Even though the final day of Vertical Blue 2021 didn’t go quite the way Alexey Molchanov and Alessia Zecchini wanted, the two world-class freedivers can leave Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas with their heads held high as both came out with the top men’s and women’s overall scores after nine days of jaw-dropping competition.
Russia’s Molchanov came out on top in the men’s Constant Weight No Fins (CNF), Free Immersion (FIM), and Constant Weight (CWT) disciplines for an overall point total of 300.
Italy’s Zecchini topped the women’s CNF and FIM disciplines and came in second in the CWT points total (Slovenia’s Alenka Artnik came in first) to take the overall prize with 259.9 points.
Molchanov was gunning for a 120m/398ft dive in the Constant Weight with Bi-fins (CWTBF) discipline on Day 9, but had to cut his dive short at 101m/331ft. Zecchini was vying for a women’s 102m/335ft FIM world record but suffered a blackout when she surfaced. Given the superb on-site safety procedures and personnel throughout the competition, neither one was the worse for wear.
Day 9 did, however, continue to see a host of national records set. Among the men, Chile’s Simon Bennett swam past his 71m/233ft dive on Day 7 to set a new CWTBF record with his 73m/240ft dive in 2mins 49secs. Italy’s Davide Carrera dove to 122m/33ft in 3mins 12secs for a national CWT record. You-Chieh Ku dove to 102m/355ft in 4mins 10secs for a Taiwanese national FIM record.
On the women’s side, Turkey’s Sahika Ercumen dove past her countrywoman Birgul Erken’s 78m/256ft dive on Day 7 to set a new FIM record of 80m/262ft in 3mins 11secs. France’s Alice Modolo set a new national CWT record with her 100m/328ft dive in 3mins 5secs.
Check out the full Day 9 results below.
The final podium rankings are below.
Featured Image courtesy of Daan Verhoeven.
Additional reporting by Stephan Whelan