British freediver Harry Chamas has set a new National Record of 105m depth in variable weight in Kalamata, Greece. On Friday 14 October, Harry took a weighted sled down past 100m to reach his target, before swimming all the way back to the surface. This exceeds the previous variable weight record of 80m, held by Mark Harris since 2007.
Harry started freediving in Australia seven years ago and this year became a staff instructor at the Freediving Club in Greece, which has allowed him regular access to the sea. He was head of safety at the recent AIDA World Championships held in Kalamata. However, he’s not always had access to such depths. Harry says “most of my time I have not had access to depth below 30m, but it was all I needed to learn how to put myself into deep states of relaxation and to master my technique.” He added that “visualization can be just as valuable as diving for your training. Being confident is the key.”
You may not see Harry around the competition circuit, however, as he explains that “I’ve never enjoyed competition, I don’t handle the nerves very well, and the idea of doing an official attempt did make me nervous. But each time I thought about the attempt and would get an adrenaline rush, I would use it as an opportunity to control myself and used meditation to drop my heart rate and enter a place of peace, which was fantastic training.”
“On the day of the attempt I was in a perfect place mentally and was well rested, the ocean was calm, and I was among friends. It didn’t take me long to get prepared, in fact I didn’t have any nerves.”
Despite poor water visibility and cold water, Harry achieved a “perfect descent” and despite having few visual references on the way back up, he says he felt “fresh as a daisy” on the surface.
Harry dedicates this national record to his Granddad who is sick in hospital at the moment. He thanks Stavros Kastrinakis, Roxane Nicholls, David Tranfield and Brian Crossland for making this dive possible.
Photo: Denys Rylov (Den GC)