It sounds crazy but yes two people from the America’s recently dived 30m from the face of the Victoria Falls into the pools below. The two Red Bull Cliff Diving professionals arrived in Livingstone Zambia and began their stay with a white water rafting trip through the rapids beneath the Falls.
The younger of the two divers is Jonathan Paredes, the 26 year old Mexican is a Bronze medal winner from the World Aquatic Championships held in 2013, whilst the older more experienced Orlando Duque a 41 year old Colombian won a gold medal at the same event.
They took on four dives of 21m, 22m, 24m and a colossal 30m dive which is 2 meters more than the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series limit of 28m. The Victoria Falls range in total height from 95m to 113m across the 1.7km width which means that there is room for improvement on this record although the chances of even professional divers doing damage to themselves at anything more that the 30m makes anything higher unlikely. The other problem is that the dive spot needs to coincide with a deep enough pool and a landing spot that is not a raging torrent or rapid so the options are very limited.
High Five To Celebrate
Aware of his relative inexperience in such extreme conditions, Paredes relies heavily on his mentor. “I trust Orlando a lot – he is a legend,” says the Mexican. “I will do whatever he says. If he says, ‘Here is the place to dive,’ I will dive.”
“This is one of the most beautiful places,” says Duque, who, with 13 cliff-diving world titles, two Guinness world records and more than 20 years in the sport, has dived off most places it’s possible to dive off. “Standing in the gorge, looking around, you think, ‘This is unreal.’ But what sets this dive apart from others is the analysis you’ve got to do. It’s not as black and white as you think.”
Standard physics of high diving apply: the athletes will take around three seconds to hit the water, plummeting at a speed of approximately 85kph, and will decelerate to 0kph in 1.5 seconds at a depth of 4-5m.
WATCH OUT FOR CLIFF-DIVING DOCUMENTARY THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS ON RED BULL TV IN APRIL 2016: REDBULL.TV – And find out more information on RED BULLETIN
VF24 Editor 5