WATCH: First ever cliff dive from a moving hot air balloon
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Johannesburg - Revered diving champion Rhiannan Iffland has taken an 18 metre dive from a hot air balloon over New South Wales’s Lostock Dam - becoming the first person to ever dive from a moving hot air balloon.
Iffland, who is the cliff diving sport’s most decorate female athlete, thus becomes the first person to ever dive from a moving hot air balloon.
Preparing for the feat was not been easy as it has been a year of great uncertainty since the world has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the past year Iffland has had to cancel a year of competitive sport, and has only been able to train from 10-metre diving platforms.
The four-time Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion was determined to start 2021 by doing a dream dive she had long set her sights on. A year in the making, from finding the right location to narrowing down a weather window, the Newcastle athlete picked to soar over the Hunter region’s Lostock Dam, close to her home.
At first Iffland had to wait out swelling winds as a result of fog in the surrounding mountains.
Once the safety helium balloon stood upright as a sign of steady conditions, the hot air balloon took off from the ground with Iffland standing harnessed on a small platform outside the basket.
Moving close to the exact diving spot, the balloon sank down from its 40m soaring altitude to the actual diving height, and the athlete had only a fleeting moment to smoothly push off from the platform and take flight.