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Kinbane Castle and Ballycastle Harbour Ready for Extreme Cliff Diving Event

tourism events visit causeway coast and glens Jul 01, 2024
Red Bull Event Ballycastle

The coastline around Kinbane Castle is set to become a prime venue for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series as it visits the Causeway Coast later this month.

Ballycastle is due to host the international event from 18 to 20 July 2024, welcoming elite athletes worldwide.

Competitors will perform their daring dives from specially constructed platforms at Ballycastle Harbour in the final two rounds.

It is understood that preliminary rounds will take place directly off cliffs, adding an extra thrill. According to council documents, organisers sought permission to use land at Kinbane Castle, three miles from the leading contest site.

It is understood this location will be used for closed diving and to allow for videography and photography sessions. 

It is also understood that videography/photography will occur around Dunluce Castle.  

Minutes from the Land and Property sub-committee meeting on 5 June revealed that councillors approved the temporary land transfer at both Ballycastle Harbour and Kinbane Castle.

Preparations for the event are set to commence next Wednesday, 10 July.

Minutes from an in-committee meeting (now public), Peter Thompson, the council’s Head of Tourism and Recreation, highlighted the cliff diving event's immense marketing opportunity for the Causeway Coast and Glens.

He noted that the 2022 Red Bull Cliff Diving Series reached an impressive 1.5 billion media contacts, with social media channels garnering 400 million impressions and more than 275 million video views. Global TV news coverage included 3,917 broadcasts, totalling over 88 hours of airtime. The 2023 season is expected to exceed a 1.7 billion media reach, offering significant potential to promote the region internationally.

The transferred land will be used for diving board structures, a competitors’ area, and a medical centre.

Additional council-owned land will accommodate temporary infrastructure, including grandstands, a media centre, and giant screens. When councillors approved the partnership with Red Bull, they were assured that the drinks company would cover the event's staging costs.

However, minor expenses such as post-event cleaning may be incurred, which Mr Thompson suggested should be considered against the event's PR value and tourism impact.

Mr Thompson emphasised the economic benefits this event would bring to the borough, aligning with the council’s 10-year strategy to facilitate large events despite rising costs. He also mentioned ongoing discussions with Red Bull to ensure meaningful engagement with seafront businesses and other affected parties.

There will be no specific car parking charges for the event, although certain areas may require wristband access. Councillors were previously informed that the event is expected to draw a crowd of over 20,000 to Ballycastle. Spectators will witness athletes launch from platforms up to 100 feet above the water, reaching speeds of around 85 km per hour during their two-and-a-half-second descent.

The World Series, which began its tour in Athens on 26 May, will have already visited Boston and Polignano a Mare in Italy before arriving in Ballycastle. It will continue to Oslo, Montreal, and Turkey before concluding in Sydney on 10 November.

Picture : Anne Kelly 

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