Alice Hickson and Adam Drzazga Win UK Freediving Pool National Championships

Great Northern 2016 - Photo by Frogfish Photography
Great Northern 2016 - Photo by Frogfish Photography

On Sunday 10th April 2016, the Great Northern International and the BFA UK National Pool Championships, organised by Steve Millard of was held in Manchester.

The competition, in its 7th year, looked and felt different this year.  Instead of being a weekend it was one day with two disciplines in the 25m pool with athletes coming from all over the UK and Europe.

Organizer Steve Millard had this to say to DeeperBlue.com:

“The competition celebrates achievements both in the pool and the hard training effort it takes to get there. It recognizes that freediving is not always about numbers and times but about personal achievements and obstacles overcome. Sometimes dives won’t go as planned and it shows the true strength of an athlete to learn from their experience and come back stronger next time. The sense of atmosphere at this year’s competition spoke volumes, with athletes from clubs all over the UK and indeed the world, coaching, congratulating and celebrating personal bests with genuine enthusiasm.”

The competition is split into a UK set of winners, an international set of winners and best overall newcomers.

Great Northern 2016 - Photo by Natalia Cohen
Great Northern 2016 – Photo by Natalia Cohen

Results this year:

UK National Championships

Men

  1. Adam Drzazga with two strong performances; a huge 7.18 Static (STA) and 154m Dynamic (DYN).
  2. Steven Tasker with 135m Dynamic (DYN) and 4.59 Static (STA)
  3. Paul Butterworth, with 5.02 Static (STA) and 132m Dynamic (DYN)

Notably both Steven and Paul swam in bi-fins rather than the usual monofin.

Women

  1. Alice Hickson, last year’s Newbie Award winner and also DNF World Champion in 2015, with a solid 130m DNF and 6:33 Static (STA)
  2. Rose Van-Gowler with a 3.39 Static (STA) and 68m Dynamic No Fins (DNF)
  3. Kate Goodwin with a 2.31 Static (STA) and 70m Dynamic (DYN)

International

Men

  1. Adam Drzazga
  2. Aristo Vounakis with 5.27 Static (STA) and 130m Dynamic No Fins (DNF)
  3. Marco Piccioni with 113m Dynamic No Fins (DNF) and 5.47 Static (STA)

Also of note was Eoin Clarke who set an Irish National Record in his dynamic swim of 117m DNF.

Women

  1. Alice Hickson
  2. Delphine Brise from France in second, swimming 115m Dynamic (DYN) and 3.23 Static (STA)
  3. Rose Van-Gowler

Camilla Argent set an Irish National Record for the ladies, swimming 80m Dynamic (DYN).

Newcomer Awards

The winners of the Newbie Awards were Delphine Brise and Phillip Fennell.

Full results are available below:

Great Northern 2016 - Results
Great Northern 2016 – Results

The official kit sponsors were: Omer Breathless Emotions, part of the Aqua Sphere UK and Aqua Lung UK family, Blue Orb and the British Freediving Association.

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