Just because it’s not Dahab, Bali or the Bahamas doesn’t mean Switzerland can’t host a freediving championship, something the city of Zurich has done eight times and will do so for a ninth on August 25th.

The annual Swiss Deepdiving Championship differs from other freediving competitions and is more challenging for participants. The water temperature in Lake Zurich at the surface this time of year is currently between 22-24 degrees Celsius (71.6-75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), but at 35 meters/115 feet below the surface, it’s a much chillier 6°C (42.8°F). As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, athletes need to complete two disciplines on one competition day — both Constant Weight (CWT) and Free Immersion (FIM).

Depending on one’s physical and mental strength, it may be useful for tactical reasons to specify two to three meters less in the first discipline so as not to have exhausted yourself for the second dive, which takes place only a few hours later. Only those who collect the most points in both disciplines can win the competition.

The competition will go by AIDA rules and be judged by Marcello de Matteis, Level AI, and Marco Melileo, Level D.

For the competition, a platform in front of Herrliberg, where Lake Zurich reaches a depth of 85 meters/279 feet not far from the shore, will be anchored. Despite the counterballast system, which would enable deeper dives, the depth limit is set to a maximum of 75 meters/246 feet due to the suboptimal visibility in the water and for other safety reasons.

Since the championship can only take place on one day, the number of athletes is limited to 22 — only then it is possible to implement both disciplines including briefing, debriefing, award ceremony and raffle.

The current field consists of six women and 16 men from a total of 6 nations, including:

Women: (Surname/First name)

Burkard Vera CHE
Maier Manou CHE
Medovaya Marina AUT
Moore Zoe GBR
Standhartinge Birgit AUT
Vorsatz Jana DEU

Men: (Surname/First name)

Brauchli Christian CHE
Burghardt Florian CHE
Caputo Carmine LIE
Casty Marc CHE
Colat Peter CHE
Custelnuvo Emile ITA
Gojnik Iwan CHE
Grabs André DEU
Handschuh Klaus DEU
Horvath Andreas CHE
Köchli Oliver CHE
Langer Chris CHE
Logean Antoine CHE
Oberhuber Thomas AUT
Schindler Daniel DEU
Steinegger Ken CHE

For more information, check out the competition’s website or watch the video of last year’s competition below.

2018 Swiss Deepdiving Championship
2018 Swiss Deepdiving Championship

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John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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