Bridge diving brings adrenaline kicks to Soča river area
Kanal – The traditional bridge diving event in the town of Kanal in western Slovenia will be held on Sunday in what promises to be an event spiced up with a potent dose of adrenaline. Astonishing views are guaranteed as the Kanal Bridge crosses the Soča river, famous for its emerald hues.
The popular event has been held every year since 1989, except for the few times it was cancelled – in 1991 due to the ten-day Independence War, in 2002 because of severe rainfall and in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.
The organiser, Kanal ob Soči Tourism Board, has come up with three disciplines: feet-first jumps, the Kanal special – the swallow and diving stunts.
The event is also a high diving competition, and in 2019, the best Slovenian was Aleš Karničnik, who placed third. British diver and high diver Aidan Heslop, who was 17 at the time, finished first. Just a year before, he became the youngest diver ever to compete in the Cliff Diving World Series, and he is known for performing the highest difficulty dive in history at a competition last year.
Competitors from multiple countries are expected this year as well, including Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, said Branko Dolenc, head of the local tourism board.
In addition to diving thrills and music performances, Kanal also has something in store for vintage car enthusiasts as classic cars will be showcased in the main square of the village this morning.
The bridge jumping event boosts local tourism and promotes diving. In 2005 and 2006, it was part of the Diving World Cup. The best jumpers in the world competed from an elevated jump-off point that rose 23 metres from the surface of the Soča river.
The 17-metre bridge is the landmark of Kanal. It was initially built in 1580. Over the years it was destroyed and rebuilt several times, the last time in 1920.
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