A return to France for the first time since 2016
A World Series favourite makes a welcome return to the calendar this season following a three-year break, and for the first-time ever the women will get to experience this daunting venue situated in the Bay of Biscay. In previous years, buzzing crowds of up to 75,000 thousand spectators have fallen silent for the men's three-second freefalls from 27m, and will this time have the added treat of seeing the women showcase their acrobatic skills from 21m.
The former defence tower of Saint Nicolas, which served as the inaugural launchpad at the very first stop in 2009, is one of the most unique and intimidating locations in the sport's history. The journey to the top of this former jail consists of 120 spiralling steps from the catacombs of the 42m high landmark, and memories of America's Steven LoBue striking his head on the platform in 2015 only enhance its daunting reputation.
Looking back on a long tradition of fishing and trading, the seaport of La Rochelle was once the largest on the French Atlantic coast. Nowadays, the city and its 80,000 inhabitants still maintain strong links with the sea by harbouring the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe.
2016 Gary Hunt, GBR
2015 Gary Hunt, GBR
2013 Artem Silchenko, RUS
2011 Gary Hunt, GBR
2010 Gary Hunt, GBR
2009 Andrey Ignatenko, UKR