Cliff Diving World Series: Life In The Winners' Circle (PHOTOS)

After three days of shooting unceasingly freakish feats of athleticism, I found even more grace and humor in the winners' circle...

ALL IMAGES C. 2015 Michael Vazquez ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Let's start at the top, shall we?

2015 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Champion, Rachelle Simpson (USA)

I had planned a photo shoot with all of the athletes, however amidst the frenzy of the final day of competition, I was only able to shoot a few persons -- and so, I had to make do with where we were...here's to next year's photo sessions. In the interim, herewith, 5 X 1-minute (literally, not figuratively, one minute) in-situ photo shoots.

2nd Place, 2015 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Championship, Ginger Leigh Huber (USA)

Huber e un bambino

3rd Place, 2015 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Championship, Yana Nestsiarava (Belarus)

Injured and exhausted though she was, Yana gamely ventured back onto the shape-shifting ankle-twisting rocky beach and into the water for these shots.

Huber, Simpson, Nestiarava take the podium and greet the crowd.
Amidst shouts of
Pronto! Pronto!
Simpson undergoes the lone champion's ritual: a proper dousing in the bubbly.

Although the men's championship is next week in Blibao, Spain, the male winners' circle was no less jubilant, nor dry.

From left to right: 3rd place, Orlando Duque (Columbia); 1st place, Gary Hunt (UK) 2nd place, Jonathahn Paredes (Mexico)

The scene on the ground -- after a ton of the crowds had left.

From the perch where I filmed.
The after-party; this very old backdrop delivered me one of several Fellini moments that someone like myself on a journey haunted by Italian cinema, would, well, project onto his experience.

Additional one-minute sportraits, alphabetically. My apologies to the athletes I couldn't shoot due to time constraints; 'see you next year!

Anna Bader (Germany)
Jacqueline Valente (Brasil)
Fellow Brasileiro well-wishers laud Valente from their
terrazzo
.
Cliff-side crowd; lone jumper ponders whether do do it...
Future cliff-diving champion?
Ciao Italia
...nice and functional update to the classic Roman tunic, and a lovely parting shot.

Extra-credit reading and viewing: you can watch the video I cut of from the Red bull Cliff Diving World Series stop in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE

More extra-credit reading and viewing: you can watch the video I cut of from the Red Bull World Series Air Race stop in Spielberg, Austria HERE

The red Bull Men's Cliff Diving World Series Championship will be broadcast live outside of the U.S. on Saturday, September 26th at 3:30 PM CEST via RedBull.tv

In the U.S., the feature-length broadcasts of the women's and men's championships will be on Fox Sports 1 on Monday, October 26th at 7PM ET and Sunday, November 1st at 1:30 PM ET, respectively.