David Colturi

Colturi in New Zealand

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series comes to a close for another season, hosting its 2023 season finale in Auckland, New Zealand. The original date was set for late November, but a water issue in the Viaduct Harbor where the event was being held postponed the finale for late January 2024. It’s a first time stop for the World Series to come to New Zealand, and the Kiwi Nation didn’t disappoint, showcasing a colorful and action packed event, with over 55,000 spectators throughout the weekend. 

“In contention for earning a permanent spot.”

Of the 24 divers fighting for top spots in the overall rankings, Mission Viejo’s David Colturi came into the event sitting in 10th place, within striking distance of the top 8 which receive “permanent diver” status and an automatic invite to each of the World Series events for the following season. “It’s been a long and tough season,” said an experienced Colturi, who’s been competing with Red Bull since 2011. “It was really a comeback year for me, after having rotator cuff surgery in August of 2022. I just wanted to compete this year and be in contention for earning a permanent spot for next year’s Series.” 

“Just one point shy.”

In contention he was, and with a 7th place finish in Auckland it seemed like he might just do it; however, the final results tallied Colturi just one point shy of the top 8. Finishing in 9th place overall will seat him as the top “wildcard” for the 2024 season, which means he’ll receive a few invitations up front to some of the first events in 2024, then he’ll have to earn his invitation to the remaining events with good performances as the season progresses. 

“Fuel for the fire.”

“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Colturi after the event. “Many divers know the pain of missing out on finals by one point, but this one feels doubly tough as it’s for the qualification for all of next year. However, it’s also motivating and gives me fuel for the fire to train hard and come back even stronger next year. While I never fully recovered from the shoulder surgery, and had a few minor injuries throughout this last season, I made some big improvements on my baranni and entries with easier dives, and with a full recovery this spring and bigger dives next season, I know I’m still competitive with the top group.” 

“Spray champagne on the podium again.”

Being competitive with the top group is a tough thing these days. The sport of cliff diving has seen incredible progression in the last 5 years with new divers like Aidan Heslop and Constantin Popovici, the former competing the world’s hardest and highest degree of difficulty dive—front 4 somersaults with 3.5 twists—and the latter being freshly crowned the World Series Champion. Colturi will certainly have to increase his DD and his consistency if he wants to spray champagne on the podium again. 

David Colturi
Photo by Romina Amato l Red Bull Content Pool