The Eiffel Tower as a neighboring diving board and the Seine as the arrival basin. For an event on the Red Bull Cliff Diving circuit (i.e. “diving from a cliff”), the backdrop will be atypical. Paris welcomes, Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18, for the first time a stage of the World Cup of the specialty. In the past, in France, divers had flown from the Saint-Nicolas tower, in the port of La Rochelle, and from Cap Dramont, in Saint-Raphaël in the Var.
After a first stop in Boston, in the United States, on June 4, the best high-flying divers in the world will meet at Port Debilly, opposite the Eiffel Tower. Franceinfo tells you more about the event.
The City of Light, a goal achieved
Installing a diving board above the Seine: the organizers of the world extreme diving circuit had been dreaming about it for years. “We have already organized urban stops, next to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Oslo or Copenhagen for example. But the aura of Paris is incredible with international divers. Everyone is very impatient”, confides Hassan Mouti, former French diver on the circuit and now director of the competition.
In Paris, no monument high enough allows you to dive directly into the Seine. Consequently, a platform was built from scaffolding at Port Debilly, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, to install two diving boards: one at 27 meters for men, the other at 21 meters for women. VSIn accordance with regulations, participants will land in a deep space of one phad more than five meters.
After Paris, theThe next events are scheduled for Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Sisikon (Switzerland) and Polignano a Mare (Italy).
A fall at almost 80 km / h
By jumping from 27 meters, the divers hit the water at nearly 80 km/h, less than three seconds after taking off. The divers cover the 21 meters in less than two seconds at 60 km/h. To ensure their safety, four people are in the water (three snorkeling and a diver with a bottle).
“It’s one of the most dangerous extreme sports because you don’t wear a helmet or vest. The risks are multiple and similar to those of a motorcycle accident”, details Hassan Mouti. He himself had to retire from the diving boards after a serious accident in competition. According to the event director, incidents remain rare: “Last year, there was only one, and he was a minor.”
To limit unnecessary risks, the rules are strict. An athlete can present a combination that he has never done in competition on the sole condition of obtaining the agreement of the director of the event and the referee. “We know the divers and what they are capable of doing. So we will talk to the person, find out how they prepared the trick, watch videos of the training. We can ask them to perform it in front of us. to validate it or not”says Hassan Mouti. “We don’t want to limit the development of our sport, but to control risk-taking.”
The defending champion at home
Extreme diving legend Gary Hunt is French. Of British origin, the long-haired diver has had a tricolor passport since 2018, after a decade spent in France. He will dive this weekend at home, he who shares his training between the swimming pool of the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (Insep), located in the Bois de Vincennes, and that of Montreuil.
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Present on the circuit since its creation in 2009, Gary Hunt has the record for the number of titles won (eight) and victories (39). Among the women, the Australian Rhiannan Iffland (30) dominates the debates. In total, 24 athletes (12 women and 12 men) will compete in Paris, the eight best in the world in both categories, permanent members of the circuit, and eight guests selected by Hassan Mouti. All will leave with a bonus, from 8,000 euros for the winner to 1,000 euros for the last. “Everyone who jumps takes risks, so everyone should be rewarded”, explains the director of the competition.
A free event
The competition is open free of charge to the public, who can admire the show from the event area or its surroundings. Giant screens will also be installed. The event begins Friday, with the warm-up from 2:15 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. Each athlete will then perform two dives (simple and intermediate) between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, the warm-up will be launched at 1:45 p.m. and the last two rounds (with more difficult dives) will be held from 3 p.m. to end around 5:20 p.m. The award ceremony will be organized immediately after the competition.
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