Red Bull World Series cliff divers make a splash in Pembrokeshire
2:26pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
AMERCIAN diver Steven LoBue celebrated the first win of his cliff diving career as the Red Bull World Series came to The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy, at the weekend.
LoBue secured an overall score of 481.90 from his four dives, beating series leader Orlando Duque, of Colombia, into second place. Britain’s Gary Hunt was third.
Remarkably, LoBue only arrived in the area on Friday after visa problems left him stuck in the United States.
But despite missing out on the practice days during the week, he produced the performance of his career after entering the final rounds in third place.
“I was the last one in and the first one out,” joked LoBue, whose return flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“I’m delighted with my performance and after working some things out last year, I’ve been gaining more experience.
“Now I want to carry it forward.”
Each of the 14 divers were required to do one competitive dive on the Friday morning and a further three on Saturday, with the degree of difficulty escalating each time.
The event exhilarated the crowds, with just under 3,000 people attending the venue over the two days.
There were particularly good receptions for Hunt and Blake Aldridge, who competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
But Hunt, who currently lies second in the overall standings, had to settle for third after he mistimed his triple quad dive in the third round off the 27-metre platform.
Aldridge entered the final morning in second place, but eventually finished seventh after poorly executing his back armstand dive with four twists in the second round.
However, the most intriguing story of the weekend belonged to another Brit, Matt Cowen, who only arrived in Abereiddy to watch the action.
After Thursday’s practice round had finished, the young diver asked if he could “try out” the platform himself.
However, onlooking judges Claudio De Miro, Greg Louganis, Ken Grove, Sara Massenz and Renato Rosi were so impressed with his efforts they offered him a wildcard into the main competition.
He finished in fourteenth place with an overall score of 233.60, but admitted to enjoying an “unbelievable experience”.
The event was the sixth out of seven Red Bull World Cliff Diving Series meetings, with the season culminating in Oman at the end of the month.
Duque leads the standings with 840 points, while Hunt has 770.
LoBue is now up to third with 740.
Results from Abereiddy:
- Steven Lobue, USA, 481.90.
- Orlando Duque, Colombia, 467.80.
- Gary Hunt, UK, 460.75.
- Anatoliy Shabotenko, Ukraine, 443.40.
- David Colteri, USA, 427.60.
- Artem Silchenko, Russia, 414.10.
- Blake Aldridge, UK, 398.80.
- Kent De Mond, USA, 371.35.
- Alain Kohl, Luxembourg, 272.40.
- Michal Navratil, CZE, 260.95
- Cyrille Oumedjkane, France, 254.10.
- Toder Spasov, Bulgaria, 240.80.
- Kyle Mitrione, USA, 236.80
- Matt Cowen, UK, 233.60.