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2019 UK National Depth Champions



British Freediving Association (BFA) delighted to announce David Mellor & Alice Hickson are the 2019 UK Depth National Champions!

Saltfree Divers hosted the BFA National Depth Championships at their Double Dip freediving competition at the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Chepstow, which took place over three days, from Fri 19 to Sun 21 July.  Four women and four men took part in the competition in one of the UK’s deepest quarries with Alice Hickson and David Mellor named the BFA National Depth Champions!

David Mellor prepares (photo credit Neil Wood)

In order to win the title of National Depth Champion, Alice and David had to complete dives across all four of the depth disciplines: Constant Weight (CWT), Constant Weight Bi-Fins (CWT-B), Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) and Free Immersion (FIM).  Alice swam down to 48m CWT, 47m CWT-B, 42m CNF and 46m FIM and David to 50m CWT, 45m CWT-B, 42m CNF and 44m FIM.  Alice, who now holds both the national depth and pool titles for 2019 and David, who was named the 2018 National Freedive Champion at the end of last year are proving what well rounded athletes they are.

Alice Hickson diving down (Photo Credit Neil Wood)

Typical of a British Summer, they saw rain on the first day, cloud on the second, and sun on the third and final day.  The water temperature on the surface was a balmy 18 degrees, dropping down to 15 at 20m, 12 at 30m and then 9 at 40m and below.

As well as seasoned athletes, there were a few first timers:  Georgijs Popovs from Latvia set a national record with a CWT-B dive to 45m.  And James Madeley of the UK made a CWT-B personal best dive of 33m on day one, followed by an easy 28m FIM and 26m CNF dive on day two, taking it all in his stride, cool and calm as a pro under competition conditions.  Vanessa Allen and Tom Elliott who both came second overall performed some strong dives – Tom completed a clean 35m CNF personal best dive, with lots more clearly in the tank and Vanessa performed three competition personal bests (46m CWT, 44m CWT-B and 42m FIM).

Alice Hickson Celebrates on Surface (photo credit Neil Wood)

This year’s Safety Team were Nathan Vinski, Manos Skalidis, Valentin Sadan-Kowadlo, James Cozens, Josh Walton and Warren Bateman led by Head of Safety Neil Arkash.  Neil and his safety team trained together well in advance of the competition, meeting up to complete drills and learn to work as a team.  Cameron Edwards, a trained Paramedic, was on the dive platform each day taking oxygen saturation readings of athletes before and after their dives – helping to determine and highlight any potential (health) issues – thankfully there were none.  This data will be shared with the AIDA International Science / Medical Committee and can be used for studies.

David Mellor about to surface (Photo credit Neil Wood)

The competition was officiated by AIDA judges Kate Jardine and Paul Sutton and the competition was kindly sponsored by 2971 (freediving equipment and apparel) and the British Freediving Association.

This is the second year that Paul Sutton, owner of Saltfree Divers, has run the Double Dip competition at the National Diving and Activity Centre in Chepstow. The competition was initiated back in 2004 by former owner Samphire Amps. The competition is so named as athletes perform two competition dives on one of the days, that and Sam liked the candy that shares its name!

For more information about the BFA please visit their website by clicking here.


WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can read here), we reported that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 2020

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 13/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)



How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!


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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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