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Australian Depth Nationals – The Final Day

On the third and final day of the 2015 Australian Depth Nationals, a new world record in constant weight (CWT) did not manifest (sadly) but we know it will keep for another time. What did come into frame was a new Ukrainian national record for Viktor Reshetniak in the discipline of free immersion (FIM) with a dive to 76m in two minutes and :41 seconds. This record-setting dive for Reshetniak is the third national title in the FIM depth discipline for the 36 year old AIDA/SSI instructor.

Viktor, who currently hails from Freedive Gili, was also a mere five points away from winning the event for the men. But that top, golden spot was stealthily taken by Michael Bates of Australia, who put up strong numbers each day and went on to win outright for the men, and post the most points on the board overall. As anyone who has organized a freediving competition knows there are many moving parts & pieces to manage, not mention things beyond your control like weather, water conditions and more. Trying to stay on top of those myriad items and be a competitor who gets their dives in can be a super-human feat, so Michael’s steadfast performances are even more impressive. Jody Fisher, Technical Officer and AIDA Liaison for the AFA, had this to say:

It was a sensational comp over in Bali – congrats to the national champions, new national record holders and for everyone smashing out PBs. I’d like to take a moment to thank all the volunteers, the host Apnea Bali and most of all recognize this comp never would have happened if Michael Bates had not slaved away for months to make it the best event it could be. Michael, the Australian Freediving Association is lucky to have you!

A smiling Michael Bates, photo © Julia Wheeler
A smiling Michael Bates, photo © Julia Wheeler

Taking first place for the women, Amber Bourke of Australia surprised herself on the last day of the comp with a new personal best.

Today I did 48m CNF — the deepest dive I have ever done without fins and just five meters short of our current national record. I was not expecting it to be a good dive and my warm up could not have been worse! First a jellyfish wrapped itself around my nose-clip and then the current was so strong that the line connecting our warm up lines to the platform snapped! I have to thank everyone I was diving with for staying calm and keeping positive. Your support and encouragement made all the difference. Against all odds the dive was perfect from start to finish.

Amber Bourke makes a PB, takes, the tag and seals the win, photo © Julia Wheeler
Amber Bourke makes a PB, takes the tag, and seals the win — photo © Julia Wheeler

The race for the top spot among the women was an extremely tight one, with only a single point difference between Amber and her fellow competitor Emily Shaw — who also had a terrific comp. The Australian Freediving Association (AFA) offered its congratulatory sentiment to the overall winners of the competition.

Congratulations to Amber Bourke & Michael Bates winners of the #OzDepthNats15. Amber and Michael each put up impressive dives over the past three days of competition to win the overall competition and become the 2015 Australian Depth Freediving National Champions!

As do we at DeeperBlue – congratulations to all the athletes, judges and volunteers on a truly successful event. See the complete results here below.

the final winners


Francesca Koe
Francesca Koe
An active ocean advocate, VP of U.S. Freediving, a multi-agency dive instructor, PFI Safety Supervisor and AIDA judge, Francesca also serves as the Editor-At-Large here at You can usually find Francesca diving in the kelp, hanging out at the Farallones with sharky friends, or trying to improve upon her own PB's.