It may be an inaugural event, but the Big Blue Freediving competition is off to a great start. This week athletes from around the globe are offering their best breath-hold performances in the crystal clear waters of Espiritu Santo Island, La Paz, Mexico. In just two days time Sebastian Lira of Chile has set two new Chilean National Records — he first nabbed the title for free immersion with a clean dive to 78 meters in three minutes; then yesterday Sebastian set another national record in the freediving discipline of constant weight (CWT) with a white-card dive to an impressive 85 meters in 2 minutes and :45 seconds time. The FII instructor from Santiago, Chile may even go for a hat-trick before this event is over.
For the women, Sofia Gomez continues to demonstrate her prowess underwater. On day one she moved her previous Colombian CWT record deeper to 75 meters in two minutes and :15 seconds time. Next up on day two, Sofia decided it was time to have a continental record under her belt as well, and so she propelled herself up through the water column 55 meters, using only her hands and her feet to find her next achievement in no-fins: a brand new continental record.
However, the deepest woman of the Big Blue competition (so far) is Tomoka Fukuda of Japan, with an amazing 86 meter CWT dive. Although their frames are petite, female athletes like Fukuda and Gomez are pound-for-pound some of the most powerful divers in the overall field of international competitors.
Not to be outshone by the ladies, a couple more of the gents added to the flare of the first few days. Kurt Chambers of the United States pulled himself down & up to a new U.S. title of 93 meters in three minutes and :05 seconds, improving his own national record from before.
And when you are the deepest mono-fin diver in the world what do you do for an encore? Well if you are Alexey Molchanov you kick it (pun intended) old-school and put your bi-fins on and shimmy down to 105 meters, just because you can! And with those fluttery kicks Alexey secures himself as the deepest freediver in bi-fins, ever. Enough said.
Stay tuned to Deeperblue to see what other incredible feats will unfold as the event continues – we’ll be holding our breath…
All photos © Logan-Mock Bunting
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