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Freediving World Records Set to Fall

West Bay, Grand Cayman BWI -Saturday, April 1st through Friday, April 7th, two freediving world records and one national record are poised to fall in the Cayman Islands with members of the Performance Freediving Team.

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank of Canada and Martin Stepanek of Czech Republic have been training in the Cayman Islands since March 5th in an attempt to break the freediving world records of constant ballast (kicking down to depth and back with weights under your own power).  Mandy-Rae must achieve a depth of 87m / 285ft on one breath of air, the equivalent of a 29 story building while Martin will be attempting 106m / 348ft or a 35 story building.

Mandy-Rae is thirty-one years old and resides in Vancouver, Canada.  Freediving competitively since 2000, Mandy-Rae has held six world records including the constant ballast world record where an athlete swims to depth and back with fins and retains their weight.  In March 2004 in Grand Cayman she achieved a depth of 78m / 256ft surpassing Tanya Streeter’s record of 70m / 230ft.

Joining Mandy-Rae is team member Martin Stepanek of the Czech Republic who currently resides in Ft Lauderdale, FL.  Martin is twenty-eight years old and a seven time world record holder currently holding three world records including constant ballast without fins at 80m / 262ft surpassing Herbert Nistch record of 66m / 216ft.

Both Mandy-Rae and Martin are working with coach and trainer Kirk Krack, founder of Performance Freediving International Inc. Kirk was formerly Vice-President of the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA), the world governing body for the sport of freediving. AIDA Level A Judges Dimitris Vassilaskis (Greece) and Cedric Palerme (France) will be the officials in attendance ratifying the attempts and ensuring the strictest of safety protocols are followed.

Partnering with Performance Freediving diving International is Dr. George ‘Doc’ Lopez who is fofty-eight years old and is the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of ICU Medical Inc (NASDAQ; ICUI).  Doc is joining Mandy and Martin in Cayman for his third year and is again attempting a US National record for the United States Apnea Association (USAA).  Doc, a highly successful CEO, is also a bluewater world record spearfishermen currently holding the world record for Black Marlin.  Doc is attempting to break the US National record of free immersion (pulling to and back from depth without fins) with a performance of 51m / 167ft.

Along with ICU Medical Inc, Stingray Watersports of Grand Cayman is providing diving and accommodations.  Underwater video services are provided by HD Odyssey of Monterey, CA.  Professional equipment is furnished by Oceaner Sporting Goods and Yamamoto Corporation with additional support provided by Doc’s Proplugs. 

The members of Performance Freediving International teach educational clinics around the world and are involved in both team and athlete development.  Last years attempts in Cayman were broadcast near-live by streaming video and garnered an outstanding response from underwater enthusiasts the world over. will have a crew on location an will provide complete, up-to-the-minute reporting of the train-up and the record attempts.

Paul Kotik
Paul Kotik
Paul Kotik has been a Staff Writer and Freediving Editor for He lives in Florida, USA with his family.