Russian Freediving Athlete Natalia Molchanova has announced a world record attempt in the Variable Weight discipline (VWT) and possibly a No-Limits (NLT) which will run between 12 – 20th June. The attempt days will be on 16 and 19 June and will be done in Crete at the
1st day: VWT, target depth is current WR+1, official top between 15:00 and 15:10
2nd day: NLT, target depth is current WR+1, official top between 15:00 and 15:10
3rd -8th day are backup days depending on the results of the previous days and weather.
The focus will be on VWT but there will also be pre-training and tests for the upcoming attempt for no-limit dive which Natalia will do at a later stage. Variable and No-Limits is a new disciplines for Natalia and her aim is to get comfortable with the sled and make sure everything goes slowly and extremely precise. Her advisor has said that she should surface with a smile every time!
Natalia has already done over 100 metres without a sled in training and it is believed that there will be no problems in managing a little further with the sled.
For the imminent variable attempt, Natalia will approach this a little differently to Tanya Streeter. She will use her monofin, and surface most of the way up by swimming. As Natalia is an excellent swimmer and has very strong legs, she will save a lot of dive time than if she used her arms. Swimming up during the variable weight actually makes this discipline very different from pulling up. The new challenge for Natalia is the feet first (head up) descent which she has not done before. Equalization is her main concern as she will need to be able to equalize to a much deeper depth than she has done previously. Natalia will do her pre-training in Dahab testing 100 meters plus + without a sled; but carrying extra weights in her hand and going head first.
The current Variable Weight World Record, held by Tanya Street for the last 7 years is 122 metres. Natalia is aiming for 123 metres plus. Bill Stromberg is acting as safety and advisor.
Natalia has already 28 world records and is the current world record in all 6 competition disciplines. She has never done sled diving (No-Limits and Variable) before so this is a totally new approach for her into Freediving and she is extremely curious. In a positive way, she is bored with the current disciplines and seeks a new challenge.
Stavros Kastrinakis has designed the sled and the complete Freediving playground for this attempt and it has been said that the safety aspects are crystal clear and designed to perfection. The safety team will comprise of 8 specially trained safety divers with significant experience managing deep sled dives during the 2 previous Mediterranean Meeting series of events with safety experience of several national and world record attempts in both sled disciplines. The safety team coordinator is Stavros Kastrinakis who has significant experience managing safety teams at World Record events and World Championships and has experience of managing a large number of National and World Record attempts.
The Judges are not selected yet for this attempt.