

Following a men's thriller in Bilbao, which saw British 6-time champion Gary Hunt still struggling and reigning champion Jonathan Paredes from Mexico powering to his first 2018 podium finish, in the women's it is Adriana Jimenez who will be the centre of attention after opening her account with a victory in Texas.

While six centuries ago, when the world had no boundaries, no limits, no end and everything was up for discovery, the title fight in the World Series' anniversary season is completely up in the air. An exciting competition is expected for one of the most nature bounding sports offshore from São Miguel, when volcanic stone in the shape of a 'snakehead' and the outside crater walls of the almost perfectly round islet serve as the ideal take-off spots for the athletes from 14 nationalities.

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