“After last year I was very happy to be second, but, being so close to first, I really wanted to give myself every chance this year of being in that first position. So I’ve made sure that I’m a little bit more reserved, I take care in every aspect of my life and I just want to give myself every chance of becoming the champion,” said Gary Hunt, at the beginning of season II. And, throughout the whole of the 2010 edition, he stuck to those personal principles. Finishing the first three competitions on the top spot of the podium, the Southampton-based diver showed his dominance. He was no longer the runner-up from the previous year: the hunter was now the hunted! Six podiums out of six, including four wins, needs no further comment. The 26-year-old clearly stood out from the rest and 2009 World Series champion Orlando Duque handed over the crown at the final showdown in the sport’s birthplace, Hawaii, on September 12, 2010.
In recent years, Gary Hunt has tried a lot: he studied maths for two years, changed to sports and stayed for another year, and then turned to criminology. A changeable personality, the Englishman is nevertheless the most progressive diver within the Series. He always has a new dive in mind, using it as a secret weapon to combat cliff diving rivals, such as Orlando Duque. At the fourth stop in Polignano a Mare (ITA), he once again came up with something new. Never before in the long history of cliff diving has an athlete attempted a dive with a running take-off. It’s another link in the chain that connects Olympic and high diving. Having more speed for the somersault, the take-off makes it possible to add another twist to the dive. The conditions in Italy were very demanding, however, and the Englishman missed the mark. The massive force he felt on impact with the water made him struggle for breath. His winning run at an end, Hunt responded impressively in Sisikon, Switzerland, to put a first World Series title within his grasp.
“It’s great, I’m speechless. I’m over the moon” – Gary Hunt is the second Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion and will definitely be the man to beat in 2011.