Red Bull Cliff Diving at Wadi Shab (Part 1) – Welcome & Warmup

The Red Bull Cliff Diving 2012 Final was held at Wadi Shab, September 27th, and it was a fabulous excuse to head back to this beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. (As if one needs an excuse to return here! 🙂 )

A lot of people were curious as to how they would get everyone across the water filled wadi. Normally locals ferry you across in small boats for a small fee.  Here was the solution!

Gates opened at 9:30am this morning.  This was the scene approaching the dive area after 9:45am.  It was a 10-15 minute walk from the bridge for most spectators or a 5 minute drive for friends/media.  Look at all the people up high in the cliffs.  Some of the people there must have mountain goat climbing skills!

This was the site.  Notice the stairs that lead up to the VIP section on the left and the diving board WAY up on the right cliff. 27 meters up to be exact.

Looking back towards the wadi entrance

How did they get up there!?

It’s not that clear in this photo but the VIP section is directly across the wadi and water. Notice the typical chairs laid out for special dignitaries.

A better look at the VIP/media area.  Notice the white tent from which there was a constant stream of free Red Bull and water (and some kind of appetizers).

They had 5 or 6 Omani girls (of which you see 4 here) dressed up for photo opps with tourists, I guess.  This was an official tourism event, so nice touch!

We mustn’t forget the cute Omani boys! 🙂

And of course wherever there is a Red Bull event, you can expect to see Red Bull ladies.

The warm-up dives started shortly after 11:30am.

Orlando Duque from Columbia in mid-air

And the crowd goes wild! Well, at least the ones on this rock…

Does this pic look like an optical illusion to you? It does to me even though it hasn’t been manipulated in any way (as if I’d know how to do that anyway, ha!).

This was pretty cool when they were introducing the divers one by one and they were all dressed up as local Omanis! 🙂

Would you dive from such a height?!

Be sure to check in later this week for pics and videos from the actual competition.  If you missed out on the event, no worries. Come on by and enjoy the event through my lense! You’ll feel like you were there with me in the VIP area and didn’t miss a thing!  🙂

In the meantime, enjoy this 50 second video of 2 separate dives I captured on my Blackberry Bold 9790 and put together using Youtube Editor:

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22 responses to “Red Bull Cliff Diving at Wadi Shab (Part 1) – Welcome & Warmup

  1. Nice pictures Andy! Did I not say you are a good photographer ;)? (incase you forgot, I did 😛 )

    • Thanks, Jado! And no, I didn’t forget. 🙂 It helped that my friend who came along used to be a professional photographer so he gave me a quick lesson on sports pics and bright light shooting before the event started. I hope it came out in some of the photos.

  2. Spectacular photos, Andy! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great shots! I haven’t the courage to jump from heights, but I like watching others do it!

  4. Awesome!

  5. Reblogged this on Travel.Just travel and commented:
    Cliff Diving at Wadi Shab/Oman

  6. Lucky you, getting to sit in the VIP area. It was a lot different experience for those of us non-VIPs! Great photos!

    • Hi, Cathy! Thanks for the comment and photo compliment. If I knew you were interested, I would have mentioned your name to Stacey, the organizer, who was my go-to person at Red Bull. If you ever see me promoting anything that you’re interested, let me know and we’ll see if we can get you some tickets. You must be one of the most prolific bloggers and I’m sure some of these event promoters would love to invite you.

  7. Great photos Andy, very nice indeed.

  8. Brilliant photos! I was given a red VIP inflatable device and managed to watch the whole competition from the “floating front row” in the Wadi. Can’t wait to see your next post (My photos are not bad but not nearly as good as yours…)

    • Shukran, Alessandra! 🙂 Those red VIP tubes looked pretty cool! In some ways, you had the best seat in the house. I hope you had a waterproof camera as I would be so nervous with a camera on a tube in the water. I hope you post your pics from the event on your blog soon as I don’t see any on there yet…(hint, hint!)

      • I will post some photos soon, I had my usual waterproof camera and a dry bag for all my other belongings. You can see me very clearly in the first photo of your new post :). In fact, can I steal it for my FB?

        • I was wondering if you were in my pic after you mentioned earlier that you were in the front row of tubes! Of course you may post the pic on FB! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your pics. Cheers!

  9. Nice article Andy. As an ex-OLNG construction person I have great memories of jumping into Wadi Shab fifteen years ago when it looked very different. Interesting to see how it has changed. We used to wade across rather than pay the boat boys their 100baisa. I recal a big jump where we did not know what rocks may be under the black water. It felt very risky at the time. Some years later we lugged SCUBA gear up there for an explore and found it to be very deep in places. It used to be paradise up there in the aqua pools and caves. I gather Gonu rather changes the layout?

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, abufaris. Sounds like Wadi Shab has been entertaining folks for years. I did hear that Gonu has changed the Wadi a great deal and that it used to be even more beautiful.

  10. Pingback: an InterNations convoy & the cliff diving world series 2012 at wadi shab « a nomad in the land of nizwa

  11. Pingback: The Secret Cave at Wadi Shab! A Definite Must See/Do in Oman! | Andy in Oman

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