Cyprus 2004 Coverage – Constant Weight Day 1

Well, it may have just been the first day of Constant Weight competition but we’ve seen at least four national records fall already! These, I must stress, are provisional as the judges are still in deliberations and they may change. However, my own disclaimers aside- here are the top national records broken:

  • Costas Kyriakou, Cyprus: 62m (previously 52m, Costas Kyriakou)
  • Lotta Ericson, Sweden: 59m (previously 55m, Lotta Ericson)
  • Wolfram Neugebauer, Germany: 56m (CWNF)
  • Hannah Stacey, UK: 54m (previously 50m, Hannah Stacey)

Hannah had reached only 51m before the event , but thrives on competition and went for a PB and her new record. She made it to the tag but found the elastic band too hard to break… She then powered back with a clean recovery and a huge smile, a great comeback after her blackout yesterday.

Wolfram, king of the infrequent equalisation, (one on the surface and then no more until 7- 10 metres), wanted to break the world record for Constant Weight with no fins and go for 62m but was not allowed to. Hed been training for two weeks in Dahab and felt on top of the world. He was finally allowed to go for 56m and it was a breeze. I then discovered why he has such powerful eardrums – his day (or should I say night) job is as a techno DJ….…

The barge this year is excellent – big, safe, great captain and crew and, as usual, a great PA from Jennifer announcing the top times without a single mistake. The day started out a little stressful as Bill Stromberg, the first diver of the day, emerged clean from a 67 metre dive asking "Where was the tag?"’. They were in the buckets behind the judges and a panic ensued whilst they found the one for the next diver, Haydn Welch.

Haydn was trying to break the UK Constant record but ended up with ear problems and turned about 10m early, at 55m. He still enjoyed the dive, though, and knows he has the depth in him on a good day.

One surprise was the absence of Natalia Molchanova, who was going for the deepest female dive of the competition at 65m. I met her in the lift just now and she said that a fever prevented her from diving. Maybe the doctor will let her dive another day, but if she doesn’t then the race for the top places amongst the women starts to look even more interesting.

Quite a few people seemed to have trouble with the tags or turned early. This did have a good outcome in that there was only one LMC I spotted and no blackouts. Johanna Norblad, the star of yesterday, turned at 48m as did Aurore Asso at 49m, however, Annabel Briseno did 54m despite huge sinus squeeze, her teammate Megumi did 52m and the other Japanese girls, Nikka Moringa and Junko Kitahama did 50m

John Moorcroft of the UK and Peter Colat of Switzerland turned early, at 55m and 20m respectively and Eugeni Butov of Russia gave us our first LMC of the competition. Dave Harries of the UK did 52m as if it were 5.2, Mark Harris and Dave King of the UK did 50m apiece and the Finnish guys, Antero Joki and Jyri Vehmaskos both did 55m.

Looking forward to Thursday I caught Herbert Nitcsh with what looked like blood oozing from his ear. Was this going to be a repeat of last year when his ear problems caused the drum to burst? He had me going for a while but then revealed that all was fine, it was just something to clean it…. Ketchup?!

The final results will be posted later on and if there are any major changes or upsets I will let you know. In the meantime, keep your eyes on DeeperBlue.net for the most exciting thing to come out of freediving since Haggi Statti decided to make a quick buck off the Italians. Yes, it is the top secret (with top prizes) photo quiz which I will be posting later. Watch this space!