An immaculate first round dive from England's Gary Hunt earned him the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series' hundredth 10, and ensured that the six-time champion continued his impressive comeback on the first day of competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mexico's Jonathan Paredes and American Andy Jones sit just seven points back in joint second place after two rounds of diving from a 27m platform that extends impressively from the roof of the Opera House in the Danish capital.
Hunt, who is chasing a hat-trick of victories in this most northerly location of the 2018 calendar, ripped a perfect inward 3 somersaults 1/2 twist into the harbour, meaning that the landmark score was achieved fittingly during this 10th anniversary season of the sport. It was a feat made even more remarkable considering the windy conditions, which had earlier been extreme enough to delay the start of competition by one hour.
"It's been a windy and cold day and I had to step back from the platform because of the wind," said 34-year-old Hunt. "But I kept my composure and scored the hundredth ten of the World Series. It's been a while since my last ten, so I'm very happy."
His last top note came two years ago in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on his way to securing a record sixth World Series title.
"This feels like my comeback now," added the Brit. "I got back on top of the podium in Switzerland, but in a fashion I didn't really like after messing up my final dive. You won't be seeing any new dives tomorrow, because I've got work to do and need to stay consistent to catch Steven (LoBue). They're difficult dives though, and that should be enough to fight with the big guns."
The two men who currently sit above Hunt in the overall standings, LoBue (USA) and Paredes, are both within striking distance of the Brit, while Jones will also fancy his chances of another podium after his return to form in Switzerland three weeks ago.
Czech Republic's Michal Navratil, who sits in joint-third place overall after a solid season so far, will not dive this weekend after staying at home in Prague to witness his wife give birth to their first child today. Taking his place is Romania's Constantin Popovici, a former Olympic diver who has been training from the men's platform at various stops this year with a view to competing next season. The early call up didn't seem to faze the 29-year-old, who scored three 8s with his debut dive to help him into seventh place ahead of tomorrow's final rounds.
Thousands of fans are expected to fill the harbour in boats, as well as watch from land, when the world's best cliff divers return on Saturday afternoon to battle for crucial championship points.
Watch it Live
This event will be LIVE on August 25 at 2:45 PM CEST (12:45 PM GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook & 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.