America's Eleanor Townsend Smart and Sergio Guzman from Mexico got a first taste of what is sure to be a highly competitive and thrilling start to the new season during their sunset dive from the infamous rock formation at Possum Kingdom Lake.
Their bodies are primed and their minds are pumped, and on Saturday they will be entering the 10th World Series season through Hell's Gate, Texas. It's sure to be a hot and blazing opener to the year as athletes launch themselves from up to 27m, then twist and spin their way down through 40°C air before they hit the waters of the massive reservoir at over 85km/h.
A season opener into the flat waters surrounding the venue guarantees to again become a display of excellence. It was here that reigning World Series champion Jonathan Paredes performed his winning dive for four times the highest note (10) from the judges – still unbeaten since 2016. Besides the Mexican diver, the British duo Gary Hunt and Blake Aldridge have split the victories in this location: two for Hunt, the six-time champion, and former Olympian Aldridge took his Texan laurels in 2017. The Brits completed last year's overall podium behind Paredes and are definitely amongst the favourites for the season's first win.
American hopefuls David Colturi, Steven LoBue, Andy Jones and invitee Kyle Mitrione return to fight for a victory in their home country while in the women's Australian Rhiannan Iffland comes to Hell's Gate as reigning champion from the 21m platform, undefeated in this location. Her main competition is expected to come from Lysanne Richard from Canada and Mexico's Adriana Jimenez, the overall runner up and third placed from the previous years.
Possum Kingdom Lake just two hours from Dallas is nestled deep in the valley of the Palo Pinto Mountains. It features over 19,000 acres of clear-blue water and also is one of Texas' deepest lakes. With Hell's Gate's sheer cliffs, the cove's amphitheatre feel, and thousands of rowdy Texans showing their support, the world's best cliff diving men and women are sure to deliver a high class competition from almost three times the Olympic diving platform height.
Watch Live from Texas
This event will be LIVE on June 2 at 3:15 PM CDT (8:15 PM GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook and YouTube. 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.