Between May and October 2014, 10 men and five women, from nine nationalities, will excel in performing at the highest level and fighting for glory, challenged by a series of wildcards as well as the elements.
After Colombia's Orlando Duque, in 2009, and the three-time champion, Gary Hunt, it was 30-year-old Artem Silchenko who took the 2013 crown in a red-hot final competition in Thailand last October. This coming season, the Russian and nine other top athletes will fight for the World Series title together with up to four wildcards at each stop, showcasing more gravity-defying freefall all across the globe. 2013's rookie of the year, and the World Series' youngest athlete, Mexico's Jonathan Paredes, and the rising stars from the USA, David Colturi and Steven LoBue, will challenge the grand masters of cliff diving. Based on their overall performance in 2013, America's Andy Jones and Poland's Kris Kolanus have been confirmed as the final two athletes to make up the permanent list of 10 divers for 2014.
From visual feasts to natural wonders, from historic sites to those of more modern origin – in its sixth year, the World Series will bridge natural venues and urban surroundings as much as it will push boundaries. The season kicks off with aesthetic leaps from the picturesque Morro Castle fortress at the entrance of Havana Bay, on the Caribbean island of Cuba. From the environment where modernity and colonial constructions go hand-in-hand, this prestigious series of competitions comes next to the USA's Lone Star State. At the Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas, two towering cliffs mark the entrance to a small cove and are surrounded by flat terrain. Back in Europe, the cliff diving elite returns to Ireland's Aran Islands and the mysterious blowhole known as the Serpent's Lair.
Mid-July, and the midway point of the 2014 World Series, takes the divers back to Norway's Kragerø, the site of 495 islands and – recalling 2010 – many more boats before the divers will touch Portuguese soil once again after previous competitions in the Azores in 2012 and 2013. The second-to-last stop is in Bilbao, Spain, for the business end of the World Series before the divers leap over the ocean to Brazil, where the coronation of the 2014 World Series champions will be held in Niterói at the end of October. While Christ the Redeemer watches from above, off a unique 27-metre platform structure, inspired by the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer, the male and female champion will dive to glory.
*Please note the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series stop scheduled for Yalta, in Ukraine, has been cancelled.