West Bay, Grand Cayman, BWI – Last night’s press conference at the posh Ritz-Carlton promised a lot, and today the Performance Freediving team did not disappoint.
First things first : Martin Stepanek, 28, (CZ) has reclaimed the World Record for the Constant Ballast discipline, the Holy Grail of competitive freediving. One hundred six meters (106m)was where the tag was clipped, and he brought it up clean and sure. It was the first time I’ve seen Martin Stepanek smile when coming up from a world record dive.
Next, Mandy -Rae Cruickshank, 31 (CAN), did a training dive in preparation for a shot at the womens Constant Ballast World Record. Oh, but since the AIDA judges were present and all paperwork and procedures in order, her training dive just happened to set a Canadian National record of 80 meters.
Finally, Dr. George ‘Doc’ Lopez, 58, bagged a US National record for the Free Immersion discipline, down and up in the heads-up posture for 51 meters.
In all three cases, the athletes were reclaiming records they’d previously owned but lost – temporarily – to other competitors.
The two big US television networks had camera crews on a media boat, and broadcast of features on the event is scheduled for Monday, April 3. Viewers with access to US national television networks: check your listings and tune in Monday to NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America. Both are nationally-broadcast, live news and variety shows with huge audiences.
But this is not all ! There are three more event days scheduled next week, and all indications are that more records shall be set. The one to focus on, at this point, is Mandy’s planned 87 meter womens World Record for Constant Ballast.
All records are pending and subject to review and ratification by AIDA.