Magic at the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland
Aldridge and Iffland's spellbinding heli-dive display at mystical Irish cliffs

Once the setting for Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore hunting Horcruxes, the entirely vertical cliffs on the Irish west coast set the scene for the World Series' reigning female champion from Australia, Rhiannan Iffland, and Britain's former Olympian, Blake Aldridge. With the O'Brien's Tower in the background and a view over to the Aran Islands, where the 2017 season will kick-off on the weekend, the cliff divers performed dives from up to 25m into the Atlantic to get a first taste of the Irish waters.

From the historical landmark and geographical wonder of the Cliffs of Moher, the athletes travelled to the fabled blowhole of Serpent's Lair on Inis Mór. This is where the diving platforms high above the near-perfect rectangular sea-pool are set for a start into the most unpredictable, six stop season.

Rhiannan Iffland stretches on the rocks before taking flight in Ireland. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

The tension ahead of the athletes' first attempts, which the 34-year-old Brit described as 'a massive adrenaline rush' was palpable, as they marked the first cliff dives in an area where usually Atlantic puffins and more than 20 other bird species fly high above the water. Part of a UNESCO Global Geopark, the cliffs stretch for 8km as the crow flies, reaching their maximum height of 214m, just north of the 1835 built O'Brien's Tower, and are visited by over a million people each year.

The reigning champion launches herself from the helicopter 25m above the waves. Photo: Morgan Tracey/Red Bull Content Pool.

"You're always nervous going to a location you haven't been to and certainly, doing something like jumping out of a helicopter both me and Rhiannan are feeling the nerves a little bit," Aldridge explained, "so once you do something like this and then go over to the island for the competition, we'll be pretty settled. I'm looking forward to the event on the weekend!"

Aldridge arrows into the Atlantic Ocean as the mystical Cliffs of Moher look on. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

The Serpent's Lair is the World Series at its wildest and it poses the world's best cliff divers a unique challenge. Standing on the 21m (women) and 27m (men) platforms the divers will look down to a moving target: a natural sea-pool formed by thousands of years of the push and pull of the sea. Thanks to a network of underwater tunnels and caverns the ocean flows in and out of the pool meaning that the water rises and falls with every crashing wave.

Job well done...now it's time to tackle the fabled Serpent's Lair. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

While the men are no strangers to the bruising Atlantic coast of Ireland, the women will be tackling one of the sport's iconic locations for the first time this weekend, after months of training, preparation and exciting build-up. The sell-out crowd at Inis Mór will witness 14 men and 8 women of 12 nationalities, including wildcard invitations, taking to the air in pursuit of victory in the 60th event of the World Series.

Watch Live from Inis Mór

The season opener will be LIVE on June 24 from 12.00 local time (11.00 GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV and Facebook. 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.

Read and watch more Red Bull Cliff Diving here