After eight thrilling stops around the globe, where the world's best cliff divers have competed at pure cliffs and vibrant cities, the biggest World Series season yet is set to make its debut in Dubai for the first-ever night event. The city iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, including the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, provides a spectacular setting as the cream of the crop in cliff diving battle it out from up to 28m in a dramatic floodlit finale, and two champions will be crowned. The King Kahekili Trophy for the best female will definitely be awarded to a new champion as Australian Rhiannan Iffland holds all the cards to become the first rookie to bag the title. While it all comes down to the season's final dives in the women's, Gary Hunt from England sealed a record 6th title during the previous stop in Japan in a season that has seen five different competition winners, more than ever before. The floodlit finale will also decide on the line-up for 2017.
A third place off the Japanese cliffs in Shirahama last weekend was enough for the 'brilliant Brit' Hunt to wrap up his second hat trick of World Series overall wins after dominating 2010 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016. However, the years in which he dominated the sport down to his whim seem to be over, as the eighth year of the World Series has seen more competition winners than ever before - five winners in eight events, including two new faces on the top with veteran Michal Navratil (CZE) and World Series rookie Sergio Guzman. Can the Mexican make it back-to-back wins in Dubai or will the extraordinary challenges of a night event benefit a more experienced athlete?
The Mexican Jonathan Paredes, who's famous for immaculately displaying the easiest dives from almost three times the Olympic platform height, definitely wants to keep his runner-up position and better his top-three finish from 2015. Close on his heels is Czech diver Navratil, who aims at another 3rd placed finish after 2011. Only the top five of the 2016 World Series ranking automatically qualify for the next season. The remaining five permanent tickets for the 2017 season will be assigned according to the rankings after 11 events, including the FINA world cup and Marmeeting.
In the Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series we'll see a new champion – two-time champion Rachelle Simpson from the USA, who's currently on 7th overall and will have to fight for re-qualification for 2017, will have to hand over the title. The fierce fight for the championship continues between the surprise rookie from Australia, Rhiannan Iffland, who extended her lead in the women's with her latest win in Japan, and Canada's Lysanne Richard, for who 2016 has been the first full-fledged season as well. Three more dives from the 20m-platform and a new female champion will be crowned.
Spotlighting cliff diving's best, the Dubai Marina will provide the spectacular setting for the final showdown for the very first time in eight years of the series. The diving location, Pier 7, usually ups the ante for the city's fine dining scene. A signature building with seven different restaurants on each of its floors, the place is a dining destination that celebrates diversity in the art of fine dining. During this October's last weekend, the circular-designed building will not only provide stunning views of the city skyline and the Arabian Gulf via wraparound views from each of its seven floors, it will serve as the season's ultimate take-off spot for cliff diving's best. The official coronation of the 2016 champions will take place on October 28 at midnight local time.
Watch it Live
This event will be LIVE on October 28 from 5.50 PM GMT 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 2pm (ET) on December 04.