Nothing kills your drive to dive like a cutting wind and some nice cold rain trickling down your back before the wetsuit goes on to insulate the cold, fresh water.  You know, keep it nice and close to your clammy, shivering skin.  Oh yeah, add a crying two year old and you got my morning!  However, I am not feeling sorry for myself because report from the platform, thanks Liv Philip, was that the early competitors got drenched before their dives.  Come on Bonaire!  You never have rain…ever.  Except during the Deepsea Challenge I guess.

Spain's Alfredo Roen flashing his tag bling after a 102m NR.
Spain’s Alfredo Roen flashing his tag bling after a 102m NR.

A little cold rain didn’t stop Spanish powerhouse Alfredo Roen.  Flanked on either side before his dive by fellow Spanish divers Elyoenai Aparicio Suárez and Louisi Farina, the affectionately dubbed “Spanish Gigolos” (the trio is reminiscent of the French Mafia if any of you were around for that motley crew back in 2012), were there to support their deep man.  Alfredo always delivers…the tag from depth of course!  Roen surfaced with a new Constant Weight (CWT) national record of 102m!  Rumor has it there’s more where that came from.  We hope to see it here at Deepsea Challenge!

Aurore Asso of France flanked by Deepsea's finest. Looking strong returning from 53m CNF.
Aurore Asso of France flanked by Deepsea’s finest. Looking strong returning from 53m CNF.

It’s time to start watching Aurore Asso a little closer.  Asso has been working seriously on her Constant No Fins (CNF) dives for at least a year now.  A year that I’ve witnessed anyway.  Her technique, in my opinion, is light years from her struggles at last year’s Big Blue in La Paz.  This time around Aurore looks graceful, strong and strategic.  I’ve especially enjoyed watching her pick up momentum and stretch her strokes out past the 15m mark.  That improvement in her technique and surfacing super clean.  Today the femme fatale returned clean and relieved to pass the mental barrier at 53m CNF.  Next depth day, who knows?  But I have an idea and it just may involve a well deserved celebration.

Ashley Chapman on ascent. 84m FIM on this rainy day.
Ashley Chapman on ascent. 84m FIM on this rainy day.

The sky opened for my dive, the last one of the day.  I hit 84m FIM, a new USA national record.  Man, who knew depth could be so fun?  If only someone had told me earlier I might not have ever tried CNF!

The one competitor we have not yet mentioned is Brazil’s Warley Rezende De Souza.  Off to a rough start Warley was disqualified during his Static (STA) performance for submerging his airway after the official time allotment of official top plus 10 seconds.  He has also struggled with some squeezing in the ocean.  A smart competitor, Warley decided to take today off eager to redeem himself in the coming days.  De Souza is also the family man having brought his kids and partner for his cheering section.  A playmate is good news for our Ani and Marina’s little Angelica!  Time to start training the next generation.

Carolina Schrappe of Brazil working hard for her money and cheering on her friends.
Carolina Schrappe of Brazil working hard for her money and cheering on her friends.

Also time to wrap up training for the Guinness record attempts by Carlos Coste and Marina Kazankova scheduled for tomorrow evening Friday, September 9th!

Depth day 4 results.
Depth day 4 results.

Thanks again to this year’s stellar sponsors:

Deepsea Challenge cannot thank you enough for the support!
Deepsea Challenge cannot thank you enough for the support!

 

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Ashley Futral Chapman
If you find yourself in earshot of Ashley you will quickly learn that she has two passions; traveling the world with her family aboard their sailboat, Jade, and freediving. Freediving took Ashley by storm in 2008 when she decided to participate in the PFI Intermediate course in the Cayman Islands. The only goal in mind, to reach 100' she exceeded her expectations by maxing out the course at 132'. Intoxicated by the rush of success she has gone on to complete the PFI Instructor program. She is now an independent PFI Instructor and president of Evolve Freediving, teaching freediving courses in Wilmington, NC. Ashley is a 3x world record and 14x national record holder in freediving.

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