… but it moves to Greece without the 9-times World Champion and current leader of the competition, Orlando Duque. “I was skydiving and while landing I broke my foot, so for this season I might fall out for the rest of the stops,” admitted Duque.
This is tragic news for spectators as Duque is a supreme diver, but so are the 11 others left in the competition. However, it means the World Champion title is now up for grabs and the competition will be stiff.
Easter Island and Cenote in Yucatan, Mexico were the hosts for the first two venues for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships and Orlando Duque won both those… now the field is open to the others.
Lake Vouliagmeni just outside Athens is the next venue. Vouliagmeni, meaning ‘sunken lake’, was made by a rare geophysical formation probably caused by an earthquake in the middle ages which caused a large underground cavern’s roof to collapse. Although other reports say that the ceiling collapsed due to the high temperature and moisture generated by several hot springs inside the cavern. The Lake stands at 40 cm elevation and has a constant temperature of 24 degrees Celsius throughout the year.
- Lake Vouliagmeni Photo courtesy of seligmanwaite
There is an extra challenge to diving into this lake. It is dark and murky which makes it almost impossible to estimate the relative height after take-off. Diving here demands flawless execution.
But it is also a healthy option! There are many hot springs beneath the lake that constantly refuel it which contain minerals such as potassium, natrium, lithium, ammonium, calcium, ferrum, chloride and iodine. This potent mix turned Lake Vouliagmeni into a health spa many centuries ago. It has been used throughout the ages for giving relief to bone and muscle problems as well as many other minor ailments.
With Duque out of the running, Slava Polyeshchuk (UKR), Michal Navratil (CZE) and Cyrille Oumedjkane (FRA) are within striking distance of Gary Hunt (GBR) who now leads the pack. They will all be determined to score as high as possible.