Immersive Entertainment at DIVE 2016

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DIVE 2016A host of new names and features along with some past favourites are lining up to bring a sparkle to the Dive Show of the Year. DIVE 2016 takes place over the weekend of the 22/23 October at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and it promises to be another must-attend event for divers.

And as if the Show attractions weren’t enough, this year’s Grand Prize Draw offers a holiday extravagant by any standards – a fortnight’s two-centre dive-fest in biodiversity hotspot the Philippines.

DIVE 2016 aims to entertain every type of diver: whether you dive mainly in the UK or overseas, whether you’re a beginner or a technical diver – in which case the TekDeck is for you (see below) – or a non-diver keen to learn what the sport that grips their friends or family is all about.

Age is no barrier either. Younger visitors can not only enjoy a taster session in the Try-Dive Pool but will find plenty of marine-life-related entertainment around the stands and in the rolling presentations.

Whether you plan to shop or just browse, you’ll find dive-gear temptations galore on the stands, from the established to the hot-off-the-line. Get a flavour of the new products available by looking in at the New Products Showcase.

The Dive Show is the place to bump into old friends but also to chat to people on the destination stands who may well become a future dive-buddy.

It isn’t just about desirable equipment or travel, either – you’ll find inspiration for a host of training courses that could lead you into new, exciting diving directions.

And then there are all those incomparable presentations, with a programme designed to ensure that anytime you want to take the weight off your feet, a top-quality dive-talk will be starting not far from where you are…

TEKDECK / TEKPOOL

DIVE 2016

A much-anticipated new feature at DIVE 2016 is the TekDeck, an area designed to appeal not only to the growing body of existing technical divers but to all those qualified leisure divers considering the next step in their evolution.

It may even interest divers who have no plans whatsoever to go technical, with presentations on useful topics such as recreational kit configuration and back-finning.

TekDeck co-ordinator Mark Powell has lined up an impressive array of technical instructors with long experience, all happy to share their expertise. Here are the speakers, topics and timings as they currently stand:

Jack Ingle  – Kit Configuration (Sat 9.45 / Sun 10.15)

Tim Gort Hogarthian – Kit Configuration (Sat 10.30 / Sun 11.00)

Greg Parker – Recreational Kit Configuration (Sat 11.00 / Sun 12.00)

Mark Powell – Line-Laying (Sat 11.30 / Sun 1.30)

X-CCR (Sat 1.00 / Sun 3.00)

Gradient Factors Workshop (Sat 4.00 / Sun 1.00)

Dave Thompson – JJ-CCR (Sat 12.00 / Sun 2.00)

Martin Parker – Inspiration CCR (Sat 12.30 / Sun 2.30)

Tim Clements – Sentinel CCR (Sat 1.30 / Sun 3.30)

Matt Jevon – Back-Finning (Sat 2.00 / Sun 12.30)

Garry Dallas – Sidemount (Sat 2.30 / Sun 11.30)

Ash Roberts – Shutdown (Sat 3.00)

Kieren Hatton – CCR Maintenance (Sat 3.30 / Sun 4.00)

Panel – Tek Q&A  (Sat 4.30)

The TekDeck is located right beside the TekPool so that divers are able to try out the latest rebreathers (there are presentations dedicated to four popular models) among other new items of kit.

TALKING DIVING…

The DIVER Stage

DIVE 2016

The main stage at the Show. As with all the presentation areas, check for timing updates on noticeboards in the hall, or at diveshows.co.uk.

10.10 -10.50

Mark Powell – Are you fit to dive?

The technical instructor has created a high level of expectation with his Dive Show talks, tackling controversial topics but always making his case in a cool, thoughtful way that’s as entertaining as it’s educational. And the subject of diver fitness is one that calls for considerable tact and diplomacy!

11.00 -11.40

David Jones – Offshore cave-diving in belize (Sat) / ww2 wrecks of narvik (Sun)

David Jones dives hot and cold, reporting first on an often-overlooked aspect of diving in Belize, the caves beneath the cays miles out to sea. And on the Sunday he takes us diving wrecks left by “one of the most incredible sea-battles of the war”.

11.50 -12.30

Andy Torbet – Britannic Expedition 2016

Andy Torbet has become a Show favourite with his exciting stories, but is associated mainly with diving natural features, so when he goes wreck-diving it’s bound to be extreme. This year’s Britannic Expedition, marking 100 years since the Titanic’s sister-ship sank off Greece, gave him the chance of new adventure at 120m.

12.40 -1.20

Monty Halls – Moving with the tides

TV presenter Monty will be talking about a year of diving and filming around the world, from Indonesia to Galapagos via South Africa. And for aspiring film-makers, find out how he set up a sizeable production company using crowdfunding.

1.30 – 2.10

Andrea Zaferes – Scuba Fatalities: Recovery, Investigation, Lessons

Based in New York State, Andrea is an investigator and expert witness into underwater and other aquatic deaths, whether accidental or deliberate. She also instructs and writes about this and related subjects, so we think we have a fair idea of what she’ll be talking about….

2.20 – 3.00

Paul Rose – Wild dives to save our pristine seas

Paul is still living the dream on what must be one of the best long-term missions on Earth, diving its remotest, most exciting sites as Expedition Leader of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas programme, and publicising the plight of the oceans as he goes. Stand by for an update in Paul’s inimitable style!

3.10 – 3.50

Helen Hadley – Ups and downs on a UK dive liveaboard

Few diving liveaboards operate around Britain these days, but Helen Hadley is part of the permanent crew of Valkyrie, operating mainly in and around Scapa Flow. An experienced diver, she is also the chef! All diving life can be observed in the raw in such an environment, as Helen reveals.

4.00 – 4.40

Dawn Kernagis – Neemo 21: Eight days in NASA’s undersea habitat

Dr Kernagis is a research scientist in the area of human performance optimisation – and which diver doesn’t want to optimise his or her performance? She has been leading underwater projects, including deep cave-diving since 1993 but this year both became a crew-member with NASA’s NEEMO 21 Mission and was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

4.50 – 5.30 (Sat)

Marcus Greatwood – Extreme-location Freediving

Every now and then DIVER brings you news of the latest exploit of Marcus’s elite “phreatic” freediving team, which has been setting itself challenging but rewarding missions, mainly in overhead environments such as Welsh mountain caves or lava-tubes in the Arctic Circle. In wetsuits. Whether you fancy emulating them or not, it should be good value!

DIVE 2016

IN THE ZONE!

The PhotoZone is that part of the hall to which all underwater photographers are attracted as if by some invisible force.

With the many photo and video gear suppliers on hand, visitors can not only browse all the goodies but obtain advice and tips aplenty – one-to-one with the experts, or as part of the Centre Stage audience.

You can even be a photo-contest judge, by helping to score the British Society of Underwater Photographers’ Print Competition.

PICTURE THIS!

DIVE 2016

Centre Stage / the Photozone

Image-centred presentations on the stage in the area dedicated to photo and videography:

9.50 – 10.20

Richard Cullen – The impossible made possible

The man who runs Deptherapy will be joined on the stage by some of the injured troops who have benefited from the programme that helps veterans through scuba.

10.30 – 11.00 (Sat)

Emma Hewitt & Matt Clements – PADI’s digital imaging adventure dive

Replacing the separate Underwater Photography and Videography Adventure Dives, PADI now combines two in one. The dive can be standalone or part of an AOWD or Adventure Diver course.

10.30 – 11.00 (Sun)

Steve Jones – Wings, fins, teeth & tails

Steve’s talk is about the blend of technique, location and behavioral knowledge needed to photograph big animals successfully – you don’t have to be a zoologist, but it helps!

11.10 – 11.40

Nick & Caroline Robertson-Brown – Deadly Oceans

The biologists tour the world to photograph the most toxic, venomous and predatory creatures and explain the science behind their strategies.

11.50 – 12.30

Saeed Rashid & Nigel Wade – Top tips on composition

The Vic ‘n’ Bob of the Dive Shows are back in action, and their topic is the framing of a shot – dedicated to everyone who relies that bit too much on the Photoshop cropping tool!

12.40 – 1.10 (Sat)

Stuart Philpott – Confessions of a diving journalist

Stuart discusses writing about diving for publication – and some of the funny, and serious, situations in which he has found himself over 20 years in journalism.

12.40 – 1.10 (Sun)

Marcus Greatwood – Extreme-location Freediving

Every now and then DIVER brings you news of the latest exploit of Marcus’s elite “phreatic” freediving team, which has been setting itself challenging but rewarding missions, mainly in overhead environments such as Welsh mountain caves or lava-tubes in the Arctic Circle. In wetsuits. Whether you fancy emulating them or not, it should be good value!

1.20 – 1.50

Jane Morgan – Between Devon & the deep blue sea

Jane talks about some of the best dives for photographers in the West Country, her jewel in the crown being the Scilly Isles.

2.00 – 2.30

Amanda Cotten – Big animals: around the world in 40 frames

Meet some of the sea’s most unusual megafauna with renowned photographer and environmentalist Amanda, as she shares compelling imagery and tales of large animals from around the world.

2.40 – 3.10

John Boyle – Castro’s secret reef

We’re pleased to see noted underwater film-maker John Boyle back at the Show with the first preview of his latest documentary film, shot in Cuba’s outstanding (for sharks and much else) Jardines de la Reina.

3.20 – 3.50

Alex Tattersall – No more fiddlesticks

Concerned about the degree of critter-manipulation sometimes employed by guides and photographers seeking a perfect shot at all costs, Alex offers techniques to minimise our impact on the animals we shoot.

4.00 – 4.30

Richard Smith – Pygmy Seahorses: the big picture

The marine biologist is a leading authority on the fish so beloved of macro photographers – he began his researches into them nine years ago and was the first person to gain a doctorate through the subject. Spot the link with the previous talk!

DIVE 2016

OCEAN THEATRE

A rolling programme of half-hour talks by or on behalf of DIVE 2016 exhibitors:

David Jones (Pro-Dive Mexico) Best of Mexico: Pacific, Caribbean, Cenotes & More (Sat 9.40)

Desiree Pullens Hoogendoom (Dive Worldwide)  Magic Resorts, Philippines (Sat 10.20)

Andrea Zaferes (Sun 10.20)

Sharon Bernstein (Grenada Tourism) (Sat/Sun 11.00)

Richard Smith (Dive Worldwide) (Sat 11.40)

Dive Worldwide (Sun 11.40)

Charlie Munns (Dive Worldwide) (Sat 12.20)

Dive Worldwide (Sun 12.20)

Mike Rowley (BSAC) The Pathfinder Wreck (Sat 1.00)

PADI (Sun 1.00)

Neil George (Costa Calida)

Dive in Costa Calida, Murcia, Spain (Sat 1.30)

Alyson Nash (blue o two) (Sat/Sun 2.10)

Emperor Divers (Sat/Sun 2.50)

Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler (Scuba Tours Worldwide) Diving with the Mantas of the Maldives & Socorro (Sat/Sun 3.30)

Galapagos: The Enchanted Islands (Sat/Sun 4.10)

Matt Clear (The Crown Estate)

Recording Marine Finds (Sat 4.50)

Philippines Department of Tourism

(Sat 5.30/Sun 9.40)

BREATHE EASY

OK, just because you’ve sat down in the audience, don’t think you can necessarily let the presenter do all the work.

Apart from all the interactive Q&A-type sessions, you’ll get the chance to sample  techniques such as those used for better breath-control. At the NoTanx area, Marcus Greatwood and his team of dedicated freedivers run free relaxation and breathing technique sessions hourly.

Not only can such knowledge improve a scuba-diver’s gas consumption but a bit of yoga breathing will set you up nicely for the rest of your day at the Show!

TRY-DIVE!

DIVE 2016

It could just be the start of a lifetime of fun under water – if you’re bringing children along to the Show, see if we can find them a slot in the Try-Dive Pool.

THEIR LIPS ARE SEALED

We beg them to share their secrets but so many of the equipment suppliers preparing for the Show remain tight-lipped until the last minute about the new products they intend to bring along.

Here is a list of some of the brands,  manufacturers, distributors and retailers lined up for the Show, and if they have been innovative in the past you can bet they’ll be as innovative at DIVE 2016.

DIVE 2016

There are some new names worth investigating too. Here goes:

Anchor Dive Lights, Aquatec, Beaver Sports, Cressi, Custom Divers, Diving Explorers, Diving Torches, Exposure Marine, Hammond Drysuits, Hugyfot, Hydroactive Outdoor Pursuits, Kent Tooling & Components, Light & Motion, Liquid Sports (Bigblue Lights, Ratio, Sharkskin and Ursuits), Lumb Bros, Metalsub, Miflex Xtreme Diving Hoses, Nauticam UK & Underwater Visions, Ocean Leisure Cameras, Ocean Reef, O’Three, Otter Watersports, Robin Hood Watersports, Santi Diving, Scubapro UK, SDS Watersports, Sea & Sea, Shearwater Research, Subgear, Suunto Diving UK, Tovatech, Underwaterworld at Stoney Cove and, last but not least, Waterproof. Phew!

Suppliers with new products are invited to display them in the New Products Showcase area to provide you with a shortcut to checking out all that tempting shiny stuff.

DIVE 2016

TRAINING WITHOUT STRAINING

Diving holidays – check. Diving equipment – check. The third side of the eternal diving triangle is training – getting better at your sport, learning new speciality skills and sometimes taking off in unexpected new directions.

The individual diving schools from around the world will be out in force under one roof along with the training agencies at DIVE 2016, so if you want to discuss where your sport goes from here, and perhaps compare what the providers have to offer and at what price, you’re in the right place.

The PADI Village may be the starting place for the many visitors who already form part of that community, but you’ll also find stands for the likes of IANTD, Nautical Archaeology Society, Professional Diving Academy, SAA and SSI. They’re all there to help.

BSAC will be on hand too with its branch training options, but it is also holding its annual conference at the NEC just across the concourse, as it did in 2015, so expect to find plenty of BSAC divers around.

THE WORLD AND BACK

Wandering through the Dive Show hall will lead you into microcosms of the diving world. There is always interest in Caribbean destinations and the Caribbean Village provides a tempting showcase of resort and liveaboard possibilities in that varied part of the world. Plus steel drums and some rum, of course.

The Asia-Pacific Showcase similarly encapsulates that popular region radiating out from the biodiverse Coral Triangle, and you’ll find dive destinations all over Indonesia and the Philippines and Thailand.

For diving holidays that may not even require a flight, check out the dive-centres, boats and experiences represented in the British Isles Experience. Side-benefits include the rest station that is the British Bar and those ever-popular Suunto computer giveaways.

DIVE 2016

COMPETITIVE URGE

Talking of Suunto computer give-aways, there is always a lot of free stuff up for grabs at the Shows.

For example, AP Diving has a free prize draw with a £110 AP SMBCi at stake, and if you wear your blue o two T-shirt or hoody to the Show and visit the stand you could win a £250 gift voucher.

Dressel Divers has a draw with a one-week “dream dive vacation” in Cozumel, Mexico for two. Over to Indonesia and you could win a Bali Dive Safari in AquaMarine Diving’s own prize draw. Scuba Travel offers the chance to win a trip on one of the ScubaSpa liveaboards in the Maldives, with free holiday vouchers up for grabs in its tombola.

Diving Explorers offers the chance to win one of its products – a GRALmarine KX; Beaver Sports is giving away its Essential Equipment Guide; and Divesangha is providing a free 10-litre dry-bag with purchases.

That’s just a taste, and of course the big daddy of competition treats comes from Dive Worldwide, Atlantis Dive Resorts and the Philippines Department of Tourism – it’s the DIVE 2016 Grand Draw prize of a fortnight’s amazing diving for two.

DIVE 2016 tickets cost £14.50 on the day, but only £9.50 in advance. Book now at www.diveshows.co.uk.

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