Since it began four seasons ago, the women's competition has rapidly grown into an exciting and integral part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. The first two seasons were dominated by American Rachelle Simpson, but in 2016 Australia's Rhiannan Iffland burst onto the scene and has quickly established herself as the woman to beat
With the 10th anniversary season fast approaching, the women are preparing for another tilt at the King Kahekili trophy. Here we take a closer look at four of the top contenders who will battle it out for glory in 2018.
In 2017 the Mexican powerhouse started with an 8th place in Ireland, but moved straight on to winning the second stop on the Azores - her first win ever in the World Series. Although there were no more victories to follow, her performance was steady enough to earn her third place overall, making 2017 her most successful season ever. In July she topped it off with a silver medal at the FINA High Diving World Championships. This season the 33-year-old will be aiming to step up to the next level and make a push for the top spot.
• 2017 - Winner Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series in Azores (POR)
• 2017 - 2nd FINA High Diving World Championships
• 2015 - 2nd Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series in São Miguel, Azores (POR)
• 2014 - 2nd Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series in Yucatán (MEX, wildcard)
• 2004 - 19th 10m Platform World Cup and Pre-Olympics in Athens (GRE), securing a place for Mexico in the Olympic Games
Anna Bader's history in the World Series suggests that this could be a very special season for the 34-year-old German. In 2014 and 2015 she started as a permanent diver, followed by a baby-break in 2016. Then she made a very strong comeback in 2017 with only wildcard status, finishing three out of four stops on the podium. Her amazing return last season means that she's back on the 21m platform as a permanent athlete again in 2018, and she certainly has the potential to challenge at the very top of the standings.
• 6 times European Champion in Cliff Diving
• 2015 - 4th overall Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
• 2014 - 2nd overall Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
• 2012 - 3rd in the men's category in the European Championships
• 2008 - highest personal dive from 24.5m at the Red Bull Cliff Diving in Polignano a Mare (ITA)
Coming almost out of nowhere in 2016, Lysanne Richard propelled herself into an unforgettable season in which she pushed the sensational Rhiannan Iffland all the way in a pulsating title battle. A neck injury right before 2017's season kick-off cruelly caused her to miss out on the whole World Series, but due to the injury policy the 36-year-old's permanent status remains untouched and the cliff diving community can hope for a successful comeback in 2018. If the mother of three can return in the same form as she showed two season ago, she'll once again be a major contender for the title.
• 2016 - 1st Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Polignano a Mare (ITA) and Mostar (BIH)
• 2016 - Winner High Diving World Cup
• 2015 - 2nd Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Texas (USA, wildcard)
• 2014 - 8th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Yucatán (MEX, wildcard)
• 2011 - Women winner Tuxtla
• 2004 - Graduate from National Circus School of Montreal
• Character and acrobat with Cirque du Soleil, since 2005 till today
• Circus and high diving shows in Canada, United States, Bermuda, Mexico, Dominican Republic, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Scotland, Oman and Japan
26-year-old Rhiannan Iffland showed no signs of slowing down when she took her 2nd trophy in 2017, even though an injury caused her to miss the season's penultimate stop. During this forced break, the young Australian spent her time on recovery only. Chile, 2017's final, should've been more a test of her health than a serious competition; after her first dive – the Aussie went for a cold start into the game - all cautious thoughts were literally washed away and Iffland stated a roaring triumph, winning not only the stop but the whole World Series, too. To complete her winning streak the queen of high diving also won the world championships title in Budapest, Hungary. In 2018, she is the strong favourite once again, and who would bet against her?
• 2017 & 2016 - Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series champion
• 2017 - FINA High Diving World Champion
• 2015 - started her cliff diving career