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New British National Records set in Freediving

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British National Records set in the new Depth Discipline Constant Weight Bi-Fins by Dean Chaouche & Helena Bourdillon!

British freedivers Dean Chaouche and Helena Bourdillon have set new national records of 98m and 75m respectively, in the constant weight bi-fins (CWTB) depth category.  The discipline has been recently recognised by AIDA International, whereby a diver descends using only bi-fins as propulsion. Dean and Helena are the first UK athletes to set records in this discipline.

Image: Alex St Jean

This is the first time Helena has set a national record in freediving, and she set two over the course of just two days!  The first of the two British records took place on 4 August when she swam down to 73m, the next day, 5 August, she went to 75m, both times at the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition.  Helena had this to say:  “I’m thrilled to have done this and enjoyed it a lot!

Image: Potti Lau

Dean set the first of four CWTB records at the Asian Freediving Cup on 9 June, going down to 90m; he went two meters deeper on 24 August at the Korean Cup organised by Freedive Panglao in the Philippines and then to 95m on 29 August and finally to 98m on 31 August at the Freedive Panglao Mini Comp.

Dean said: “After my 90m bi-fins dive which I had made earlier in the year I was surprised by how much fun deep bi-fins dives can be and so I decided that I would push the depth a little more and enjoy the process of developing a new discipline.  My other goal for these string of comps, organised by Freedive Panglao, was to achieve a greater state of relaxation similar to what I feel on training dives and to build slowly. I began with a 92m dive on the second day of the Korean Cup, following that dive I decided to go for 95m on day one of the Mini Comp, it was a very relaxed and enjoyable dive, exactly the experience I was looking for.”

“I made a slightly more challenging dive to 98m due to current, though I am very happy with the numbers, what I’m more happy about is the circumstances and the quality of dives and focus.  There was quite a bit of current all the way down, I was aware of this before my dive but I still maintained a very relaxed state of mind.  When I started the dive I could feel it was taking more energy to keep straight and I could feel the current moving me around on the descent but I realised I was still in a very comfortable state of mind and knew that I could make the dive even with the added difficulty.  The swim up was for sure harder than the previous dive but ultimately successful and a clean protocol. I’m super stoked with how relaxed I can feel even in competition and will aim to build on these satisfying dives.”

Dean Chaouche from Swansea has broken several national records in both the free immersion and constant weight no fins depth disciplines and is currently ranked in the world’s top 5.  You can follow Dean on Social Media under the handle @deanfreediver.  Helena Bourdillon is a motivational speaker as well as a competitive freediver and is based in London.

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

News

Jeff chats to… Underwater Photographer Ellen Cuylaerts (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ellen Cuylaerts about her diving and underwater photographic career.

As an underwater and wildlife photographer, Fellow of The Explorers Club and having a front seat in exploration being part of the Flag and Honours Committee, Ellen is also a Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She travels the world and tries to make the most of every destination and the path that leads her there. Ellen acts as an ocean citizen and believes as divers we should all be ocean ambassadors and lead by example. She is now based in the UK after many years in Grand Cayman.

Find out more about Ellen and her work at www.ellencuylaerts.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Huge thresher shark is the latest of six murals to be painted around the Solent this summer

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The murals celebrate the Solent’s extraordinary marine life – marking National Marine Week.

Secrets of the Solent have commissioned street artist ATM to paint a series of marine-themed artworks at various locations around the Solent this summer. The latest mural to be finished shows a thresher shark on the Langstone Harbour Office. Langstone Harbour is an important area for wildlife as well as a bustling seaside destination for sailing and water sports.

Artist ATM, who is painting all six murals, is well-known for his iconic wildlife street art. This, his second artwork of the series, took three days to paint freehand, from a scaffolding platform. The thresher shark was chosen out of six marine species to be the subject of the artwork by the local community, who were asked to vote via an online form or in person on the Hayling Ferry.

Secrets of the Solent hope the mural will become a landmark in Langstone Harbour and inspire visitors to learn more about this enigmatic oceanic shark. The project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, works to celebrate and raise awareness of Solent’s diverse marine environment.

Aiming to highlight the exotic and unusual creatures found close to our coasts, artist ATM says: “I really enjoyed painting the thresher shark because it’s such an amazing looking animal, with a tail as long as its body. I hope when people see the murals, they will become more aware of what lives under the waves and the importance of protecting the vital habitats within the Solent.”

Dr Tim Ferrero, Senior Marine Biologist at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says: “The thresher shark is a wonderful animal that visits our waters every summer. It comes to an area to the east of the Isle of Wight, and this appears to be where the sharks breed and have their young. Not many people know that we have thresher sharks in our region, and so having our mural here on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building is a fantastic way of raising awareness of this mysterious ocean wanderer. I really hope that people will come away with the knowledge that the Solent, our harbours and our seas are incredibly important for wildlife.”

Rachel Bryan, Project Manager for Secrets of the Solent at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust comments: “We are really excited to have street artist ATM painting a thresher shark on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building. We chose this building because of its prominent location right on the entrance to Langstone Harbour so that anyone who’s visiting, whether that’s walkers, cyclists or people coming in and out of the harbour on their jet-skis or sailing boats, will all be able to see our thresher shark. People on the Portsmouth side of the harbour will also be able to see the mural from across the water.”

The thresher shark is a mysterious predator which spends most of its time in oceanic waters. It uses its huge whip-like tail as an incredibly effective tool for hunting its prey. Herding small fish into tight shoals, the shark will lash at them with its tail, stunning several in one hit and making them easier to catch.

Secrets of the Solent hope to work with the species this summer to discover more about its behaviour.

Dr Tim Ferrero explains: “Nobody really knows where thresher sharks go in the ocean. Later this summer we are hoping that we are going to be able to attach a satellite tag to a thresher shark and monitor its progress for an entire year. This will provide really important information that will help us learn so much more about the shark’s annual life cycle.”

The new thresher shark mural is a fantastic start to National Marine Week (24th July – 8th August), which celebrates the unique marine wildlife and habitats we have here in the UK. Over the two weeks, Wildlife Trusts around the country will be running a series of exciting events to celebrate the marine environment. We really hope people will be inspired by our murals and want to learn more about each chosen species.

Events in the Solent include the launch of a new Solent marine film on the 29th July, installation of a new Seabin on the 4th August to reduce marine litter, and citizen science surveys throughout summer.

For more information click here.

Header image: Bret Charman

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

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www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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