For the very first time, Thailand will be the host of the final round of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2013, to be held on Saturday, Oct 26 at Hong Island in Krabi. A great step for Thailand and a tentative step for sports tourism, the potential of the event will definitely show the world our beautiful landscape, as the geography of the country the competition takes place in is always inseparable from sports news. Open to the public, spectators will be able to witness the thrills and chills of this upcoming sport against iconic limestone karsts, which have been immortalised by movies such as The Beach and The Man With the Golden Gun.
The breathtaking Krabi where the championship round will be staged.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2013 kicked off its spectacular season with amazing diving locations that started out in La Rochelle, France (winner: Artem Silchenko), followed by Copenhagen, Denmark (winner: Artem Silchenko); the Azores, Portugal (winner: Gary Hunt); Malcesine, Italy (winner: David Colturi); Boston, USA (winner: Orlando Duque); Pembrokeshire in Southwest Wales, UK (winner: Gary Hunt); before finally heading to our shores down in the South.
After this season's six stops, three-time champion Gary Hunt, who was crowned overall winner in 2010, 2011 and 2012, is the tournament leader with 980 points, followed by Russia's Artem Silchenko and 10-time world champion Orlando Duque from Colombia with 860 and 820 points, respectively. In fourth position is Jonathan Paredes from Mexico with 600 points while David Colturi holds the fifth spot with 510 points.
In this fifth year of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, 14 of the best of the best high divers in the world will duke it out in the final showdown at Krabi. The top eight will automatically qualify for next year's series, while only the top five will receive end-of-the-year prize money. It will definitely be three seconds of breathtaking twists and turns, before the divers free fall into our clear waters of the Andaman Sea for this year's title.
Cliff diving started in the late 1700s when Hawaiian king Kahekili used cliff diving as an initiation rite for his warriors. He challenged them to follow his example by jumping off cliffs in an effort to prove their loyalty.
Ever since then, the site of "Kahekili's leap" has been regarded as the birthplace of the majestic sport. Mana and pona _ power and balance _ old Hawaiian principles that were applied when diving off cliffs was born on the islands in the midst of the Pacific back in the 18th century _ remain the prerequisites for the sport of high diving.
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