On September 28th, the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA), the world governing sport federation for competitive freediving, announced that the Canadian Association of Freediving and Apnea (CAFA) won the bid to host the ‘4th AIDA Freediving World Championships by Team 2004’.
August 4th – 12th, 2004, Vancouver, Canada will host upwards of 132 of the worlds best freediving athletes competing in two disciplines involving time and depth. Static apnea is where an athlete on one breath of air floats face down at the waters surface for maximum time and where every six seconds of immersion equals one point. Current world records in static apnea are 8:06 for men and 6:16 women. Constant ballast is where the athletes ascend and descend along a weighted line to depth under their own power and using the simplest of freediving equipment such as mask, fins, wetsuits and weight belts with each meter descended equaling one point. Current world records in constant ballast are 95m for men and 70m women. Each discipline involves combining points between three team members for a competition ranking. Athletes will be housed at the University of British Columbia where the static apnea portion of the competition will take place, while beautiful Howe Sound north of Vancouver will be the setting for the constant ballast competition.
The last AIDA Team World Championships took place in 2001 in Ibiza, Spain where the Canadian women’s team achieved first place while the men placed fifth. In 2004 Team Canada will be enjoying home water advantage and will be looking forward to the friendly and exciting competition offered by other power house countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Venezuela the US and many others. Vancouver is also the home of Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, three time world record holder and Eric Fattah one time world record holder along with many of Team Canada’s members.
It’s expected over one-hundred athletes from as many as twenty to thirty different countries will attend along with a host of international media and spectators enjoying the hospitality that CAFA and it’s members put forth to the international community. Over fifty volunteers from across Canada and the world including safety scuba divers and freedivers, judges, paramedics, timers and organizers along with many corporate partners and sponsors will work to make this a successful Freediving Team World Championships.