PLYMOUTH’S Aidan Heslop claimed his first-ever Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series victory in Boston at the weekend.
Heslop, who won the FINA High Diving Qualifier in Abu Dhabi in December, was simply too good for his more experienced rivals.
In his first showing as a permanent diver, the 20-year-old blew away nine-time champion Gary Hunt with his final dive – a forward four somersaults, three-and-a-half twists pike – which broke the record for the highest-scoring single dive in cliff diving history.
Romanian powerhouse Catalin Preda finished in third place in his first showing as a permanent diver to complete the podium, while compatriot and 2021’s overall runner-up, Constantin Popovici – the leader after two rounds – dropped back in the standings as he could not hit his difficult dives.
Heslop, who only a few weeks ago was competed at the Futures Cup in Plymouth, said afterwards: “I couldn’t have asked for any better; being on top of the podium and Molly (Carlson), my girlfriend, up on the top as well. A lot of new divers are coming into the sport and the dives are getting harder and harder every year.
“Being able to compete with the boys at the top is a dream of mine. I’ve been watching the sport for such a long time, I’m diving with my idols now.”
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returns on June 18 for the first stop of a European capital city tour in Paris.
Meet your first-time winners for the Red Bull Cliff Diving competition in Boston! Molly Carlson🇨🇦and Aidan Heslop🇬🇧
Carlson was an NCAA collegiate athlete and graduated from FSU. pic.twitter.com/VNIe0Jbd43
— USA Diving (@USADiving) June 5, 2022