By CLINT FOSTER
Looking for something to hold your attention this weekend? Why not check out the best divers in the world hurl themselves off of an approximately 90-foot cliff with acrobatic ease into the crystal blue waters of Palo Pinto County's backyard?
For the first time, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has pegged the Lone Star State as the United States stop on its international tour with none other than Hell's Gate Cove in Possum Kingdom Lake as the staging ground for the second round of the contest to crown the greatest cliff diver in the world.
Divers and television crews will converge on Hell's Gate this weekend with the championship set for Saturday afternoon and 10,000 nautical fans expected to attend. Admission is free, with the only stipulation being that fans watch in the water from a safe distance on a personal watercraft of some kind.
PK Lake is the second stop on a seven-location global competition this summer. The previous dive was held May 10 at Morro Castle fortress in Havana, Cuba, where Great Britain's Blake Aldridge took the win and an early lead in the standings.
Hell's Gate succeeds Boston Harbor as the American location on the tour after three years of artificial cliff diving in Beantown. After the local dive this year, the series will head to Ireland, Norway, Ukraine and Spain before finishing up in Brazil in the shadow of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Oct. 19.
Red Bull Communications Specialist Erin Finegold told the Index that the natural beauty of Possum Kingdom was the primary reason why Red Bull decided to move the event to Texas. Besides the beautiful backdrop of rural Palo Pinto County, Finegold added the perfect height of the cliffs in Hell's Gate make for an easy setup – they will essentially only have to build a diving platform – and the well-known Texas lake culture provides the perfect scenario for a great crowd and event.