Dramatic diving on display on Northern Ireland’s stunning Causeway Coast

In July, Northern Ireland’s spectacular Causeway Coast will be the backdrop to the fourth stop on the adrenaline-charged Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

The famous Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has chosen picturesque Ballycastle, County Antrim, as the location for a mid-season stop (19–20 July) that is expected to push the divers to their limits.

The elite extreme sport championship features 12 men and 12 women who compete to be crowned category winners, gathering points for each dive that are awarded for technique, acrobatics and artistic moves.

At Ballycastle, there will be multiple take-off spots presenting an additional challenge. In the opening rounds, divers will launch directly off the dramatic cliffs, while in the final two rounds participants will dive from purpose-built platforms constructed in Ballycastle Harbour. The divers will have to cope with strong winds as they dive from heights of up to 27m into the cold Atlantic waters at speeds of over 85 kmph.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Nestled within the Glens of Antrim, an area of outstanding natural beauty, the choppy Atlantic waters of Ballycastle will prove both a danger and a delight for those competing.”

Ballycastle is a popular seaside town along the Causeway Coast, which has been named as one of the world’s most scenic driving routes. The town is close to the remarkable Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the location of over 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns dating back some 60 million years.

Other top spots along the coastal route include Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Gobbins Cliff Path, said to be the most dramatic coastal walk in Europe. The ruins of medieval Dunluce Castle clinging to the edge of the cliffs present an unmissable photo opportunity as does Mussenden Temple which overlooks the golden stretch of Downhill Beach on the north coast.

The Causeway Coastal route famously featured heavily in the blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones, which was mostly shot in Northern Ireland. Many tours of the shoot locations are on offer visiting key spots such as Ballintoy Harbour (Iron Islands), The Dark Hedges (Kingsroad) and Cushendun caves (Stormlands).

This is the first time that the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has included Northern Ireland in its programme, although previously Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Inis Mór, County Galway and Downpatrick Head, County Mayo have hosted a leg. This year’s championship begins in the Greek capital Athens on May 26 and finishes in Sydney, Australia, on November 10.