The Eiffel Tower as the adjacent diving platform and the Seine as the arrival pool. The setting is atypical for an event on the Red Bull Cliff Diving Circuit (ie “jumping off a cliff”). Paris hosts a stage of the World Cup of Specialty for the first time on Friday 17th June and Saturday 18th June. 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, USA, the world’s best high-altitude divers will meet on June 4th in Port Debilly, opposite the Eiffel Tower. Franceinfo tells you more about the event.
The City of Light, one goal achieved
The installation of a diving board over the Seine: The organizers of the World Extreme Diving Circuit have been dreaming of this for years. “We have already organized urban stops, for example next to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Oslo or Copenhagen. But the aura of Paris is incredible with international divers. Everyone is very impatient.” entrusts Hassan Mouti, former French jumper on the circuit and now director of the competition.
There is no monument in Paris high enough to dip directly into the Seine. Consequently, a scaffolding platform was built 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. vsAccording to the regulations, the contestants end up in a deep space from a phad more than five meters.
To Paris, theThe next events are planned in Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Sisikon (Switzerland) and Polignano a Mare (Italy).
A fall at almost 80 km/h
When jumping from a height of 27 meters, the divers landed in the water at almost 80 km/h less than three seconds after taking off. At 60 km/h, the divers cover the 21 meters in less than two seconds. For their safety, there are four people in the water (three snorkeling and one diver with a tank).
“It’s one of the most dangerous extreme sports because you don’t wear a helmet or vest. The risks are many and similar to those of a motorcycle accident,” Details Hassan Mouti. He himself had to retire from the springboards after a serious accident in a competition. According to the event manager, incidents remain rare: “Last year there was only one and he was a minor.”
To limit unnecessary risks, the rules are strict. An athlete may present a combination that he has never done in competition, on the sole condition that he obtains the approval of the Event Director and the Judge. “We know the divers and we know what they are capable of. So we will talk to the person, find out how he prepared the trick, watch videos of the training. We can ask them to show it in front of us to validate it or not”says Hassan Mouti. “We don’t want to restrict the development of our sport, we want to control the willingness to take risks.”
The defending champion at home
Extreme diving legend Gary Hunt is French. The long-haired diver, of British descent, has held a tricolor passport since 2018 after spending a decade in France. He will be diving at home this weekend, he who shares his training between the swimming pool of the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (Insep) in the Bois de Vincennes and that of Montreuil.
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Gary Hunt has been a presence on the circuit since its inception in 2009 and holds the record for number of titles won (eight) and victories (39). For women, the Australian Rhiannan Iffland (30) dominates the debates. A total of 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 go with a bonus of 8,000 euros for the winner up to 1,000 euros for the last. “Everyone who jumps takes risks, so everyone should be rewarded”, explains the contest director.
A free event
The competition is open to the public free of charge, who can admire the show from the event site or its surroundings. Huge screens are also installed. The event begins on Friday with the warm-up from 2:15 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. Each athlete then conducts two dives (easy and intermediate) between 3:30pm and 5:30pm.
On Saturday, the warm-up starts at 1:45 p.m. and the last two loops (with more difficult jumps) take place from 3:00 p.m. to around 5:20 p.m. The awards ceremony will be organized immediately after the competition.
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