When 5-time World Series champion Gary Hunt from Great Britain launches from up to 28m, all he seeks for is the perfect dive – five 10s from the judges. And although he's just set a new record for the world's most difficult dive during the season opener in Texas last weekend, it is Mexico's Jonathan Paredes and Russia's powerhouse Artem Silchenko who lead the scoreboards of diving perfection. The season's second competition off the Opera House's cantilever roof in Copenhagen, Denmark holds the next chance for the world's best cliff diver to claim this record for himself.
The Mexican talent Paredes has just opened this year's account with victory in the USA by performing his near-perfect winning dive for four 10s and a 9.5. The same score was awarded to Silchenko from Copenhagen's Opera House in 2013. When this spectacular venue in alignment with the Danish royal palace once again sets its biggest stage eight stories above the water next weekend, 14 of the world's best cliff divers will not only try to win, but try to perform their dives meticulously.
Cliff diving is all about perfection. The judges look for high elevation from the platform, a faultless execution of manoeuvres and a smooth transition into a vertical bodyline, with straight arms, before the divers disappear into the watery abyss with only a few drops to spare.
These supreme acrobatic skills have earned 32-year old Artem Silchenko, overall winner in 2013, the second highest number of wins in the World Series (10), while Jonathan Paredes has two victories to his name despite the fact that his dives accumulate the lowest difficulty in the whole Series. The Russian and 'brilliant Brit' Gary Hunt know how it feels to win in Denmark, but Jonathan Paredes comes with the confidence of the season's first winner.
The platform in this year's first European stop is 27 metres high, the drop takes just 3 seconds, and the athletes reach speeds of 85km/h as they twist and somersault up to five times before impact. It is the third time that the World Series will be hosted in the Danish capital city and it's the first time the event will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV and by stations around the world.
Thousands of spectators are expected to watch when the cliff diving curtain raises for the second time in 2016 and 14 men, including four wildcard invitations, are put to a test of nerve as well as consistency and skill from almost three times the height of the Olympic 10m diving board.
Click here for 2016's permanent athletes competing in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Wildcards: Alain Kohl (LUX), Alessandro De Rose (ITA), Kris Kolanus (POL), Kyle Mitrione (USA).
Standings (after 1 of 9 stops):
1. Jonathan Paredes, MEX – 200pts.
2. Blake Aldridge, GBR – 160
3. Michal Navratil, CZE – 130
4. Gary Hunt, GBR – 110
5. Alessandro De Rose (W), ITA – 90
6. Orlando Duque, COL – 70
7. David Colturi, USA – 60
8. Artem Silchenko, RUS – 50
9. Andy Jones, USA – 40
10. Kris Kolanus (W), POL – 30
11. Steven LoBue, USA – 20
12. Kyle Mitrione (W), USA – 10
13. Miguel Garcia (W), COL – 9
14. Sergio Guzman, MEX – 8
This event will be LIVE on June 18 from 12.20 PM UTC on www.redbullcliffdiving.com and Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv
If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.
Note that the live webcast and replay is geo-blocked in the US due to an exclusive broadcast deal with FOX Sports. The event will air on FS1 at 4pm (ET) on July 17.