Downpatrick Head
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Cliff Diving

Cliff divers set to soar feet first at Ireland’s Downpatrick Head

The Irish leg of the 2021 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series awaits the cliff diving elite with rugged conditions in a brand-new location on September 11.
Written by Katrin Strobl
3 min readPublished on
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Halfway into the season, the world’s best cliff divers – including the reigning champions Rhiannan Iffland from Australia and France’s Gary Hunt – will find themselves competing from a brand-new launchpad on the sheer cliffs of Downpatrick Head.
After three Irish stops in the rough waters of Inis Mór, and more recently a showing in Dublin Bay, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series heads to the north coast of County Mayo where the Atlantic waters will once again test these talented athletes to their limits for their fifth visit since 2012.
With at least one dive directly off the cliff, the 12 men and 12 women will get a chance to really connect to the purity of the place and display their sport in its most natural form, before returning to the platforms for their more difficult diving manoeuvres.
Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives from the 21 metre platform during the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at the Serpent`s Lair, Inis Mor, Ireland on June 24, 2017.
This will be the World Series' fifth visit to Ireland
Difficulty is a key element when it comes to successfully fighting for the highly-contested King Kahekili trophy, awarded for the overall World Series champion title in both the women’s and men’s competitions.
After the latest competition off the historic Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s the reigning champions Iffland and Hunt leading the rankings in the World Series. While it was the first victory for Hunt under the French flag, Australia’s Iffland added a 10th triumph to her three season-long winning streak.
Gary Hunt of France dives from the 27 metre platform during the final competition day of the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 28, 2021.
Gary Hunt made it an amazing 40 World Series wins in Mostar
In her most recent statement, the 29-year-old diver confessed that she grew with the pressure of the winning streak and is now ready to make it one more win in Ireland. But who’s the biggest threat to the Aussie from the 21m platform?
Newcomer Molly Carlson from Canada and Mexico’s World Series veteran Adriana Jiménez, are two wildcards that have faced up to irresistible Iffland, earning second-place finishes in France and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively. Jessica Macaulay, also from the Canadian high diving team, has shown the most consistency with two third places so far this year.
Molly Carlson of Canada dives from the 21 metre Stari Most (Old Bridge) during the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 26, 2021.
Can Molly Carlson be the one to end Iffland's winning streak?
In the men’s, record winner Hunt seems to be getting what he’s been looking for: competition. The challenge faced by the Frenchman comes in the form of Romanians Catalin Preda, the wildcard who scored a sensational win at the opening stop in Saint-Raphaël, France and Constantin Popovici, who pipped his compatriot to victory in an exciting Oslo Exhibition event in August. Popovici also performed a sensational final dive in Moster last weekend, for which the 32-year-old picked up two 10s from the judges to finish with a strong second place.
"It seems like every year it's getting more and more difficult, but this year both the Romanian divers have been working very hard and showing great consistency," stated 37-year-old Hunt after his 40th World Series victory from the 27m platform.
"It was a wake-up call. However, I know I'm prepared mentally, well aware that everything in this competition needs to be perfect."
With two ranking stops in the books and three more to go, there's still a chance for other divers to have their say. But right now, all the signs suggest a thrilling three-way title tussle could be on the cards and the all-natural location on Ireland’s most westerly point will prove crucial.
Watch the action live on Red Bull TV on September 12, or catch the replay right after the event. And be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app so you can watch unmissable cliff diving on all your devices! Get the app here.
Part of this story

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Divers execute incredible acrobatics from heights …

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Red Bull Cliff Diving returns to the rough Irish …

Ireland

Rhiannan Iffland

One of the world's best cliff divers and a serial …

AustraliaAustralia

Gary Hunt

The astonishing successes of eight-time Red Bull …

FranceFrance

Constantin Popovici

Romanian 10m diver Constantin Popovici dreams of …

RomaniaRomania

Catalin Preda

Romania's Catalin Preda became only the second …

RomaniaRomania

Molly Carlson

Molly Carlson is a four-time Junior National …

CanadaCanada

Jessica Macaulay

Jessica Macaulay is cliff diver, self-confessed …

CanadaCanada

Adriana Jiménez

With three wins and 10 podium finishes to her …

MexicoMexico