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Suunto Vertical Blue 2015 Now Under Way in the Bahamas

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Twenty Four world-class athletes from 13 different countries have joined event host and dual world record holder, William Trubridge, to compete in the 2015 Suunto Vertical Blue Freedive Challenge at Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas.

This freediving depth competition is considered to be “the” sporting event of the year for elite competitive freedivers – the “Wimbledon of Freediving”, as dubbed by the NY Times. Now in its eighth incarnation the Vertical Blue event provides a spectator-friendly competition zone and record breaking battles among the world’s most talented freediving athletes.

Comprised of three freediving depth disciplines – Constant Weight, Constant No-Fins and Free Immersion (CWT, CNF, FIM respectively), this AIDA judged competition offers competitors six official dives to challenge themselves and their rivals to obtain the coveted Suunto Vertical Blue Championship title. Performances will be filmed on the surface and at depth using GoPro cameras to give the viewer a complete perspective on how deep these dives really are, amazingly all on breath-hold.

Among the many record holders in attendance this year for the first time is Annelie Pompe of Sweden, a world renowned mountaineer who was the first Swedish woman to summit Everest. Pursuing his own records is William Trubridge who currently holds the world record in what most say is the purest form of freediving, constant no-fins. Trubridge may seek to deepen his existing world record of CNF 101 meters/ 331 feet to an ever deeper 102 meters/ 334 feet.

“This year I am competing in three events almost back to back in May and June: Suunto Vertical Blue, the Caribbean Cup and Nirvana. Of course it’s also a World Championships year, and that event, scheduled for September in Cyprus is the focus of my training, but I hope to be already reaching good enough results that I can start pushing some boundaries in the coming months. I’ve been focusing on CNF (no fins), but I’m also doing dives in both CWT and FIM to keep those disciplines trained,” said Trubridge. “It’s been a while since we’ve competed in Dean’s Blue Hole during the spring months, when weather and water clarity tend to be better, so I’m looking forward to that as well. My gas tank of motivation is topped off, and I’m ready to step on the gas!”

Freedive enthusiasts from across the globe can tune into the Vertical Blue Facebook page and Trubridge’s Twitter feed as well as the Vertical Blue twitter handle & hashtag #VB2015 for up-to-date news and results.

News courtesy of Freedive Magazine.

News

Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

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Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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