Canadian Jessica Macaulay 3rd in the final cliff diving event of her illustrious career


Canadian Jessica Macaulay bid farewell to the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series from the podium on Sunday in Auckland.

The 31-year-old Montrealer, who is retiring from the circuit after six seasons, finished third in the season finale in New Zealand. It was his 13th podium in 31 career events.

Born in England, Macaulay moved to Canada, where her father is from, when she was six weeks old before her family life and jobs took her around the world.

After competing for Great Britain during her first three seasons of cliff diving, she moved to Montreal in early 2021 and began representing Canada.

Australian star Rhiannan Iffland won the event, her 35th victory in 44 career stages on the circuit. The victory secured Iffland a seventh consecutive King Kahekili trophy, which goes to the winner of the season.

The trophy is named after the Hawaiian chief who first jumped from the sacred Kaunolo Cliffs in the 1700s, believed to be the originator of cliff diving as a sport.

It was the 30th consecutive podium, and 41st overall, for Iffland, who has won the overall title every year since 2016 (the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic).

Iffland’s final dive had the highest scores of the day among the women, who dive from a platform 21 meters – or about seven stories – above the water.

Iffland has won five of six events this season. She was second behind Canadian Molly Carlson last time in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Carlson 2nd in the final ranking

Australian Xantheia Pennisi finished second in Auckland while Carlson, a 25-year-old from Thunder Bay, Ontario who now calls Montreal home, finished fourth. Simone Leathead, a 20-year-old from Montreal who was a wild card, finished ninth.

Romanian Constantin Popovici won the men’s event in Auckland and the overall season title. Men dive from an average platform height of 27 meters.

Iffland topped the women’s series standings with 1,200 points, ahead of Carlson (990) and Pennisi (600). Macauley finished sixth (468).

By finishing in the top four in the season standings, Carlson earned a permanent spot on the 2024 World Series roster.

The 2023 Red Bull series already included stops in Boston, Paris, Polignano A Mare (Italy), Takachiho (Japan) and Mostar. The season finale in Auckland was originally scheduled for November 19, but was pushed back after a 13-metre suburban sinkhole allowed raw sewage to flow directly into Waitemata Harbour.


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