Diving

Fort Lauderdale resident among divers heading to Havana for Cliff Diving World Series

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Fort Lauderdale resident and Red Bull Cliff Diver Steven Lobue has been training for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series which begins in Havana, Cuba, on Saturday.

On Monday, the 29-year-old New Jersey native packed up his luggage to embark on a trip that will lead him to and off of the high cliffs of Cuba.

There is no doubt about it, cliff diving is an extreme sport. Take a high cliff, deep water and courage. Cliff divers leap from a distance which is three times the Olympic height.

There is no additional gear or protection, and as you are falling from around 90 feet in the area it all comes down to technique and concentration.

The sport that has people diving from the equivalent of an eight-story building has a long tradition but remained largely in the shadows.

Since its introduction it has become a sport that draws nearly 650,000 on-site spectators worldwide.

Lobue, who works as a diving coach locally, was an Olympic hopeful in 2004, but narrowly missed the team. In 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series brought the sport into light as it featured the biggest talent and the most-promising newcomers in the field.

In 2012, the 5-4 athlete took second-place finishes in the first two competitions in France and Norway. After which, he found success with his first World Series win four months later in Wales.

He then qualified for the final competition of the year in Oman where took third overall.

The season kicks off with aesthetic leaps from Morro Castle fortress at the entrance of Havana Bay.

From there, Lobue will continue on to competitions in the United States in June at Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas, where two towering cliffs at Hell’s Gate mark the entrance to a small cove where the divers will fly.

There, spectators can see the competition amid the hills of one of the most-pristine areas in the United States, — the lake boasts 20,000 acres of clear, blue water — and the first non-urban cliff diving location to be held in North America.

If you want to know more about the series, go to www.redbullcliffdiving.com.

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    Thursday, September 18th through Sunday, September 21st Course Info Site: RTJ Golf Trail at Capitol Hill (Senator Course), Prattville, Alabama Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1999) Par: 72 Yardage: 6,607 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,276 yds 1 - Par 4 370 yds 2 - Par 3 165 yds 3 - Par 4 390 yds 4 - Par 4 369 yds 5 - Par 5 540 yds 6 - Par 4 385 yds 7 - Par 3 174 yds 8 - Par 5 507 yds 9 - Par 4 376 yds Back Nine: 36 3,331 yds 10 - Par 5 547 yds 11 - Par 4 400 yds 12 - Par 4 391 yds 13 - Par 3 163 yds 14 - Par 4 363 yds 15 - Par 4 389 yds 16 - Par 3 152 yds 17 - Par 5 515 yds 18 - Par 4 411 yds Tournament Info Year: 7th Television: Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. (et) - taped, - Saturday/Sunday -- 2-5 p.m. (et) Champion: Stacy Lewis Runner Up: Lexi Thompson Tournament Record: 269 (Katherine Hull, 2010) 54-Hole Record: 199 (Cristie Kerr, 2010) 36-Hole Record: 131 (Stacy Prammanasudh, 2007) Course Record: 63 (Stacy Prammanasudh, Amy Hung, Angela Park, 2007; Maria Hjorth, 2008; Yani Tseng, 2009; Mika Miyazato, Lindsey Wright, 2010; Lexi Thompson, 2012) Total Purse: $1,300,000 Shares: 1st Place - $195,000; 2nd Place - $119,470; 3rd Place - $86,125 2012 Final Leaderboard Stacy Lewis 270 Lexi Thompson 272 Haeji Kang 273 Mi Jung Hur 273 Angela Stanford 273 Sarah Jane Smith 274 Beatriz Recari 274 So Yeon Ryu 275 Hee Young Park 275 Meena Lee 275 Past Winners 2013: Not Held. Runner up: 2012: Stacy Lewis (270). Runner up: Lexi Thompson 2011: Lexi Thompson (271). Runner up: Tiffany Joh 2010: Katherine Hull (269). Runner up: Brittany Lincicome 2009: Lorena Ochoa (270). Runner up: Michelle Wie, Brittany Lang 2008: *Lorena Ochoa (273). Runner up: Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung 2007: Maria Hjorth (274). Runner up: Stacy Prammanasudh * - Won in Playoff Formerly called Navistar LPGA Classic (2007-12). Top Contenders Stacy Lewis 2007: 2008: mc 2009: T-57 2010: mc 2011: T-6 2012: Won Lexi Thompson 2007: 2008: 2009: T-27 2010: T-16 2011: Won 2012: 2nd Angela Stanford 2007: T-7 2008: 2009: 2010: T-58 2011: 3rd 2012: T-3 Lizette Salas 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: T-16 Brittany Lincicome 2007: mc 2008: 2009: 2010: 2nd 2011: T-18 2012: T-21 Sun Young Yoo 2007: T-25 2008: mc 2009: T-37 2010: T-16 2011: mc 2012: T-28 Brittany Lang 2007: T-53 2008: T-70 2009: T-2 2010: T-29 2011: T-4 2012: T-39 Katherine Kirk 2007: T-38 2008: T-11 2009: T-23 2010: Won 2011: T-34 2012: T-46 Tiffany Joh 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2nd 2012: 70th Cristie Kerr 2007: 2008: T-2 2009: T-17 2010: T-3 2011: mc 2012: NOTES: The LPGA Tour travels to Alabama this week for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Two of the top-8 players in the world are in the field - world No. 1 Stacy Lewis and world No. 8 Lexi Thompson.

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