20110528

World's Bravest Divers



The height of daring: World's bravest divers take the breath away with awe-inspiring leaps


By Oliver Pickup
Last updated at 2:15 PM on 23rd May 2011
  • Brit wins event jumping from a staggering 27 metres - or 88.5 feet 
Here is a Red Bull-sponsored event where it really would be useful to have wings: The Cliff Diving World Series.
Southampton-born Gary Hunt - the reigning Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion - won the day, at Lake Vouliagmeni near Athens.
Yesterday was the 26-year-old's first success of the current season, and after winning four out of six events last year, Hunt has been the man to beat.

Scared of heights? England's Gary Hunt dives 27 metres into Lake  Vouliagmeni in the third event of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World  Series
Scared of heights? England's Gary Hunt dives 27 metres into Lake Vouliagmeni in the third event of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
No turning back: Steven LoBue begins his dive at the Cliff Diving  World Series event in Athens
No turning back: Steven LoBue begins his dive at the Cliff Diving World Series event in Athens
Daring: An athlete dives during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World  Series over Lake Vouliagmeni
Daring: An athlete dives during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series over Lake Vouliagmeni

With his main rival, 2009 champion Orlando Duque, out of action with a broken ankle, the man from the south coast rose to the occasion and wowed the Greek crowd with a series of stunning dives from 27 metres - or 88.5 feet.
Colombian Duque, who injured himself during a sky dive recently, said: 'Right now is when I felt I was in the best stage of my career.
'After the accident I know it's going to be hard to get back to where I was.'
Dare devil: Alain Kohl of Luxembourg is shown flinging himself  fearlessly from the Red Bull Cliff Diving platform in Athens
Daredevil: Alain Kohl of Luxembourg is shown flinging himself fearlessly from the Red Bull Cliff Diving platform in Athens
Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives from the 26.8 metre  platform at Lake Vouliagmeni during the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff  Diving World Series
Todor Spasov of Bulgaria dives from the 26.8 metre platform at  Lake Vouliagmeni during the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving  World Series
No turning back: Michal Navratil from Czechoslovakia leaps from the 27 metre-high platform (left) while Todor Spasov of Bulgaria (right) shows how high it is
Stylish: Hunt, 26, is watched by spectators who have scrambled up  the cliffs so as to get a decent view
Stylish: Hunt, 26, is watched by spectators who have scrambled up the cliffs to get a decent view

Grant did not mind that the 37-year-old was not in Greece and after finishing on the podium in all six events last year has proved himself a great competitor.
The daredevil said: 'I take care in every aspect of my life and I just want to give myself every chance of becoming the champion.'

And on his success at Lake Vouliagmeni, he added: 'I couldn't be happier.
'The first round yesterday did not start exactly how I had wanted. But I really got into the atmosphere today and it went perfectly.'
Don't look down: Bulgarian Todor Spasov drops down from the  platform on Sunday
Don't look down: Bulgarian Todor Spasov drops down from the platform on Sunday
Jorge Ferzuli from Mexico dives during the Red Bull Cliff Diving  World Series
An athlete dives during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Going down: Two of the athletes perform their dives at the Cliff Diving World Series
On top of the world: Gary Hunt drops down the 88.5 feet into the  waters at Lake Vouliagmeni
On top of the world: Gary Hunt drops down the 88.5 feet into the waters at Lake Vouliagmeni
Champion: Hunt is congratulated by Artem Silchenko of Russia, who  came second. The Brit - the 2010 series winner - moved to the top of the  leaderboard after this third stage win
Champion: Hunt is congratulated by Artem Silchenko of Russia, who came second. The Brit - the 2010 series winner - moved to the top of the leaderboard after this third stage win

The win moved Hunt - who says his favourite dive is a Back 1.5 piked from 10 metres - to the top of the leaderboard after three rounds. It gave him 49, nine points ahead of Duque, who had won the first two rounds in Chile and Mexico.
Also joining Hunt, who was awarded 471.15 points, on the podium in Greece were Russian Artem Silchenko (447.10) and Michal Navratil from Czechoslovakia (421.31). 
The next stop for the divers is La Rochelle in France on June 18 - and there are later fixtures in Malcesine, Italy, Boston in the US and finally Yalta in Ukraine.

20110520

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20110517

Beautiful Bridges of the World


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10. Seven Mile Bridge

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The Seven Mile Bridge, in the Florida Keys, runs over a channel between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait, connecting Key Vaca (the location of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.

9. San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

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The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge (commonly called San Mateo Bridge) is a bridge crossing California’s San Francisco Bay in the United States, linking the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. More specifically, the bridge’s western end is in Foster City, the most recent urban addition to the eastern edge of San Mateo. The eastern end of the bridge is in Hayward. The bridge is owned by the state of California, and is maintained by Caltrans, the state highway agency.

8. Confederation Bridge


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The Confederation Bridge (French: Pont de la Confédération) is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the “Fixed Link” by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1997, costing $1.3 billion. The 12.9-kilometre (8 mi) long bridge opened on 31 May 1997.

7. Rio-Niteroi Bridge

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 The Rio-Niteroi Bridge is a reinforced concrete structure that connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi in Brazil.
Construction began symbolically on August 23, 1968, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in their first and thus far only visit to Brazil. Actual work begun in January, 1969, and it opened on March 4, 1974.
Its official name is “President Costa e Silva Bridge”, in honor of the Brazilian president who ordered its construction. “Rio-Niteroi” started as a descriptive nickname that soon became better known than the official name. Today, hardly anyone refers to it by its official name.

6. Penang Bridge

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The Penang Bridge (Jambatan Pulau Pinang in Malay) E 36 is a dual-carriageway toll bridge that connects Gelugor on the island of Penang and Seberang Prai on the mainland of Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula. The bridge is also linked to the North-South Expressway in Prai and Jelutong Expressway in Penang. It was officially opened to traffic on September 14, 1985. The total length of the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 miles), making it among the longest bridges in the world, the longest bridge in the country as well as a national landmark. PLUS Expressway Berhad is the concession holder which manages it.

5. Vasco da Gama Bridge

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The Vasco da Gama Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Vasco da Gama, pron. IPA: [’põt(?) ‘va?ku d? ‘g?m?]) is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and roads that spans the Tagus River near Lisbon, capital of Portugal. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi), including 0.829 km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5 km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congestion on Lisbon’s other bridge (25 de Abril Bridge), and to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon.
4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (commonly known as the Bay Bridge) is a major dual-span bridge in the U.S. state of Maryland; spanning the Chesapeake Bay, it connects the state’s Eastern and Western Shore regions. At 4.3 miles (7 km) in length, the original span was the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structure when it opened in 1952. The bridge is officially named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge after William Preston Lane, Jr. who, as governor of Maryland, implemented its construction.

3. King Fahd Causeway

The King Fahd Causeway is multiple dike - bridge combination connecting Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and the island nation of Bahrain.

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A construction agreement signed on July 8, 1981 led to construction beginning the next year. The cornerstone was laid on November 11, 1982 by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and Sheikh Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of Bahrain; construction continued until 1986, when the combination of several bridges and dams were completed. The causeway officially opened for use on November 25, 1986.

2. Donghai Bridge

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Donghai Bridge (literally “East Sea Grand Bridge”) is the longest cross-sea bridge in the world and the longest bridge in Asia. It was completed on December 10, 2005. It has a total length of 32.5 kilometres (20.2 miles) and connects Shanghai and the offshore Yangshan deep-water port in China. Most of the bridge is a low-level viaduct. There are also cable-stayed sections to allow for the passage of large ships, largest with span of 420 m.

1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

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The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, or the Causeway, consists of two parallel bridges that are the longest bridges in the world by total length.[2] These parallel bridges cross Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana. The longer of the two bridges is 23.87 miles (38.42 km) long. The bridges are supported by over 9,000 concrete pilings. The two bridges feature bascule spans over the navigation channel 8 miles (13 km) south of the north shore. The southern terminus of the Causeway is in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The northern terminus is at Mandeville, Louisiana.

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