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ICA Prepares To Host Cliff Divers

Organizers built a cliff-diving platform off of the ICA. (Karen Given/WBUR)
Organizers built a cliff-diving platform off of the ICA. (Karen Given/WBUR)

Notice anything different about the ICA lately?

Workers have been installing a wooden platform on the cantilever roof of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Arts. This weekend, a dozen of the world's best cliff divers will use that platform to plunge more than 80 feet into Boston Harbor.

This is the sixth stop on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, which began on Easter Island in March. All other stops on this year's tour took place on natural cliffs, often in extremely remote locations.

Niki Stajkovic, sport director for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, says the ICA presented a unique opportunity for the series' first East Coast stop.

"This is an exceptional situation," Stajkovic said. "It's in a downtown location and it seems to be just fitting."

A worker prepares the diving platform. (Karen Given/WBUR)
A worker prepares the diving platform. (Karen Given/WBUR)

Stajkovic said the series attracted 40,000 spectators in Italy and 70,000 in France. He's not sure how many spectators will safely fit on the ICA Grandstand and in other public areas of Fan Pier, but he expects the event to be popular.

"I think the town is already buzzing that there's an event like this," Stajkovic said. "Whatever the location can take, it's going to be completely full, that's my guess."

Gates open at 3 p.m. for Saturday's event, which is free and open to the public. The competition kicks off at 4 p.m., with BASE jumper Miles Daisher sky-diving out of a plane while strapped into a kayak for a splash down in Boston Harbor.

The Cliff Diving World Series will conclude on Sept. 4 in the Ukranian city of Yalta. Tune into WBUR's Only A Game on Sept. 3 for a report on the series.

This program aired on August 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Karen Given Twitter Senior Producer, Only A Game
Karen is the senior producer for WBUR's Only A Game.

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