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One Breath Freediving Jamboree – Days 2 to 5

The One Breath Freediving Jamboree is in full swing in Tulamben, Bali.  Catch up with all the happenings in our report on days 2 to 5 direct from the Jamboree!

Day 2

Second day of the Jamboree, and it’s been another exciting one!  Today started with a peaceful early Yoga session led by Kate Middleton, on the grass, by the pool and with great seaview, in the gorgeous Puri Mada resort.

Kate said “When I saw this place I couldn’t believe it, I thought they made a mistake in the bookings and took me for one of the big stars!”

I guess sharing a name with the British Princess has its advantages…!

Mid-morning, everyone jumped on the jukungs to our lovely platform Jessica, where a line of buoys, our great coaches, and our Guests Miguel Lozano, Eusebio Saenz de Santa Maria, Richard Wonka and Jean-Pol Francois were waiting. Turns out, they were not the only ones waiting, the current had joined the party too! Which meant that lines were set at 40m maximum and everyone used that session to practice technique: exhale dives, work on the mouthfill, equalization, body position, kicking or pulling technique, etc… Tomorrow training will be scheduled later in the day, to avoid the current and allow everyone to apply their new skills in their deep dives!

Everybody then met for a late lunch while listening to the super interesting “Exhale Dives” Workshop given by the very knowledgeable and experienced Eusebio Saenz de Santa Maria. Eusebio told us that while exhale diving is an advanced technique, if done properly with the correct technique and relaxation, it is very safe, an amazing tool for training, and actually a super enjoyable and relaxing way to dive! Eusebio himself said that 90% of his own training is actually done on exhale! He really recommends it as a great tool to train and to warm-up for depth, and also for spearfishermen who hunt in shallow waters.

We ended the day with Miguel Lozano’s Talk on his Journey to -117m in Free Immersion. He presented, in his typical funny and entertaining Miguel-style, his ten days of competition in the Bahamas, the build-up to his dive, the technical aspects and mental preparation, and the importance of relaxation and “going by feeling”. He also emphasized that for him, the most important thing in freediving is to always keep on learning, whether you’re a beginner or a top athlete, which was very inspiring for all of us!

All in all, a very motivating and inspiring day for all, with lots of tips and advice from all our guests, both in and out of the water: that’s the true spirit of the One Breath Jamboree!!

Jamboree day 2Day 3

Day 3 of the Jamboree was another day full of training and interesting Talks!

Kate Middleton gave another great Yoga session early in the morning, in the paradise location that is Puri Mada, once again a great way to start the day!  This morning was “JP’s morning”! Jean-Pol Francois gave his Talk on “Perfect Static” followed straight away by his Workshop on “The first 5 meters”. Both were very interesting and helpful presentations with great tips for improving technique and performance.  Practicing Static is the basis of anything related to apnea: improving your breath-hold capacities will help you improve in all other freediving disciplines. Here Jean-Pol gave his helpful advice on how to prepare for static, focusing mainly on relaxation at all stages, forgetting about the time or about any goals, and slowly improving the number of contractions we can hold.  In his Workshop, Jean-Pol also gave a great number of advice and tips to start your dive in the most relaxed and most efficient way possible. This Workshop was especially helpful to the least experienced divers among us, as Jean-Pol pointed out how to relax before the dive, the importance of the duck dive, and having the correct technique and body position. He also advised everyone to debrief with the coach after every session, and to use videos as a way to see and correct mistakes.

The afternoon training was once again focused on technique, as Mister Current decided to stalk us again! But everyone improved a lot in their technique and learned a lot of great tips straight from their coaches in the water: Miguel Lozano, Richard Wonka, Jean-Pol Francois, Sarah Witcher, Eusebio Saenz de Santa Maria and Christina Saenz de Santa Maria.

The evening Talk today was given by Richard Wonka on the “Skills Pyramid”. He introduced an innovative way of approaching freediving, by separating it into atomic skills. Apnea, Streamlining, Propulsion, Equalization and Duck dive are the single skills that once mastered, will make the perfect dive and give you confidence as a freediver!  Last but definitely not least, the big news of the day was the arrival of the Zirbad Boat! The Beautiful Zirbad has sailed to East Bali and you can admire it in Amed’s Jemeluk bay, waiting and ready to whisk away the winner of the One Breath Jamboree Competition for a freediving liveaboard trip around Komodo!

Jamboree day 3Day 4

Jamboree is in full swing and today was an awesome day for everyone!

Sara Campbell arrived late last night in Bali, and still woke up early to give her first Jamboree Yoga session! Everyone loved it and came out of it super relaxed, enlightened by the beautiful harp music accompanying the session.  Training was absolutely beautiful, with perfect water conditions, and I guess this, combined with the two previous sessions focused on technique, paid off: lots and lots of PBs today! Congratulations to Sylvain (12m FIM), Tommy (32m FIM), Nora (32m CWT), Zhengping (32m CWT), Jamie (35m FIM), Oliver (37m FIM), David (39m FIM), Morgan (40m CWT), Guillaume (41m CNF), Eli (41m FIM), Jenna (double-whammy with 35m exhale and 43m FIM), and Chris (50m CWT)!

Our Guests also loved the water today, as Miguel Lozano did 75m in CNF and Ryuzo Shinomyia did 101m CWT!

At lunchtime our lovely Judges Richard Wonka, Sarah Witcher and Jean-Pol Francois gave a comprehensive briefing to all competitors about AIDA Competition Rules, check-in and announcement procedures, and common mistakes to avoid – hopefully with all this there will be only white cards!  Sarah Witcher then gave a very useful, interactive, fun and interesting workshop in the pool, on Watermanship. With her huge experience as swimming instructor, she gave us great tips on streamlining, how to make the most energy-efficient turn, and fun exercises to do in the pool to practise “skulling” and symmetrical finning.  A few hours later, our other Sara gave a talk on her famous Constant Weight (CWT) dive to -104m. Ms Campbell used her own personal experience to remind everyone of the importance of pleasure in freediving. Even before a Personal Best or record attempt, let’s try not to get caught up in the numbers and remind ourselves why we do freediving. She also emphasized the importance of the mind, visualization and meditation – which she will develop in another workshop. But most importantly, she reminded everybody to REST! For her, when training for depth, rest days are even more important than dive days.

The craziest part of the day was… sinking a boat! Beautiful Zirbad was visiting, and Captain Yann was being kind bringing divers to the platform and almost lost his little annex boat in the process! Crammed with freedivers heading to the platform, the little boat tipped on the side and started filling up with water – fast! Unlike in the movies where we’re concerned about saving the passengers, here all of them are pretty good swimmers (I hope!), so it was more a matter of saving the equipment! It was quite an eventful experience, and luckily nobody was hurt and the boat was saved and still works!

One Breathe Jamboree - Sinking a Boat

Day 5

Tomorrow the Jamboree Competition starts, so today was an easy resting day for everyone, so that everybody can be in the best physical and mental shape for their dives!

The day started as usual with the lovely Yoga session led by Sara Campbell in beautiful Puri Mada, always accompanied by beautiful live harp music. Perfect way to warm-up, relax and start the day.

Then came the most fun part of the week: the Liberty Take-Over!!! A huge bunch of freedivers diving with the hords of scuba-divers for once, and taking over the USS Liberty Shipwreck! Everybody had lots of fun discovering swim-through’s, playing around with the fishes or with each other, and we took lots of great pictures as a tribute to the One Breath Jamboree!

During lunch, all competitors went to register, check their lanyards, and announce their depth and dive time for the Competition.

Sara Campbell then gave a very interesting and interactive workshop on Mind Control. She introduced everyone to her own personal approach to freediving, by explaining how your mind can influence not only your dives but also your daily life, general health, and can even induce physical changes in your body. Sara introduced a few exercises of meditation which, if practiced daily, she assures will make significant transformations to your lives! The workshop was very popular with everyone, and we all got involved by sharing our personal thoughts, impressions and feelings.

The evening was spent reversing roles for once, with the crowd holding the microphone! All our Guests were gathered on stage for an open forum, and answered questions from everyone. We got a lot of questions, some controversial, on subjects such as competition rules, breathing patterns, packing, training, deep diving.  In a future post we’ll publish full details of the Q&A.

Tomorrow starts the first day of the competition so everyone has rushed off to bed!

Jamboree day 4



Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and has grown the site to be the most popular diving website and community in the world.