Title Chase Set to Start in Texas

Rhiannan Iffland
Date: 24/05/2018

The World Series comes off a shocker of a 2017 season, where Mexico's Jonathan Paredes dethroned six-time champion Gary Hunt (GBR) on the 27m platform and returns to the Lone Star State of Texas for the fifth straight year to celebrate a decade of pushing the limits of what's physically possible. In the women's, the Texas results from 2017 were a harbinger of things to come as Australian Rhiannan Iffland cruised to her second straight overall title, winning four of the six tour stops including her second straight U.S. stop. Whether her dominance from 21m continues in the women's fifth year and whether the brilliant Brit can find the right formula to reclaim the King Kahekili Trophy will soon be witnessed by throngs of fans flocking to Possum Kingdom Lake.

Texas has been a good hunting ground for the 28-year-old Mexican diver, who's not only been awarded the most tens from the judges for a single dive in this location, but also has a first and second place to his name in the past two seasons. After winning the thrilling finale in the waterfalls of Chile last October, the style master, who's best known for his immaculate form in the air, looks forward to eager challengers in the men's division; first and foremost the British duo Hunt and Blake Aldridge, with the former Olympian finishing 2017 as overall third.

Jonathan Paredes has a good record at Hell's Gate and will be aiming to get his title defence off to the perfect start. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

American veterans Andy Jones, David Colturi and Steven LoBue, who finished fifth through seventh in the 2017 standings, will be supported by the enthusiastic fans on boats as they soar from heights the equivalent of six double-decker buses, twisting and flipping before they hit the water at over 85km/h.

On the women's platform, Australia's two-time champion could make it her 10th victory in 13 starts – her third in a row at Hell's Gate – when the season swings into action in the venue where it all started for the women five years ago. However, the 26-year-old is not resting on her laurels as emerging talents like Adriana Jimenez (MEX), who won the Portugal stop in 2017, and Lysanne Richard will try and make a run for glory; the Canadian, who was runner up to Iffland before she had to withdraw from the 2017 season due to injury, is one to watch out for at the first of five female division stops in 2018.

Two-time women's champion Rhiannan Iffland is unbeaten in Texas and is once again the hot favourite for the title this season. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

The kick-off into the World Series' 10th year features not only 16 permanent divers but also four wildcards in both the men's and women's divisions. These talents, as young as 17 years in the women's and 23 in the men's, are expected to spice up the competition.

As 2018 marks a special year in the history of cliff diving, the World Series is poised once again to hit oceans, rivers, and lakes while thousands of fans from all around the globe flock to see these elite athletes put on a display of athleticism and grace unrivalled in the world of diving. While Gary Hunt wants to regain his crown after being toppled by Paredes last season, Rhiannan Iffland aims to make it three titles in a row, and a blazing start is expected as the world's best 14 male and 10 female cliff divers begin the battle for the King Kahekili trophy all over again, with a tight fight in store right from the start.

Watch it Live

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On Friday June 1, action from the first rounds will be streamed live on our Instagram channel.

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.

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