Red Bull Cliff Diving, Texas | Rundown

Last weekend the high flying Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series landed in Texas for the second half of the 2017 World Series. Team LifeProof star Jonathan Paredes returned as the reigning champion from his 2016 victory and all eyes were on him in the run up to the event.

This season has been challenging for Jonathan as he brought a new and more difficult dive to the table, still finding his feet after leading 3 events in the qualifying rounds he has been let down by his final dive. Despite the challenges there is no chance that Jonathan would go back to his old routine even if it meant that he’d be top of the table right now.

“I was feeling in the comfort zone for the last five years doing my easy dives,” explains Paredes. “But at the end of last season when I made my final podium in Dubai, I wasn’t happy because I realised that every competition I have to wait for someone to fail a dive. Even if I do perfect dives, someone has to fail for me to make the podium.

“I realised it was time to do something different, not just for competition, but for me to feel better within myself. After Dubai I returned to Madrid and told my coach this is the dive I want to do, and began to learn it from then.”

Clearly the dive was not working out as Paredes had hoped, but even amid the heartache and frustration of those first two events, he never contemplated returning to his old dive list. “Orlando and I sat down,” he says, “and worked out that if I had done my old dive list this season and executed it the same way as last season, I would have won all three competitions. It’s an interesting fact, but it doesn’t even come in to my mind that I would go back into that comfort zone again.”

“To be honest, I feel really comfortable with the dive. I just think it’s the pressure of the competition and the level is going up really fast. Also, now I’m 28 and I want my time at the top to start soon and not when I’m 30 years old. I want it now and that probably puts more pressure on me.”

With this strong in his mind Jonathan came to  US soil and claimed an incredible second place, it is clear that Jonathan is working through his new dive, becoming more comfortable.  The second half of the season is looking very promising for the Team LifeProof star.

In what was one of the closest ever finals from the 27m platform, only eleven points separated the Top 7 divers and an enthusiastic crowd of 9,000 fans on boats, kayaks and paddle-boards cheered American David Colturi into third place and his 2nd podium finish in a row. Sitting atop the podium was the UK’s high diver Blake Aldrige who did everything right this weekend and rightly took home his second 1st place finish of his career, which has catapulted himself to the top of the overall Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series standings.

In a day full of surprises, it was once again Iffland who found herself atop the Women’s podium from the 21m platform for the 3rd time this season. The 25-year-old came out of nowhere in 2016 to win the season opener in Texas as a wildcard and then went on to secure the Women’s title. In 2017 the Aussie proves that last year was no fluke as she continues to dominate the women’s division.

With four different male winners, three different overall leaders in the men’s and two new faces on the podium in each division it is still anyone’s game.  Next up the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series goes on to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the season final in Lago Ranco, Chile.

 

Credit:  Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

Alan Lund

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