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Cliff Diving

Best moments from Red Bull Cliff Diving you can't miss

Catalin Preda secured a record-breaking victory in Paris, while Rhiannan Iffland returned to winning ways in the French capital. Here's how it all went down.
Written by Chris Magill
8 min readUpdated on
Following an exciting season-opener in Boston, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series moved to Paris, France for the second of eight stops and there was no let up in drama down at the Seine. Read on to find out how it all unfolded in France.
The replay of this event is now available to watch on Red Bull TV.
01

A record-breaking win for Preda in Paris

Catalin Preda, labelled one of the 'Romanian sharks' by nine-time champion Gary Hunt last season, went into attack mode right from the first round in France, scoring a 10 from the judges with his opening leap into the Seine River on Friday.
Two more high-scoring dives followed before the 30-year-old held his nerve under pressure in round four, picking up another two 10s on his way to a record-breaking total score of 470.50.
It was Preda's second World Series victory following a similar triumph over Hunt at the 2021 season opener, again on French soil in Saint-Raphaël.
"We got into the exact same sequence as last year and I did it again here in Paris," said an emotional Preda. "There's got to be something about the French land and the French people's support. Having my family here today was extremely special and I really want to thank them so much. I'm over the moon."
Catalin Preda of Romania dives from the 27.5 metre platform during the final competition day of the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Paris, France on June 18, 2022.
Catalin Preda just loves diving in France
02

Iffland returns to winning ways in France

A rare defeat in Boston two weeks ago at the hands of the up-and-coming star Molly Carlson had forced five-time champion Rhiannan Iffland to reassess and switch her tactics in France. It was a move that paid off in the scorching Parisian heat as the 30-year-old surged past her younger rival to make it 14 wins in her last 15 World Series competitions.
"I didn't want to have the same dives at the same time with Molly," said Iffland. "It's more difficult doing the most difficult dive in the end, because it's harder to control the nerves. I think I'll play around a bit more with the dives this year and see how it goes. I'm certainly excited for a great battle."
Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives from the 21.5 metre platform during the final competition day of the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Paris, France on June 18, 2022.
Rhiannan Iffland on her way to victory beside the Eiffel Tower
03

Here's how the athletes performed

In the women's competition, judging by the first two stops, it looks like we could be in for a thrilling two-way title tussle between Iffland and Carlson. While the Australian remains the strong favourite due to her experience and exceptional talent, the signs are that this season the 'Dominator from Down Under' might have a real fight on her hands to keep hold of the King Kahekili Trophy.
(L-R) Molly Carlson of Canada, Rhiannan Iffland of Australia and Eleanor Smart of the USA celebrate at the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Paris, France on June 18, 2022.
Eleanor Smart (R) completed the women's podium in Paris
Jessica Macaulay has been runner-up overall to Iffland in the last two seasons, but the Canadian will need to quickly improve on her fifth and fourth-place finishes this year if she's to have a say in the title fight.
As for the men, we've seen some great title duels over the years - Orlando Duque vs Hunt, Artem Silchenko vs Hunt, Jonathan Paredes vs Hunt - but this year there's the very real possibility of a first-ever four way title fight to the finish.
While Aidan Heslop couldn't produce a repeat of his victorious Boston display, finishing sixth here in Paris, the 20-year-old has all the tools and the nerve to join Preda, Hunt and this weekend's third-placed Constantin Popovici in the race for the men's King Kahekili Trophy.
Gary Hunt of France acknowledges the crowd  from the 27.5 metre platform during the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Paris, France on June 18, 2022.
With two runner-up finishes, Gary Hunt is right in the title fight again
Hunt, who's now competed in all 86 World Series competitions since it all began back in 2009, was able to live out his dream of competing in the city he now calls home, in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower. But once again, he was thwarted on home soil by the spectacular Preda.
04

Cliff diving with an Eiffel Tower view

Cliff diving is a breathtaking sport and the scenery here in Paris provided the perfect accompaniment to such a visual feast of aerial acrobatics.
With the platforms mounted along Port Debilly in the 16th Arrondissement, set against the esteemed Eiffel Tower backdrop across the Seine River, rarely has cliff diving been contested in a more prominent surrounding.
Add to that clear blue skies and scorching temperatures, and it's safe to say it just doesn't get much better than this.
05

What happened in Boston?

Cliff diving couple win in the USA
Canada’s Molly Carlson and Aidan Heslop of the UK scored their first-ever Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series victories at this season's first stop in Boston. The young couple ousted the reigning men’s and women’s champions in an exceptional display at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
In her very first appearance as a permanent World Series athlete, following an impressive debut season as a wildcard in 2021, 23-year-old Carlson produced four rounds of flawless diving to edge out the five-time champion Rhiannan Iffland, ending the Australian’s 13-event winning streak.
Aidan Heslop of the UK and Molly Carlson of Canada with their winners trophies during the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston, USA on June 4, 2022.
Aidan Heslop and Molly Carlson celebrate in Boston
"I’m speechless! I never dove in front of my family and to go there, have so much fun and be so proud of what I’ve done in front of them is just a dream come true," said Carlson following her victory.
"I’m excited to continue the momentum and have some fun around the world and see where the season takes us."
Molly Carlson of Canada reacts after diving from the 21 metre platform during the final competition day of the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston, USA on June 4, 2022.
An ecstatic Molly Carlson climbs out of Boston Harbour
Heslop, 20, also in his first showing as a permanent diver, was simply too good for his more experienced rivals, blowing away the nine-time champion Gary Hunt of France with his final dive – a Forward 4 Somersaults 3 1/2 Twists Pike – which broke the record for highest scoring single dive in cliff diving history.
"Crazy day! I did both my optionals the way I wanted to and I couldn’t have asked for any better; being on top of the podium and Molly, my girlfriend, up on the top as well," said Heslop.
"Being able to compete with the boys at the top is a dream of mine. I’ve been watching the sport for such a long time, I’m diving with my idols now.
"The plan for Paris is the to do the same thing again. I’m in the best possible position I can be in right now and I want to stay here for the rest of the season."
How did the US athletes fare?
Meili Carpenter, in only her fourth World Series appearance, gave the American fans plenty to cheer about as she secured her first-ever podium finish at the waterfront museum.
(L-R) Meili Carpenter, Molly Carlson and Rhiannan Iffland on the podium during the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston, USA on June 4, 2022.
Meili Carpenter (L) joins Molly Carlson and Rhiannan Iffland on the podium
Meanwhile, her compatriot Eleanor Smart put in a solid performance to finish just outside the podium spots in fourth place.
In the men's category, David Colturi and Andy Jones both kicked off their season as wildcard divers on home turf, having spent the best part of a decade as permanent competitors in this sport. Colturi landed in fifth place, while Jones ended the weekend in ninth spot.
2021 Cliff Diving champions push forward
Hunt and Iffland have been unstoppable over the last few years. In fact, we have to go all the way back to 2017 to find the last time somebody else lifted the King Kahekili trophy. But last season, they were both pushed hard by their rivals, and now the new generation have landed a heavy blow in this year's opener.
But with 14 World Series titles between them, expect the champions to deliver a strong response when they return to the platforms in Paris in two weeks' time.
"It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with that much pressure, let’s be honest," admitted Iffland. "I was climbing down the ladder to the platform and I saw the 10 that Molly got from the judges and thought ‘oh, here we go’. It’s good, it means the sport is progressing. I have to reassess and see what else I can come up with."
Orlando Duque's first event as Sports Director
Following an illustrious 20-year career, Orlando Duque retired from competitive cliff diving in 2019, and now the Colombian legend is overseeing his first-ever event as the new Sports Director.
"My first day as sports director was good fun," said the ever-smiling Duque. "I’ve been working alongside these people for a very long time in a sport that I know better than anything else. It is nice to be involved, to chat with the guys and girls, make sure everything is in place. This is like a dream job."
Sports Director, Orlando Duque (R) of Colombia talks to Carlos Gimeno of Spain during the training day for the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Boston, USA on June 2, 2022.
Orlando Duque is the new Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Sports Director
Want to see Orlando in action? See how he helped to progress the sport in Pushing Progression: The evolution of Cliff Diving.

26 min

Evolution of Cliff Diving

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is pushing the progression of the world's oldest extreme sport. Here's how.

English +2

06

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series: Next stop

From boiling hot Paris, the World Series travels on to the next European capital city in four weeks’ time, when the cliff diving elite will be hosted in Copenhagen. The men have competed from the roof of the Opera House on four previous occasions, but this will be the women's debut in Denmark.
07

2022 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series calendar

  • June 04, Boston, USA - watch the highlights here
  • June 18, Paris, France
  • July 16, 1pm GMT – Copenhagen, Denmark
  • August 13, 1:30pm GMT – Oslo, Norway
  • August 27, 2:30pm GMT – Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • September 11, 1:30pm GMT – Sisikon, Switzerland
  • September 25, 12pm GMT – Polignano a Mare, Italy
  • October 15, 2am GMT – Sydney, Australia
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