Outstanding achievements, broken records, unforgettable moments – cliff diving's heroes have them all...
Maui’s last independent ruler was famous for the 'Lele Kawa' which loosely translates as 'leaping feet-first from a high cliff into the water without making a splash' and used cliff diving as a form of initiation for his warriors. Kahekili's leap at Kaunolu has always been regarded as holy. To this day, his name is connected with the earliest beginnings of this extreme sport back in the 18th century.
Enrique Apac Rios
Rios was only 13 years old when, in 1934, he became the first person to leap off the notorious La Quebrada (The Break) in Acapulco. The Mexican cliffs have been famous ever since.
In 1985, the American dived from a height of 36.8m at Ocean Park in Hong Kong – a height no other female diver has ever attained – not even Anna Bader, the four-time European High Diving Champion.
The stuntman from Switzerland performed a double back somersault from 53.9m in Villers-le-Lac, France in 1987. This stands as the current world record and may never be beaten.
It’s not only Orlando's nine world championship titles that make him a living legend – he also achieved a perfect dive during the Cliff Diving World Championships in Kaunolu, Hawaii, in 2000. His double back somersault with four twists from 24.4m earned a perfect 10 from all seven judges and scored 159.00 points. Having won the first of nine world championships, Orlando would later become the inaugural Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion in 2009.
The current Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion achieved two world premieres in the space of a year between August 2009 and July 2010. The Englishman performed the most difficult dive in the sport’s history on August 8, 2009, in Antalya (TUR). With a degree of difficulty of 6.3, the back triple somersault with four twists – the triple quad – was the first dive conceived exclusively for cliff diving. 11 months later, in Polignano a Mare (ITA), he executed the two-and-a-half twisting quad, incorporating the sport’s first ever running take-off in order to add an extra twist on top of the four somersaults.