From an almost round volcanic islet on the Azores to a near-perfect rectangular blowhole in Ireland – the location for the fourth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is laden with myth as much as it is out of the ordinary. A sea serpent is said to make its presence felt with the help of screeching, stormy winds. The legendary Serpent’s Lair on Ireland’s Aran Islands provides the perfect pool for the world’s cliff diving elite at the halfway stage. Three different winners in as many competitions make the 2012 World Series the closest to date.
The arrival of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 to the biggest of the three Aran Islands is already the talk of the town, as public and media interest has been immense in the past few weeks. Inis Mór is the place to be for the athletes – eleven permanent and three wildcard divers – and their Irish fans on August 4. It’s time to define the intermediate leader and to see if after Orlando Duque (COL), Gary Hunt (UK) and Artem Silchenko (RUS) the World Series is ready for yet another new face as winner.
While the Russian is still on a high after the tightest win in this series of competitions, in the Azores, and has made up four positions in the overall rankings, World Series champion Gary Hunt has been struck by chicken pox and is currently recovering. The Englishman is runner-up in the overall standings behind Orlando Duque and eager to keep the gap to the very top as close as possible.
The wildcard spots have been handed to the Kutsenko twins, Sasha and Genna, from the Ukraine; the former was a rookie in 2011, and for the third time, to Todor Spasov, from Bulgaria. All of them got the chance to prove their talent diving from the 28m platform into the 15°C water of the Atlantic.
For the fourth stop, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has chosen a notorious shoreline window to subterranean caverns, called a “blowhole” by fishermen, which spurt out water each day as high tide approaches. Unique in comparison to other locations on the islands, the Serpent’s Lair – ‘Poll na Peist’ in Gaelic – is a near-perfect rectangle, thus giving it an inexplicable and mysterious nature.
Weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and a welcoming island of people combine to make the island of Inis Mór breathtaking. It is literally the ‘big island’ among a group of three islands referred to as the Aran Islands and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Off the west coast of Ireland, on the edge of Europe, a ferry journey from Galway city brings you to this amazing island with its unique geology, archaeology and tradition. It is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland and to touch the past.
On Saturday, August 4, at 1pm the cliff divers will prove their presence at Serpent’s Lair in two head-to-head and a final round of the top eight.
CALENDAR & LOCATIONS
June 22 – 23 | Corsica | FRANCE
July 6 – 7 | Grimstad | NORWAY
July 20 – 21 | Azores | PORTUGAL
August 3 – 4 | Inis Mór | IRELAND
August 24 – 25 | Boston | USA
September 7 – 8 | Pembrokeshire, South Wales | UNITED KINGDOM
September 26 – 27 | Wadi Shab | OMAN