The 2019 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series came to Lebanon, bringing for the first time the superstars of the cliff diving world to the Pigeon Rocks of Raouche in Beirut
In this regard, platforms were set up on the side of the rock formation at a height of 27 meters. The professional divers jumped from there into the sea below at a speed of 85 km/h.
A total of 24 athletes, 10 women and 14 men, from 18 different nationalities twisted and somersaulted off the limestone outcrop into the sea, competing to win the coveted King Kahekili trophy.
Thousands of people gathered at Raoushe promenade in Beirut to watch this one of the world’s oldest extreme sports. Photographers, both professionals and amateurs, took that unique chance to shoot the cliff divers jumping from the landmark Rouche sea rock.
During the competition, the judges scored the divers according to two factors: The difficulty of the acrobatic moves which divers completed midair and the gracefulness of their entry into the sea.
In the men's competition, seven-time winner British Diver Gary Hunt ranked first once again in the male category. As for the female category, Australian Rhiannan Iffland scored the first place for her moves and gracious dive into the sea.
From his side, Gary Hunt expressed his happiness to the Daily Star, revealing that the conditions were "not easy". "We had to eliminate one out of the four rounds of diving because it was so rough, and we even had to zip-line across to the rock because the boats couldn’t come and pick us up," he said.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is an annual international series of cliff diving events established in 2009 and created by Red Bull. As part of the event, athletes travel the globe, hurling themselves off cliffs into oceans and rivers in Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.
This year, Beirut marked the fifth stop on the tour of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2019, and that after the tour passed through the Philippines, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal. The next stop on the tour after Beirut is Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, before they finish off the series in Bilboa, Spain.
In this context, Lebanon's Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian expressed his happiness for hosting this international event in Lebanon. "If the security situation was bad, this event would not have taken place in Beirut in the first place," he said.