Gary Hunt (UK) heads the podium at stop 2 of the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving World SeriesThe winner of the World Series 2010 and 2011, Hunt has continued his winning streak by topping the season opener two weeks ago now again in Norway for second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Through foggy and rainy conditions Englishman Gary Hunt claimed victory in Grimstad, Norway, ahead of the American divers Steven LoBue and Kent De Mond. Close to 400 boats crowded the Skagerrak Strait at Barselkilen despite challenging weather conditions to witness the 2012 qualifier. LoBue now holds the lead in the overall standings after two out of seven competitions. The 27 meter platform was veiled in fog, drizzling rain, and occasionally pounded by heavy winds throughout the competition providing exceedingly difficult jumping conditions for even the world’s top cliff divers. Despite the challenges Gary Hunt walked away with a 477.55 points win. “It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve been on top of that podium so it’s great to be back! To do a full list of dives without many errors I’m really happy with, especially after not being able to take too much out of Corsica. It gave me a big boost to get the first dive out of the way and be in the lead – that set me up for a great comp. The dive I won with, the one and a half twisting quad, is my favourite dive,” stated 28-year-old Hunt who was awarded the day’s high score of 154.00 points for his final dive. US diver Steven LoBue (432.30pts) takes another second-placed finish after the kick-off event and was joined on the podium by countryman Kent De Mond (398.05pts). David Colturi (USA) got the last ticket to the final round and placed just behind the podium in 4th. After a moderate performance from Orlando Duque (384.40 pts, 5th) – “none of my dives today worked out really well” – the Colombian lost the overall lead to LoBue (320pts), who is 10 points ahead of Hunt (310pts). Besides the new overall leader, wildcard diver Anatoliy Shabotenko (UKR) is probably the biggest surprise so far. He is tied with rookie David Colturi for sixth place (130pts) and 30 points ahead of an experienced tied pair – Artem Silchenko (RUS) and Cyrille Oumedjkane (FRA). The Norwegian audience on kayaks, motor boats and rubber dinghies provided weather resistance and were rewarded with improving conditions in the course of the event and an almost undisturbed view of the aesthetic free-falling action at speeds of up to 90kph. 9,000 clapping hands motivated 13 of the world’s best athletes to take the plunge into the 17°C cold water in the picturesque area around Grimstad, a famous Scandinavian tourist hotspot during the summer months. From the land of the vikings, the cliff diving elite will go to the Azores (POR) for the third stop on July 20-21, 2012.RESULTS STOP 2, GRIMSTAD1. Gary Hunt | UK | 477.55 pts2. Steven LoBue | USA | 432.30 pts3. Kent De Mond | USA | 398.05 pts4. David Colturi | USA | 391.70 pts5. Orlando Duque | COL | 384.40 pts6. Anatoliy Shabotenko (wildcard) | UKR | 371.70 pts7. Michal Navratil | CZE | 334.90 pts8. Artem Silchenko | RUS | 234.30 pts DNF9. Blake Aldridge | UK | 242.40 pts10. Kris Kolanus (wildcard) | POL | 229.10 pts11. Todor Spasov (wildcard) | BUL | 228.60 pts12. Cyrille Oumedjkane | FRA | 216.90 pts13. Alain Kohl | LUX | 210.80 pts RED BULL CLIFF DIVING WORLD SERIES 2012The best cliff divers in the world versus gravity. Twisting and flipping 27 metres through the air and hitting the water after three seconds at 85kph. Three years after its inception, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is established as the pinnacle of high diving competition. In 2012 this unique championship will once more be the platform for the world’s most dizzying dives in seven stops between June and September in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Eleven athletes will compete head-to-head for the prestigious World Series title and spread the spirit of cliff diving all over the globe.
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