In association with Performance FreeDiving International
The weather gods are finally smiling on us. We wake up to almost no wind today. Let me tell you, my stomach is so happy for it! Everything starts off just like a normal training day, just with a lot more divers around. For the first time we have Jade and Matt of Team Canada, and Derek Sather (safety diver from Canada) with us on the boat, as well as our AIDA judges Nicolas Laporte and Bill Stromberg. Thankfully today we have two boats, Off the Wall Divers and Ten-ata from Dive Tech. The freediver’s boat (Off the Wall Divers) seems very empty with just us and the judges.
As usual I’m the first one up. I have decided to stick with 50m as I’ve already done it with ease. We always say that it is best to get the record, and then if you can, make more attempts to add depth. I slide into the water and start my warm-ups. Everything’s feeling really good. After my negative pressure dive I leave the warm-up line and head to the back of the boat to change my weights and mask. I’m wearing my Oceaner Performance Freediving 3mm two piece wetsuit, fluid goggles, nose clip, a 3lb neck weight, a 2lb weight belt, and Eric Fattah’s new Liquivision F1 freediving computer.
After Danny helps me fill my fluid goggles I hop into the water and Kirk brings me around to the line. He has all the cameras start filming, makes sure that the safety divers are good to go, and then starts my five minute countdown. I take my final breath, pack 20 times, releas the line, roll over and begin my dive. The first few strokes are strong ones as I fight buoyancy, but very soon I start to feel the water taking hold as I begin to sink easier and start my freefall to depth. At 42m my alarm goes off to let me know that the bottom plate is near. As soon as I touch the plate I can hear my safety divers cheering me on as I start back to the surface. Before I know it Kirk’s in front of me giving me the 30m / 99ft signal, and in a few more seconds we’re on the surface celebrating a new world record-CNF 50m in 2:08!!!
Doc is up next. He is attempting a new USA national record in Variable Ballast with a dive to 50m. This is a depth which he’s already done, so we are all sure that it will go off without a hitch. Doc gets on the sled and overhears Bill saying that he looks like a refrigerator on the sled. Doc does his best to tuck his shoulders in hopes of appearing smaller. None of us notice His five minute countdown complete he disappears into the beautiful 27 degree Caribbean waters right off the Cobalt Coast. We all feel when he hits the bottom. What we find out later is that he did a little dance for the safety divers when he got off the sled. Chris Brandson thought that he was in trouble and started approaching to attach a lift bag and send him to the surface. I guess that Doc needs some dance lessons! He makes his way back up safely, playing a little air guitar for Kirk before reaching the surface. He does textbook recovery breathing and then lets out a big yell. He has just set the USA Variable Ballast record at 50m. He still has four more dive days left, so who knows how far he will take it.
Tomorrow I’ll be attempting the women’s Free Immersion record and Doc is planning on adding more depth to the USA VB record. Martin may come out and see if his back feels up to a CNF record attempt. We are trying to keep him out of the water until Monday to give him more time to recover — but I think it’s killing him having to watch us going out while he has to stay home. We are all confident that he will recover and add a couple of new and very impressive records to the AIDA books.
Special thanks go out to the following people who helped us out today: Kirk Krack (Performance Freediving), Tom Lightfoot and Peter Satitpunwaycha.
Stay tuned for more!!!