The battle for the title and the King Kahekili Trophies went down to the wire in the men’s and women’s competitions. The 21m and 27m diving platforms overlook the waterfront of Auckland’s vibrant Wynyard Quarter, where the bustling cityscape meets the stunning Waitematā Harbour.
For the first time since 2017, a brand new Men’s World Series Champion was crowned. 55,000 spectators came out on two days of competition to witness the final dives of the season and see two World Series champions crowned in challenging weather conditions.
In the women’s competition, Australian record holder Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) took first place with an Inward 3 Somersault 1/2 Twist in the final round. The judges rewarded her flawless dive with a 9 and an 8.5 for a total of 365.00 points. Iffland takes an emotional fifth win of the season in front of her family and supporters.
She wins her 35th event and her seventh consecutive World Series title, a record no other cliff diver has achieved. In second place was Xantheia Pennisi, also from Australia, who performed a Back 3 somersaults 1 Twist in the final round, giving her 8s and a total of 337.10 points.
It’s also a new personal best for as she finishes in third in the overall World Series ranking. Jessica Macaulay from Canada took third place with a Back 3 Somersaults, which she performed very well, earning her 8s from the judges and a total of 331.00 points.
In the men’s competition, Romanian Constantin Popovici landed an Armstand Back 3 1/2 Somersaults 3 Twists Pike with a very high DD of 6.0. Due to the difficulty of the dive, 7s and a 6 catapult him into first place. 413.90 points are just enough for his third win of the season and his first World Series title. Second place went to Catalin Preda from Romania with a Back 4 Somersaults 2 Twists.
The judges rewarded him with the highest dive score in the men’s competition, which is his third podium finish of the season and fourth place in the World Series standings. Third place went to Carlos Gimeno (ESP) with a Back 5 Somersault. A solid execution without big mistakes earns him 8.0s and a 7.5 from the judges.
It is another surprise podium finish for the Spaniard, and he is able to claim third place in the overall standings, which secures him a spot in the permanent line-up for the 2024 season.