Howdy folks! This weekend Texas hosts the first event of the biggest and most challenging Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series ever. After a long winter break the men and women are primed for action and ready to begin their quest for the King Kahekili trophy at the foreboding cliffs of Hell's Gate, Possum Kingdom Lake. Stay with us throughout the day for all the best commentary and social buzz.
The flow of boats through Hell's Gate has been non-stop for the last few hours, and a huge crowd of fans are now packed onto Possum Kingdom Lake ready for the action to begin. Not long to go now...
The men's and women's first two rounds took place on Friday, and it was a surprise duo who rocketed into the lead. Michal Navratil and debutant wildcard Rhiannan Iffland were on fire at Hell's Gate, posting two great scores each and topping the standings going into today's final rounds. Reigning champions Gary Hunt and Rachelle Simpson got off to a slow start, but both are chasing a Texas hat trick and will be confident of scoring high today and climbing back into contention. The stage is set for some serious drama and excitement.
Conditions couldn't be more perfect here at Hell's Gate. The blazing sun is being tempered nicely by a refreshing breeze, and the cool waters of Possum Kingdom Lake are ready to welcome our divers in.
So, here we go, Sergio Guzman gets things underway in the men's third round...
Next up, it's the women's final. Here we go...
Ouch! Tara Hyer-Tira unravels mid-air and makes a heavy splash down. That's got to hurt. Better from Rachelle Simpson, who puts in a great dive and currently holds the lead.
Cesilie Carlton absolutely nails her dive and moves into the lead, so there'll be no Texas hat trick for Rachelle Simpson. Now, the final two dives will come from the Australian women, Helena Merten and Rhiannan Iffland. Can one of them make it a fairy tale start to the season?
Wow! The dream comes true for the Aussie wildcard. Victory in her first ever Red Bull Cliff Diving event. What an amazing story here in Texas. Cesilie Carlton finishes in 2nd place and Helena Merten in 3rd.
Here's how the women finished up -
Rhiannan Iffland (W) (Aus) - 251.50
Helena Merten (AUS) - 241.10
Cesilie Carlton (USA) 236.80
Adriana Jimenez (MEX) - 230.10
Lysanne Richard (CAN) - 229.90
Rachelle Simpson (USA) - 209.20
Ginger Huber (USA) - 192.05
Tara Hyer-Tira (W) (USA) - 130.20
Here come the men for their final round.
Gary Hunt now with the most difficult dive ever attempted, at a difficulty degree of 6.4. It's an amazing sight as he skips down the platform and throws himself into the 'double in, double out’ - a Front 3 somersaults with 4½ twists free. It looks amazing but the judges spotted a few flaws and he picks up some 7s and 7.5s. It's enough to move into the lead...for now.
Blake Aldridge has powered into the lead now, with Michal Navratil moving into 2nd place. Artem Silchenko sends a splash back up to the platform and is out of the running. Jonathan Paredes is last up, and what a chance he has to score his second ever victory right now. Here we go...