Red Bull Cliff Diving Pembrokeshire

By Kathryn Slade Red Bull Cliff Diving, Pembrokeshire

The Red Bull Cliff Diving Series is returning to Pembrokeshire on the 10th and 11th of September 2016!

You might remember how excited we were when this was announced and now the weekend is almost here.

The series hasn’t been held in the UK for three years but we are very pleased to be welcoming the competition back to Wales and to the beautiful waters of the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddi, 28 miles from Bluestone.

It sees the sport's top athletes launch from 27 metres, hitting the water at speeds of 85kph just three seconds later. 

This year’s event has completely sold out and it’s easy to see why! It’s an amazing spectacle and when I went to the first competition in 2012 I couldn’t help but stand in awe wondering what is running through the diver’s minds and how they get involved in the sport.

I met with British Cliff Diver Gary Hunt to get the answers and find out what makes a five times overall champion...  

How did you get into Cliff Diving?

I changed from swimming to diving when I was 9 years old as the divers looked like they were having more fun. I wanted to be able to do every dive in the book and that meant learning a lot of 'feet first' dives. When I saw the cliff divers I thought the possibilities were endless, it was only a matter of time before I made the transition and started my career as a cliff diver.

What has been your favourite location on the Red Bull Cliff Diving Tour? Is there somewhere that you always look forward to returning to?

I have a few places that are special to me, diving in Pembrokeshire in front of my friends and family is a real pleasure. It is a chance for my friends to get together in a great atmosphere and I love putting on a show for them. La Rochelle is another fun one as the crowd is incredible, up to 75,000 people! I've been living in France for 6 years now and this year the divers that I train with came to watch. It was great to share with them the fruits of the hard work from the off season.

How does Pembrokeshire compare to the other locations?

We're way out in the countryside at the Blue Lagoon so the vibe in the town is great. Staying in the cottage is so much fun, everything we need is provided for us and the atmosphere is awesome. 

How do you train to dive in these conditions?

You can't really prepare for the tough conditions at the competitions. There's nothing that compares to standing on the edge of a 27m platform in the wind and the rain. You just have to be ready for anything.

How many days of the year do you spend travelling?

I wouldn't like to count how much time I spend travelling as it would be a lot. The best part of the job is visiting different countries and cultures, but unfortunately we can't teleport. 

What is the highest platform you have ever jumped from? 

I haven't tried much higher than 27m. What interests me is pushing the limits of the tricks that I can do from the 27m platform. Trying to break records of the highest jump is more a test of endurance and it's certainly not for me. 

Do you have a favourite dive?

My favourite dive isn't actually a cliff dive, I love doing a back 1.5 somersaults piked from 10m, there's so many ways of doing it and it feels great when you do it well. 

If you weren’t a Cliff Diver what would you like to do?

Diving has shaped me into the person I am today, without diving my life could have gone in so many directions. I love performing and I'm a keen juggler, so show business or joining the circus sounds about right.

Is there a stand out moment in your career?

Learning the 'triple quad' was a massive moment in my cliff diving career, taking the leap of faith and learning this dive has helped me get to where I am now. 

What would be your ultimate diving experience?

I think I'm living my ultimate diving experience right now, I'm on top of the game, diving on the biggest stage.... living the dream. 

It’s definitely wise to leave the Cliff Diving to the professionals but the Blue Lagoon is a brilliant place to explore when you stay at Bluestone

Find out more about the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy, location of the Cliff Diving competition.

Don’t forget to check out the Bluestone Facebook page on September 12th for some live videos of the event!

Categories:Pembrokeshire

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