While Polignano a Mare is the penultimate stop for the likes of Gary Hunt, Orlando Duque and Jonathan Paredes in the 2015 World Series, the female cliff divers will be crowning their champion in this beautiful town in southern Italy. For the first time this season, cliff diving aficionados from all around the world can watch the competition live on www.redbullcliffdiving.com.
It is the third time that this Mecca of European cliff diving has hosted a World Series event, and it certainly provides the most unusual venue: the take-off spot is a private roof-top terrace and the athletes have to enter the platforms 20m and 27m above the Adriatic Sea via a private living room. The house is built over the most famous cliff of the coast and looks integrated into the cliff itself. Within the international cliff diving scene this spot is renowned for its uniqueness and will be the launch point for the female cliff diving elite for the first time ever. Can the Women's World Series reigning champion Rachelle Simpson prevail or will invitee Cesilie Carlton, the winner in Portugal, outperform the FINA high diving world champion? Nothing's decided yet, as Ginger Leigh Huber (USA) and Anna Bader (GER) also still have chances on the title. With four wildcard divers, the women's competition guarantees a thrilling final battle from 20m.
Four wildcards will also spice up the men's three-second flights: Mexico's Sergio Guzman, the only wildcard who's ever made it to the podium, Polish diver Kris Kolanus and Jose Wilker from Brazil. Italian Alessandro De Rose can count on the crowd's support, as jumping into the water fascinates the locals of all ages.
After five wins in a row and for the first time this season, England's Gary Hunt missed the podium in Mostar, making way for a rising cliff diving star – Jonathan Paredes. The Mexican style master has worked his way up during the course of the season to win his first World Series competition. Also back in the game for a top result is David Colturi after struggling with his form in mid-season. The American sits in fifth place in the overall standings – the season's best five athletes will be granted a permanent spot in a 2016 Series – hunted by fellow countryman Andy Jones, who has as well targeted the top-five. With six of eight stops down, the long and demanding season has started taking its toll on the athletes, with former British Olympian Blake Aldridge – currently 4th - fighting through injuries in search of a good overall finish. Who'll cope best with the pressure and challenges of another competition from 27m into the unforgiving waters?
In a place where cliffs are the foundation of everyday life, an enormous crowd can be expected to watch the 22 athletes competing in the seventh stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Don't miss the action - Sunday, September 13 at 4pm CEST.