American cliff diver David Colturi launched from a paraglider, steered by the internationally renowned Swiss Christian 'Chrigel' Maurer, to enter the water right in front of Tell's Chapel in the style of the great national folk hero. With this postcard perfect setting, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returns to Switzerland for the first time in eight years and continues with the tradition of historic deeds at Lake Lucerne. While it was Wilhelm Tell escaping captivity in the 14th century, the world's cliff diving elite will display their acrobatic skills as they leap from up to 27m on the Uri Stone into the fresh water in Sisikon this weekend.
The paraglider hovered 20m above the water surface when 29-year-old Colturi set off for his graceful dive, grabbing the attention of the passengers on a steamboat, who were reminded of the legendary jump of Wilhelm Tell. Legend has it that he escaped captivity by leaping from a boat up to a cliff ledge high above the shores of Lake Lucerne; nowadays a memorial chapel – Tell's Chapel – reminds of the fearless accomplishment.
For the American it was a special moment: "I love to push boundaries and prepare myself for things that have never been done before. It's been a great experience setting up this unique project that combines cliff diving and paragliding over the last couple of months and finally executing the dive in a big team effort."
On August 5, 24 male and female world class cliff divers will add their own acrobatic feats to those of the great Swiss folk hero when they dive right across the Rütli meadow, the historic cradle of Switzerland where the country was founded in 1291. The 2018 World Series season reaches its midway point in this historic venue, and despite hosting a stop in 2009 and 2010, it will be a completely new experience for the majority of the male and female athletes.
America's Steven LoBue will be aiming to make it three wins in a row after victories in Spain and Portugal put him on the cusp of becoming only the third man to achieve a World Series hat-trick after Brit Gary Hunt and Colombian legend Orlando Duque. Mexico's Adriana Jimenez still leads the women, who will be making their debut in this location, ahead of record winner Rhiannan Iffland of Australia after two of five competitions.
Unfortunately, Colturi will not be able to compete at the upcoming tour stop as he suffered a ruptured spleen performing the high dives off the paraglider: "Although injuries in our sport can happen every day, even after extensive preparation, it's very unfortunate it happened to me being in such fine form with podium finishes in Spain and Portugal," said Colturi. "However, in my mind I'm already preparing to be back on the platform and battling it out with my fellow divers."
Cheese, chocolate and cliff diving – Sisikon in the Swiss Alps will host the fourth stop of a thrilling season and, surrounded by glaciers, a women's World Series competition for the first time. Historically, the return to Lake Lucerne marks a rather significant stop of the 2018 World Series: Switzerland plays a major role in the history of the sport as Red Bull Cliff Diving as such was born in Brontallo (Ticino) in 1997 with the very first stand-alone event.
Watch it Live
This event will be LIVE on August 5 at 3:30 PM CEST (1:30 PM GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook, Youtube & Twitch. 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.