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UK-Based International Freediving Competition Announced

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Freediving

Freediving is a sport of aquatic breath hold. Many people enjoy it just for recreation and enjoyment, but for the competitive amongst us it holds the lure of National and World records, International championships and World cups. In the UK every year we have International pool championships which are heading towards the goal of hosting the World Championships.

Freediving 1The 6th Great Northern International Freediving competition and the UK BFA National pool championships organised by myself and the Apneists UK group will run on the 21st and 22nd March 2015 in Liverpool. The competition has grown over the last 6 years to the point where last year it was one of the biggest of its kind; there were 51 Athletes competing, 17 countries represented and eventually we saw 3 National records and dozens of excellent performances. Athletes can sign up here:

www.freedivingcompetition.com/forms.html

The competition is made up of a combined point score over three disciplines:

  1. Dynamic no fins (DNF) on day one is the distance an athlete can swim underwater holding their breath without fins. The current UK male record holder, John Moorcroft, who was ranked 6th in the world 2014, will be attempting to beat the 167m swim he did earlier in the year. The female UK record was pushed further by the current record holder, Rebecca Coales (who is ranked 4th in the world 2014), to 145m, and she hopes to go past 150m this year. Both athletes are coached by myself. We hold the event in a 25 metre pool.
  2. Static apnea (STA) is maximum breath hold whilst lying stationary on the surface. The longest hold of the weekend last year was a 6’50 minute hold by Adam Drzazga of the UK. It is a discipline requiring a lot of mental relaxation and control.
  3. Dynamic with fins (DYN) is maximum distance an athlete can swim underwater using fins, or a mono fin. We have had some really terrific performances over the years. Antonio Del Duca won the overall competition for the men last year with a swim over 200m. It was a really exciting competition overall. Swims of over 200 metres distance aren’t uncommon in this competition.

Freediving 2Feel free to come and watch. The details for the competition can be found here. Athletes can sign up via this link too. We hold this event in a 50 metre pool.

Video from last year’s competition can be viewed here.

We have Aquasphere as sponsors, and the BFA are part grant funding the competition, however we are still in negotiation with other sponsors to hold the title and provide additional prizes. Plenty of press is produced by the competition so it is a good opportunity for companies involved in the industry to get exposure.

The sport of Freediving is growing every year. It is possible to learn Freediving in the UK with experienced coaches and clubs. For more information, please visit www.learn2freedive.com.

 

Photos: Daan Verhoeven 

Steve Millard is a leading UK based AIDA and PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer who is the owner of Apneists UK freediving group - www.freedivers.co.uk. Currently Press officer to the British Freediving Association and Performance mermaids lead coach.

Marine Life & Conservation

Join Reef-World’s sustainability webinar at the first ever Scuba.Digital

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Join Reef-World and a panel of industry experts at the first ever Scuba.Digital for an open discussion on green tourism and how this might be shaped by a post-corona world.

 The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is pleased to invite its supporters to its Sustainable Diving event on the main stage of Scuba.Digital 2020 (3pm BST on Friday 23 October 2020). At this virtual Q&A, members of the public will hear from industry leaders about the steps they’re taking towards sustainability, particularly in light of the current pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed plans and caused uncertainty across the dive industry: not least when it comes to sustainability. It has also led to a surge in the volume of plastic waste – particularly from single-use and hard-to-recycle products – with masks and gloves being found washed up on beaches. So, what now for green tourism? In this session, attendees will discover the unexpected environmental challenges that have been caused by the pandemic, how sustainability leaders are overcoming those obstacles and the simple changes YOU can make to protect coral reefs for future generations.

Reef-World and the United Nations Environment Programme will host a lively virtual discussion with PADI, Explorer Ventures Liveaboard Fleet, Scuba.Digital, Paralenz, ZuBlu and Bubbles Dive Centre. Together, they will talk about how the sustainability of the diving industry has been impacted by Covid-19 and predictions for the future of green tourism. Attendees will learn:

  • Why is coral so important and how they can be protected through sustainable diving practices
  • What sustainability leaders across the industry are doing to protect coral reefs
  • And how they’ve adjusted their plans in light of the current pandemic
  • What the future of sustainable tourism might look like, according to the expert panel
  • & the simple changes YOU can make to protect coral reefs for future generations.

The panel discussion will be available to watch on the Scuba.Digital main stage at 3-3.30pm and 4-4.30pm BST (with a short break in between the two sessions) on Friday 23 October 2020. Attendees will be able to submit their own questions to the panel too.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “Reef-World’s sustainable diving events have been gaining momentum in previous years so we’re delighted to be able to host this exciting panel event despite current travel restrictions. While the pandemic is causing challenges across the industry, it also offers the opportunity for us to pause, regroup and plan to build back better with a more sustainable tourism industry. We must act now to protect our coral reefs – the very asset upon which our industry depends – and we must work together. So, we’re thrilled to be shining a light on the future of sustainability and help both recreational and professional divers around the world understand how they can support the cause.”

Natalie Harms, Marine Litter Focal Point, COBSEA Secretariat, UNEP – who will be chairing the event – said: “This crisis is hitting marine tourism and the people who depend on it hard. It has showed us once more that our health and the health of our ecosystems are inextricably linked. There is no silver lining for nature – now more than ever the diving community can lead by example and join hands for a sound environmental response to the crisis.”

The 2020 panel represent a range of companies who are innovating when it comes to sustainability:

Reef-World – the leader in marine tourism sustainability – aims to make sustainable diving and snorkelling the social norm.

The UN Environment Programme – the leading authority setting the global environmental agenda, which provides technical advice, support and funding for Reef-World’s Green Fins programme

Scuba.Digital – run by the team at ScubaClick Ltd – was created to help the diving industry network, collaborate and innovate in a way that won’t be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

PADI – The world’s largest diving organisation made a proclamation for the planet in 2019: shifting its brand tagline to “Seek Adventure. Save the Ocean” in order to expand its mission to include a deeper commitment to taking action to protect people and planet.

Explorer Ventures Liveaboard Fleet – is enhancing environmental operations through a customised management strategy, starting with its Caribbean vessels. It is also helping The Reef-World Foundation establish targeted liveaboard protocols as part of the Green Fins initiative with the hope of improving dive operator and liveaboard policies worldwide.

ZuBlu – is a travel platform helping scuba divers and marine enthusiasts discover and book their next underwater adventure in Asia

Paralenz – has developed a camera that enable divers to capture and share the state and life of the Ocean as a seamless part of the dive

Bubbles Dive Centre – in Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia, is one of the global Top 10 Green Fins members.

This online panel event is relevant to representatives from all segments of the diving industry: recreational divers, dive professionals, dive operators, liveaboards, resorts, travel providers, diver training organisations, manufacturers, photographers, the media and more.

Jason Haiselden, Marketing & Sales Director at ScubaClick Ltd and Scuba.Digital, said: “It is great that Reef-World has grabbed the opportunity that Scuba.Digital presents to tell the industry and the diving and snorkelling public how they can make what we do more sustainable. Covid is forcing change upon us so why not take the opportunity to make sustainable changes.”

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org / www.greenfins.net or come and meet The Reef-World Foundation team at Scuba.Digital.

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Welcome back to Roots Red Sea!

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As the UK is all about talk of lockdowns and tier levels, there is brighter news coming over the horizon, as the British award winning divers resort Roots Red Sea has re-opened for a short autumn season.

Having been through the rigorous procedures to obtain Covid Secure Certification from the Ministry of Tourism, Roots is one of a handful of hotels in the Southern Red Sea to be able to offer a safe haven for divers who have been starved of Red Sea diving for the best part of a year.

First arrivals on the day of opening were a small expedition from UK charity Deptherapy – you can follow their blog here on Scubaverse.com – and several more small groups that have booked to follow in their footsteps. To comply with the Covid regulations, Roots is limited to offering only 10 chalet rooms -reduced from the normally available 33 rooms – so opportunities to get out and savour the amazing ambiance and calm will be at a premium.

Regardless of UK Government travel advice, Easyjet are offering well supported direct flights from Gatwick and Manchester twice a week. You will need, as required by the Egyptian Government, a PCR test within 72 hours of flying but this is for your own peace of mind as much as anything. Travel and Dive insurance with COVID cover is available from Dive Assist and other companies. What you need to be aware of is on your return you currently still need to spend two weeks in home quarantine. Still you could be locked-down and working from home anyway!

This maybe your last chance to enjoy some warm water diving in 2020. Contact info@rootsredsea.com or visit www.rootsredsea.com to find out more!

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