Freediving is a sport of aquatic breath hold. Many people enjoy it just for recreation and enjoyment, but for the competitive amongst us it holds the lure of National and World records, International championships and World cups. In the UK every year we have International pool championships which are heading towards the goal of hosting the World Championships.
The 6th Great Northern International Freediving competition and the UK BFA National pool championships organised by myself and the Apneists UK group will run on the 21st and 22nd March 2015 in Liverpool. The competition has grown over the last 6 years to the point where last year it was one of the biggest of its kind; there were 51 Athletes competing, 17 countries represented and eventually we saw 3 National records and dozens of excellent performances. Athletes can sign up here:
The competition is made up of a combined point score over three disciplines:
- Dynamic no fins (DNF) on day one is the distance an athlete can swim underwater holding their breath without fins. The current UK male record holder, John Moorcroft, who was ranked 6th in the world 2014, will be attempting to beat the 167m swim he did earlier in the year. The female UK record was pushed further by the current record holder, Rebecca Coales (who is ranked 4th in the world 2014), to 145m, and she hopes to go past 150m this year. Both athletes are coached by myself. We hold the event in a 25 metre pool.
- Static apnea (STA) is maximum breath hold whilst lying stationary on the surface. The longest hold of the weekend last year was a 6’50 minute hold by Adam Drzazga of the UK. It is a discipline requiring a lot of mental relaxation and control.
- Dynamic with fins (DYN) is maximum distance an athlete can swim underwater using fins, or a mono fin. We have had some really terrific performances over the years. Antonio Del Duca won the overall competition for the men last year with a swim over 200m. It was a really exciting competition overall. Swims of over 200 metres distance aren’t uncommon in this competition.
Feel free to come and watch. The details for the competition can be found here. Athletes can sign up via this link too. We hold this event in a 50 metre pool.
Video from last year’s competition can be viewed here.
We have Aquasphere as sponsors, and the BFA are part grant funding the competition, however we are still in negotiation with other sponsors to hold the title and provide additional prizes. Plenty of press is produced by the competition so it is a good opportunity for companies involved in the industry to get exposure.
The sport of Freediving is growing every year. It is possible to learn Freediving in the UK with experienced coaches and clubs. For more information, please visit www.learn2freedive.com.
Photos: Daan Verhoeven