Three brand new locations, an Olympic medallist in the permanent line-up and pure cliffs providing the launchpad at almost half the stops; this is what awaits the field of divers from 18 nationalities during the 7-stop world tour, featuring record champions Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) and Gary Hunt (GBR). Soaring from heights of up to 27m at speeds in excess of 85km/h, with no protection except their concentration, skill and physical control, the athletes' quest for the glorious King Kahekili Trophy guarantees to become a thriller during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series' 11th season.
New to the tour this year is El Nido in the Phillipines' Palawan region, Ireland's capital Dublin and one of the oldest cities in the world, Beirut in Lebanon. Mixing it up with World Series fan favourites like Italy, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ever-evolving sport will hit pure to traditionally rich and visually extraordinary venues before celebrating the final showdown at the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in September.
The title fight from almost three time the Olympic heights starts amidst pristine geologic formations, turtles and hundreds of species of corals and fish, in an off-the-cliff competition into emerald waters off the coast of El Nido on the Philippines. From the warmest and remotest to the most urban stop of the year, the second competition takes the cliff diving elite to another debut in Ireland, where they will launch from the platforms in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock for the first time.
June is the month of World Series classics as the athletes return to the venue where houses rise from the rocks and 70,000 passionate fans await in Polignano a Mare in the very south of Italy. Traveling on to the phenomenal rocks of Portugal's Azores island of São Miguel, the athletes will dive straight from the volcanic cliffs for the eighth consecutive time.
July takes the world-class athletes to new grounds in the Middle East off the coast of Beirut's neighbourhood of Raouché, Lebanon. Despite being in the country's largest city, the divers will launch from the pure cliff face off the 'Pigeon Rocks' going into the second half of the season. The penultimate stop awaits the athletes with the chilly waters below Stari Most, the old bridge of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where diving from great heights has been a tradition for centuries.
A final as well as a premiere! When the platforms on top of Bilbao's La Salve Bridge turn into the take-off strips for the year's final aesthetic freefalls to define the winners of the 2019 King Kahekili Trophy, it will be the first time the women display their graceful art next to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
2019 might become one of the most competitive seasons in the history of Red Bull Cliff Diving, after last year again raised the bar with multiple new faces on the podium and a whole new generation of athletes pushing into the World Series. Although 7-time champion Gary Hunt from England is the one to catch, sports director Greg Louganis believes it's all up for grabs this season in the men's as established divers up their game steadily and Olympic divers qualify through the World Ranking and the FINA World Cup.
Meanwhile, Colombia's legendary Orlando Duque, World Series champion in 2009 and multiple world title-holder, is forced into wildcard status after an injury-plagued 2018 season; just like the women's Ginger Huber, who makes way for fellow American rookie Eleanor Townsend Smart. Great Britain's first permanent athlete Jessica Macaulay will also be among those challenging the sport's most decorated female athlete, Rhiannan Iffland from Australia.
Three seconds of aesthetic freefalls and dives of ever-growing complexity, pushing the limits of what is physically possible – expect twists and surprises when the sport's finest athletes take to the platform to outperform their rivals.
2019 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Calendar
April 13 – El Nido, Palawan, Philippines - NEW
May 12 – Dublin, Ireland - NEW
June 2 – Polignano a Mare, Italy
June 22 – São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
July 14 – Beirut, Lebanon - NEW
August 24 – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
September 14 – Bilbao, Spain