Following the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series' hugely successful US debut in 2011, the cantilever roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art building in Boston will be the platform for the cliff diving elite to exhibit their skills from 27 metres.
After four competitions in Europe, the World Series leaps over the Atlantic and touches down in one of America’s oldest cities for the only urban stop of the tour on Saturday, August 25.
The remnants of a canon base in Corsica, Norway’s Grimstad, an uninhabited volcanic islet off shore from the Azores and a remote island off Ireland’s west coast preceded the latest leg of the 2012 World Series.
The athletes’ visuals will change from natural rock formations to the skyline of a city, which is home to all the major US sports. Cliff diving was introduced to this sports-mad metropolis for the first time a year ago and, in a season where the results and standings are tighter than ever, this world-class competition will showcase its best performers in front of the biggest crowd of 2012.
Orlando Duque, who missed three quarters of last year through injury, is the only one besides World Series rookie Blake Aldridge yet to compete in Boston, and the Colombian is eager to pocket another win after his victory in the kick-off in Corsica.
The 28-year-old secured his first back-to-back wins in the World Series in Ireland two weeks ago and now has a programme of dives to compete with and beat the best.
After a series of long-haul flights to Europe, the three American divers – Steven LoBue, Kent De Mond and David Colturi – can finally compete on home turf and, with the added support of friends and family, all three are contenders for at least a place on the podium.
While LoBue is ranked fourth in the current standings, only 10 points behind the top three, De Mond and cliff diving rookie Colturi still have ground to make up if they’re to qualify automatically for the 2013 edition, with places up for grabs for this season’s top five.
The fifth stop will also see the return of veteran Slava Polyeshchuk. The Ukrainian retired from competitive cliff diving during the off-season but gets the chance to say goodbye officially to the sport with a farewell appearance as a wildcard in Boston. Mexican Jonathan Paredes and Kyle Mitrione, the fourth American diver competing in Boston, have been handed the last two wildcard spots.
Founded in 1936, the ICA’s mission is to exhibit contemporary art. As the latest ‘exhibit’ at a place of inspiration and imagination, the high diving elite will once again try to propel themselves towards perfection.