The Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships Closes Out Its Season Overlooking Sydney Harbour
— 25 October 2022

The Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships Closes Out Its Season Overlooking Sydney Harbour

— 25 October 2022
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

As I walked down the hill of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, I was greeted by one of the most jaw-dropping backdrops of a sporting event I’d ever seen. With a view out across the harbour directly onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House next door, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series was about to start its final competition for 2022 and as a guest of Mido watches, I was about to enjoy it from one of the best seats in the house.

The day before the competition, we were harbourside next to the specially constructed 27m diving platform to check out the athletes during practice and to interview the Mido-sponsored diver Jonathan Paredes (we’ll get to that below). Despite the vertigo-inducing height of the diving platform, which was prone to swaying gently in the wind, all athletes had bravely made the staircase journey to the top of the platform to practice their routines ahead of the big dance the following day.

One of the highlights for the local crown was our very own Australian Rhiannan Iffland, who had already established an unassailable lead in the championship competition before the final round in Sydney. While the event was something of a formality on her way to being crowned champion, she treated her fans to a backflip dive into Sydney harbour from a helicopter earlier in the week, before taking out the win on the final day of competition as she cemented her place in the record books.

Red Bull Cliff Diving

RELATED: The Mido Multifort Powerwind Chronometer Is A Return To The Golden Age Of Watchmaking

While Jonathan Paredes didn’t have the pleasure of a home crowd to cheer him on, he still managed to claim 5th place on the day and is already looking forward to the 2023 season. Paredes made his debut in the World Series on home soil in Yucatán back in 2011, before earning his first overall title in the Red Bull Cliff Diving in 2017. Despite a setback a couple of years ago, he’s never been hungrier to be back on tour.

Red Bull Cliff Diving

How did you get into the sport of cliff diving? 

Jonathan Paredes: Actually, cliff diving just came into my life. It wasn’t even a decision, it was more of an opportunity in my life. I’ve been diving since I was six years old, and I got into the high diving shows, which are a bit closer to cliff diving because you actually dive from 21 meters high in an amusement park.

Then in 2011, I got the invitation to be part of one World Series event in Mexico City because there were no Mexican divers. So I said, “Of course, I’ll take the chance,” and that’s basically how I came into cliff diving.

What does a normal day look like for a professional cliff diver? 

JP: A regular day during the season involves a lot of travelling. In between the competitions, a regular day will be doing some gym and some lead-ups at the pool. I’m basically just trying to be in the rhythm for every competition because with so much travelling across so many different time zones, it kind of messes with your mind a little bit. It makes you feel tired most of the time, and the food doesn’t always help either. 

Red Bull Cliff Diving

What kind of training do you do to prepare for your competitions? 

JP: For me it’s less about physical training at the moment. I’m pretty sure I need to work on the mental part more because it’s been a tough year for me, it’s been pretty rough in fact. 

My only training combination right now is training at the gym and training at the pool, just keeping me in my routine. That’s the only thing I do at the moment, but during the off-season after this competition, I’m going to start working on my mental side.

What are the biggest dangers of cliff diving and what is the worst accident or injury you’ve suffered while diving? 

JP: I had an accident back in 2020 during the first competition of the year. I got lost in the air, and what I mean by I getting lost in the air is that I lost the connection of my twisting with my flipping.

I landed on my back on the water, and while everything was okay on the physical side, mentally is where I’ve been struggling since then. Every time I’m standing on the platform, I kind of feel that moment again in my head and it’s messing me up a lot. 

So I think the worst-case scenario for a diver is what happened to me. It’s not a physical injury, but more of a mental injury. I mean, there are a lot of injuries that can happen, but from an injury, you can come up again a bit faster. Mentally, it’s a longer process.

You’re supported by Mido – how did that relationship come about? 

JP: It’s pretty awesome, we’ve been working together almost for five years, and I only have good feelings towards them. I love the brand, I love wearing the watches, and they’ve been very supportive since the very first day I joined. I’m super happy working with them.

What’s your favourite Mido that you currently wear? 

JP: Yes, the Ocean Star 600 Chronometer is my favourite. I wear it every time I travel, everywhere I go basically, and I just got very comfortable with it. It’s pretty awesome and it’s my favourite at the moment. 

Sydney is the last round of the season for 2022 – what are your plans for the off-season and what are you looking forward to most next season? 

JP: My off-season will be just like I told you, so I’m going to try to start training mentally and physically in mid-November. I just want to give it a small break, because Formula 1 is coming to Mexico City. So I think I’m going to take the next two weeks to just focus on Formula 1, and then I’m going to start training around mid-November.

We’ll be trying to plan the next season which is going to start around June, so I think I’m going to start a very tough season, and I need to start almost right now. I want to try to fight for the world championships again. I was the Red Bull Cliff Diving world champion in 2017, so being able to be fighting for the title will be pretty amazing.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


Share the article