On Saturday, June 3, the Seaport district will host one of the season’s most extreme events. For the second year in a row, Boston will host the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. In fact, Boston is the only American city to be selected to host.
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) will be the official site where 20 of the world’s best divers will compete. It’s the first stop on the tour, which also includes France, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina and New Zealand. The events are held from June to November.
Red Bull describes the event as one where “Divers execute incredible acrobatics from heights of more than 20 meters in the ultimate display of focus and skill.”
There will be 16 divers (8 female / 8 male) competing at each tour stop. In addition, wildcard divers will be selected to represent their country at each location as well. In total, 12 women and 12 men compete at every event. The women launch from a platform of 21 meters high, and the men from 27 meters. They are judged individually by a panel that looks for the creativity and acrobatics displayed in each dive. At the end of every season, a champion is awarded the “King Kahekili” trophy, as well as a winner’s prize fund.
What is Red Bull Cliff Diving?
As Red Bull describes it, “Free-falling from up to 27m combined with awe-inducing acrobatics.” The sport itself originated hundreds of years ago in Hawaii. King Kahekili, after whom the champion’s trophy is now named, was a Hawaiian chief who first leapt from the holy cliffs of Kaunolo in the 1700s. Today, each competition under Red Bull rules takes place over two days. Judges rate each diver. The winner is determined by who has the highest point total at the end.
There are some Boston date specifics to be aware of. The event is free but with a capacity limit. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot. There will be a giant jumbotron onsite for viewing. Furthermore, there will be live music, interviews, and additional entertainment during the competition. The Boston Harbor waterways are regulated during this time. Though there appear to be some viewpoints, boats are not allowed within the designated marina. Finally, Red Bull does provide drinks and snacks for purchase. The event is rain or shine unless there is thunder, lightning, or high winds. So, mark your calendars for June 3 and head down to the Seaport’s ICA on Northern Avenue.