With half of the 2016 Caribbean Cup behind us and day four under the bridge it’s time to start talking strategy. The ladies are looking tight with Sophia Gomez-Uribe and Tomoka Fakuda placing scores in all three disciplines. I (Ashley Futral Chapman) am not far behind and still show a goose egg in Free Immersion (FIM). Things are sure to shake up in the next two days as all athletes start bridging the gaps.
Interesting things are happening in the men’s race as well. Kurt Chambers is playing his usual calm and collected game, and it’s working. He’s currently in first and getting white cards daily. There may be another national record in his wake in the coming days. Pepe Salcedo is having the competition of his life and is currently in the second position. If he can keep calm (which seems unlikely when you see his celebration antics) and keep getting whites he may take a well deserved spot on the podium. William Trubridge is the most likely candidate to clench first. He’s currently in third without a Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) score but the world knows, once he places that score, there will be no chance at the other competitors bridging that gap. The crazy thing is that he’s using the Caribbean Cup as an opportunity to train his Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) dives which means all scores, even when announced as Free Immersion (FIM) and Constant Weight (CWT), are performed as Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) dives!
But let’s also talk dives! Alejandro Andres is a Caribbean Cup veteran. He comes mostly every year bearing sweet treats from his native, Argentina. Although we look forward to the treats we mostly wait to see what kind of depths he’ll reach this time around. Not one to disappoint, Andres plunged to 81m during an Free Immersion (FIM) dive today claiming a national record for Argentina. The celebration came complete with two spectators chanting, “Argentina, Argentina,” in their native blue and white jerseys. Andres recounts,
“My training days weren’t good enough here, I was struggling with really bad sensations in my dives and couldn’t improve as I wanted, that made me think a lot about what was going on, and the last training day I found the answer! I never pack, but in my obsession to go deeper I started doing it, so I decided not to think in big numbers and do all my dives here no packing, as a way to be honest with myself and my students! (Because I don’t recommend that to them!) and from that moment everything came clear! Today I was able to break my own record in FIM with an 81 meters dive, something I found impossible a week ago. Lesson learned!!!”
Colombia had it’s day in the sun as well. Both Carlos Correa and Sophia Gomez-Uribe earned national records today. Correa attempted an Free Immersion (FIM) to 75m while Sophia tried 60m Constant Weight No Fins (CNF). Both succeeded and pushed themselves up in the rankings.
Comp roommates and zen masters Davide Carrera and Miguel Lozano are still pushing their limits both earning new national records today to 107m CWT and 122m Free Immersion (FIM) respectively. It doesn’t look like they are in the running for an overall medal, just focusing on their specialty disciplines but both are poised to take gold in Constant Weight (CWT) and Free Immersion (FIM). However, there are still two days left! Miguel says,
“I’ve been training all winter in Bali in hopes of pushing my FIM limits, maybe even go for a world record. Here in Roatan my training and results have been good so I just kept pushing. Today I surfaced cleanly but was on the edge and couldn’t remember the last part of my dive. So now, I’m not sure what the plan is.”
Again, there are two days left and everyone is having an amazing time. Even the judges, Michael and Ute Gessmann, have taken time out of their daily sun bathing routine (when not judging you rarely see them with clothes on…other than bathing suits of course) to comment on the comp.
“This would be a great venue for Worlds. There is a great running safety system in place and the safety team is very solid. The diving conditions are exceptional.”
Peace out day four. See you sooner than later day five.