A spectacular first day at the AIDA Depth World Championships 2019 here in Villefranche-Sur-Mer and we are right inside the action. In a day that saw rather mixed weather and athlete moods, 37 divers took to the platform to compete in the Constant Weight No-Fins (CNF) discipline today.
The early morning sunrise boat rides out to the platform was slightly windy however the sea remained calm. Throughout the competition, the wind came and went and the waves rocked the platform but the divers were unperturbed. The safety team, dressed in bright orange rash vests, situated themselves all around the platforms in a tense state of readiness throughout the competition.
To kick off the day, Nataliia Zharkova (Ukraine) took the first dive slot and began with an announced performance of 66m with a dive time of 3 minutes. In what would come to set the mood for the rest of the day – after some delay to her TOP time she was given the go-ahead to dive, which she completed but suffered a blackout on the surface and was given a red card.
There were a high number of red cards given out (15 out of the 37 divers), with a lot being given for athletes grabbing inside the candy cane area just above the bottom plate. This is against the rules for CNF and after more than nearly 8 hours of judicial deliberation, many more red cards were granted by the judging committee.
We spoke to Nicole Edensbo (Sweden) who has flown in from training in Kalamata for her first AIDA Depth World Championships. Nicole is taking part in each of the three disciplines so we will catch up with her later this week to see how her week is going on. She is alone representing her nation but has incredibly complimentary about the fellow athletes and talks of the great comradery there is amongst the athletes.
Press and media boats surround the floating island compiled of the judge’s boat with two competition lines and the timing devices. Ropes were shorted as the divers completed their dives and depths got smaller. There were five occasions today where the slick safety team came to the rescue and all the divers experiencing blackouts are fine.
Fantastic efforts today as National records were set by Anne-Marie Christiansen (Denmark) at 50m in 2min 14sec and Claire Walsh (Ireland) with 30m 1min 15secs and also in 1st place Jessea Lu Wenji (China) with 62m in 3min 10secs.
The provisional results for Day 1 as it stands are:
- Jessea Lu Wenji (China), 62m
- Brigette Banegas (France) 53m
Nataliia Zharkova will re-do her dive on the day of the Free Immersion (FIM), by foregoing her FIM dive she will have the opportunity to gain first place in the CNF discipline. Once this dive has been completed we will receive the final results for the days’ competition.
The underwater drone Diveye has been onsite, you can watch the three videos of the day’s proceedings below.
An excellent way to open the World Championships and we look forward to seeing the start list for tomorrow’s Men’s Constant Weight No-Fins (CNF) discipline.