"It's like when a dog sticks their head out the window" - Orlando Duque on the thrill of cliff diving

The Colombian legend has been speaking to Newstalk.com

"It's like when a dog sticks their head out the window" - Orlando Duque on the thrill of cliff diving

Red Bull Cliff Diver Orlando Duque Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"I love the sound of the impact with the water. There's so much happening in the air. It's a really cool sport. I love being part of it".

Orlando Duque loves cliff diving, and he is transfixed by the Aran Islands. The Colombian returns to The Serpent's Lair on Inis Mór for the third time next month as the opening round of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series begins on the west coast next month.

A holder of 13 world titles and two Guinness World Records, Duque has two top-four finishes in Ireland, but he has yet to win in County Galway. He hopes to end wait this year.

"I really like the place where we're diving", he told Newstalk.com earlier this week. "I hope I can do a lot better this year. I really want to win."

Duque is a legend in the sport, and travels all around the World to some stunning locations. He admitted he still pinches himself with how lucky he is.

"When you have a chance to look at all these beautiful locations, you always go 'Wow!'. Starting here in Ireland, that pool is the most beautiful natural pool in the world."

The Colombian has previously called cliff diving "the most natural form" of the sport. Speaking in Dublin, he explained that the divers on the World Tour have to continuously adapt to their surroundings.

"It changes so much from location to location. We as divers have to adapt really quickly. That's what makes it so interesting too."

"Even though we do have a platform, everything else changes. In Ireland, we dive into a pool. Your reference points change. We dive into the open sea in Portugal, while we dive into a river in Bosnia. All those venues have small differences that makes you adjust".

While Duque and his rivals will be competing on the edge on the Atlantic Ocean, they regularly compete in the middle of cities. Later this year, the World Tour will land in the middle of Mostar in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"In some places we are really far away from the general population, like in the Aran Islands. In Portugal we travel to the Azores. In some other places, we get to drive in the centre of the cities like in Copenhagen. 30 or 40,000 people can watch and it feels almost like a football game. In a pool you would never get anything like that".

Duque competed in the middle of Copenhagen last year. Photo by Romina Amato / Red Bull

Diving from 27 metres above the water is a thrilling experience, which the Colombian calls "fun". He even compares it to the feeling a dog can get in a car.

"As soon as you pick up speed in the dive, you can feel the wind in your face and you can hear it. That makes it so much fun. I assume it's how a dog feels when they stick their head out of a car window. You can see they're so happy. That's how it feels like when falling".

With such a high-risk sport, Duque and his rivals need to keep their concentration levels up. From the time an elite cliff diver steps foot on the platform to when they land in the water can only take seconds.

"There's 20 seconds of high focus, but then I can come down a little in between each dive. I might have 30 or 40 minutes between each dive. It's hard to keep that level of intensity for two hours. Those 20 seconds can be very intense"

Duque was the inaugural winner of the FINA High Diving World Championships in 2013. The sport has yet to achieve Olympic recognition, but he hopes it can happen in the near future, although it may come after he retires.

Anna Bader joined Duque in Dublin Bay this week to showcase their skills. Photo by Romina Amato / Red Bull

"I think it has a good chance. It's very attractive and exciting. We may not have the number of women though... I would give it a couple of years before we may be fully ready. Diving is already in the Olympics and high diving could complement the programme."

"It will be after I retire, but I do I will make sure I will work twice as hard to make sure it gets there."

A contestant on last year's Colombian version of Dancing With The Stars, Duque is a hero in his homeland, but football was his first love. He only took up diving when he was nine or ten.

"I loved jumping in the water as a child, and when I started diving, I knew that this was the career for me".

For the first time ever, the event in Ireland will also feature a women's competition. The veteran is sure the event on June 24th will be an enjoyable event for those in attendance.

"It's such a fun competition. It's high energy. All the fans will be very close to the divers. They can feel the impact and see it really close. All the divers will spend time with the fans afterwards too. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will be broadcast live exclusively on Red Bull TV, bringing you all of the action. Red Bull TV is a free global digital entertainment destination with live events, an extensive On Demand library, and a ‘best of‘ stream showing selected highlights that span all programming genres. Watch Red Bull TV online at redbull.tv, or download the Red Bull TV app.