4:12pm Friday 13th September 2013
By Fraser Watson
Russia's Artem Silchenko notched the best score of the 14 divers after the first round of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event in Abereiddy today (Friday).
Silchenko, currently second in the overall standings, was given a score of 108.30 by the judges. Series leader Gary Hunt finished the day in fourth place after a score of 100.70.
Tomorrow, the divers will be paired off into seven head to head contests for round two, with their scores from today being carried over. The seven winners and best loser will then go through to the final.
Afterwards Hunt told the Western Telegraph: "I'm happy to be in fourth place.
"In the last event (in Boston) I was last after the first round and ended up third. The top seven are all close together after today so we all have a good chance."
Rain fell persistently throughout the day - a stark contrast to the beautiful summer weather the divers enjoyed at the venue last year.
"The wind and rain doesn't really affect the actual dives," added Hunt.
"But it does affect your preparation. We are all using a lot more energy between dives this year in order to try and keep warm.
"The conditions have not been ideal today but we are all used to it."
The event opened with a stunning aerobatic display from pilots Paul Bonham and Steve Jones, who performed a series of daring moves and stunts as they flew their aeroplanes around the Blue Lagoon.
Despite the inclement weather, a sell out crowd watched the action and with better conditions forecast for tomorrow, the public are again expected to turn out in force for the final stages of this epic event.
Saturday's head to head pairings (current position in brackets):
Artem Silchenko (1), Russia, 108.30 v Cyrille Oumedjkane (14), France, 62.70
Orlando Duque (2), Colombia, 104.50 v Michal Navratil (13), Czech Republic, 85.50
Jonathan Paredes (3), Mexico, 102.60 v David Colturi (12), USA, 85.50
Gary Hunt (4), UK, 100.70 v Igor Semashko (11), Russia, 87.40
Blake Aldridge (5), UK, 98.80 v Kris Kolanus (10), Poland, 87.40
Steven LoBue (6), USA, 96.40 v Alessandro De Rose (9), Italy, 93.10
Andy Jones (7), USA, 95.00 v Matt Cowen (8), UK, 93.10
Divers will begin their warm up dives tomorrow from 12pm, with the second round getting underway at 2.20pm. Gates will open to the public at 1pm.
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