Viewers around the world saw Yucatán from a very flattering angle this weekend: From atop a diving board during an international competition.
And many sports fans around the world learned a new word — cenote— as they got a good look at one of Yucatán’s most magnificent natural wonders.
The venue? The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, at the Ik Kil cenote deep in the heart of the Yucatán jungle.
A series of breathtaking photos came from the event, educating potential tourists on the peninsula’s beauty. Indeed, Red Bull gave the region a priceless public-relations boost.
Ik Kil is a well-known cenote in the eco-archeological Park Ik Kil, just 3 km. from Chichén Itzá and Pisté. Its verdant grounds and waterfalls make it extremely photogenic and popular with tourists, who are welcome to swim. The park is all-inclusive, so all your food, drink, snorkeling equipment, towels and lockers are included for one price.
World Series wraps up
The competition itself was compelling as Britain’s Gary Hunt walked away with a dominant victory.
Rather than take things easy after wrapping up the title in Bilbao, Spain, last month, Hunt unleashed his most difficult dive at Ik Kil – the Triple Quad, with a degree of difficulty of 6.2.
His near-perfect execution of the dive earned 9s from the judges for 500 points to claim the win over Russia’s Artem Silchenko, 451.60; American David Colturi, 451.30).
The win in Mexico marked Hunt’s fourth victory out of seven World Series events in 2014.
“I really wanted to win here after twice winning the World Series and not being on top of the podium at the final event,” said Hunt. “I wanted it so much and on the platform I really felt the nerves, so I’m over the moon that I got it. Losing the title last year was a big motivation for me. I wouldn’t be the diver that I am today if I had not suffered that disappointment. It was such a big motivational force for me to train and improve.”
Hunt acknowledges that competition stiffened this round.
“This year, the level has gone up again, most notably Steven LoBue has got more consistent and David Colturi has learnt the Triple Quad as well,” said Hunt. “Everyone is talking about dives they want to learn and everyone is improving. I feel lucky to be part of this group of divers continuing to push the sport.”
Red Bull Cliff Diving Mexico Results
1. Gary Hunt (UK ) 500.00pts
2. Artem Silchenko (RUS) 451.60
3. David Colturi (USA) 451.30
4. Michal Navratil (CZE) 442.25
5. Andy Jones (USA) 435.00
6. Orlando Duque (COL) 426.10
7. Jucelino Junior (BRA) 408.05
8. Jonathan Paredes (MEX) 401.65
9. Kris Kolanus (POL) 298.10
10. Christian Arayon (COL) 276.14
2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving Final Standings
1. Gary Hunt 1110 points
2. Artem Silchenko 840
3. Steven LoBue 680
4. Orlando Duque 660
5. David Colturi 610
6. Jonathan Paredes 590
7. Michal Navratil 570
8. Blake Aldridge 560
9. Andy Jones 350
10. Kris Kolanus 349