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Sayuri Kinoshita and Stig Pryds take home Gold in Blue Element

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The second edition of freediving competition Blue Element wrapped on Friday 30 November.

The 6-day event ran from 23-30 November and was organised by Jonathan Sunnex, AKA Johnny Deep and Sofía Gómez Uribe, a formidable partnership as both are recognized as one the deepest male and female freedivers in the world – Sofia is a former World Record holder in bi-fins and a multi-national record holder in both pool and depth and Johnny dives below 100m in CWT and FIM.

Blue Element Under the Surface – Sayuri. Photo: Daan Verhoeven

This competition should have been number three and as explained by Johnny “has been two years in the making. Last year we were within weeks of running the competition, we already had some freedivers on the island and then disaster struck and Hurricane Maria came through and ravaged the island.”

Set in Soufriere Bay, Dominica the diving conditions are pretty hard to beat, the water temperature doesn’t go below 26 degrees, there is no current, no waves and the visibility is 20-30m.  Twenty-two athletes from thirteen countries crossed the globe to compete before laying their fins down to rest and then starting all over again next year.  World record holders and national record holders competed on the same line as beginners and a total of twenty national records fell.

Stig Pryds – Overall Men’s Winner. Photo: Daan Verhoeven

The winners of the competition were Sayuri Kinoshita of Japan and Stig Pryds of Denmark.  Sayuri’s top dives were 83m CWT bi-fins, 98m CWT, 88m FIM, 62m CNF and Stig’s were 101m CWT, 95m FIM, 68m CNF.  Sayuri is the current FIM world record holder (97m) and former CNF world record holder (72m).  Stig Pryds holds all Danish depth national records at present (75m CNF, 102m FIM, 105m CWT).  Stig suffers from psoriatic arthritis (a chronic inflammatory joint disease, causing intense pain and extreme fatigue), making his diving results all the more impressive and inspiring.

Also impressive and worthy of a mention is that in-between organising, Sofia and Johnny snuck in some dives of their own securing spots on the podium: Sofia came second overall (80m CWT, 85m FIM, 52m CNF) and Johnny third (82m CWT, 80m FIM and 52m CNF), quite remarkable and testament to what a well-run competition Blue Element was that they were able to transition between roles.

Georgina Miller (UK Athlete) CNF. Photo: Daan Verhoeven

We had four freedivers representing the UK who all did themselves proud.  Nancy Gibson placed fourth overall with dives to 60m CWT (bi-fins), 60m FIM and 40m CNF and Georgina Miller came sixth (56m CWT, 47m FIM and 36m CNF); Paul Sutton came fifth out of the men (61m CWT, 56m FIM, 51m CNF) and Jon Fane sixth despite only competing in two out of three disciplines (77m for both CWT (bi-fins) and FIM).

Safety is paramount to Johnny and Sofia and the members of the Safety Team were selected for their experience and capabilities, arriving early to train and building a team together.  The team worked with medics to learn the most up to date procedures when dealing with potential emergencies.  British freediver Louisa Collyns, a former GB freediving athlete and instructor led the team as Chief of Safety.  Also on the team were Gary McGrath, a team GB competitor and instructor and Scottish freediver and Yoga Instructor Lynne Padden.

Blue Element Crew & Safety Team. Photo: Daan Verhoeven

Also a priority is conservation and on one of the rest days, Sofia with the support of Maaji Earth Warriors (who do beach clean ups all over Colombia) and help from the Blue Element crew and athletes, collected over 200 kilos of trash in just half an hour.  This is a tradition that will continue with each Blue Element edition.

Check out www.britishfreediving.org to find out more about freediving.

Images: Daan Verhoeven www.daanverhoeven.com

Competitions

WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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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 Scubaverse.com (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

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com 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 www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com 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)

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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!

James


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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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