Revisiting Red Bull Cliff Diving event in Mostar, for the fifth time now always comes as a pleasure for me, especially such a place that is close to my home! The only Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event where competitors leap from a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mostar holds a special place in the divers’ and organizers’ hearts. As always, my favorite weapons of choice for this particular adventure were a drone for aerial photography and an underwater housing for my camera, which allowed me to take shots from such amazing angles which would otherwise be unachievable to anyone else.
Action’s centred on the 16th-century Stari Most bridge, which has a diving tradition stretching back almost 450 years. In a city with such a strong diving heritage, everyone wanted to deliver a winning effort, so we had some incredible performances as divers fought for every last championship point.
Wonderful place, beautiful people, pleasantly warm temperature of 30 degrees celsius at this year’s event, the atmosphere is exilirating and that pleasant feeling of familiarity and expectation of good times started to set in once again. As always it is a great pleasure to meet this year’s divers, and watch them as they do what they do best! And that is – leave the crowd gasping for air with their well-practiced acrobatic stunts as they soar from the Mostar’s famous Old bridge down in the chilly 15 degrees water.
One would presume thatphotographing under such conditions is no easy feat. Shooting while submersed in the water is not ideal for sure, but the ever-shifting nature of water allowed me for some unique photographic opportunities.
But what about the science of the dive? Maybe you thought being a Red Bull Cliff Diver was as simple as jumping off a cliff? Think again. It’s an exercise in mental mindset, bodily control, and maths. Leaping from a 27m-high platform is quite literally a calculated risk.
The divers accelerate off the platform at 9.8m/s – that’s almost as fast as a Bugatti Veyron supercar accelerates from 0–60mph or to 100kph. And to top off the already ludicrous feat in itself, they’re flipping and twisting, while spotting their landing! Steven LoBue manages five forward rotations. The impact isn’t easy on the body. The divers go from 85kph to zero in less than a second. Such a shock for body truly is a feat to endure!