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Suunto Vertical Blue 2013 – the First Day

Yesterday on Long Island in the Bahamas Suunto Vertical Blue got underway. The first of what will be nine days of competition provided a mixed bag of results for the first set of freedivers to offer their best attempts in Deans Blue Hole (DBH). Jonathan Sunnex of New Zealand achieved an amazing depth of 105m in constant weight (CWT), making him the deepest diver of the first day. However, garnering a personal best (PB) in competition came at a premium for Sunnex – a small lung squeeze which will likely impact what’s to come of Jonny’s dive schedule. Fellow “Anzac” Nathan Watts of Australia was sadly side-lined yesterday due to a technicality – being late for his official check-in by six minutes, which forfeited his entry for the day. After being foiled by a noodle, the Croatian freediver Veljano Zanki decided to save his energy for another attempt, and while the Germans waxed nostalgic for their more familiar playground of Dahab (given the unexpected pea-soup visibility in DBH) they were still able to successfully complete their dives and receive white cards. On the bright side of news Mizuzu (Mimi) Okamota of Japan achieved the deepest dive of the day for the women with an impressive 80 meters CWT, and  fellow countryman Tetsuya Yoneta was very happy with his PB dive to 92m CWT.

Simon Bennett of Chile also grabbed himself another national title  — a record-setting dive of 45 meters in constant no-fins. “45m CNF in 2 minutes and :26 seconds a new national record and nice way for me to start the competition.  Even though I fluffed my duck dive and could not find a tag at the bottom for 10 seconds, I made it back up okay. Huge thanks for all those who have helped me, especially my coach from afar Maca Benitez.” shared the humble Bennett.

See a full list of all results from Day One below, watch  the video of Jonny’s 105 meter dive here  and stay tuned for what promises to be a fantastic competition.


Simon Bennett descends to a new freediving record for Chile.
photo © of Daan Verhoeven, video by Igor Liberti.

Francesca Koe
Francesca Koe
An active ocean advocate, VP of U.S. Freediving, a multi-agency dive instructor, PFI Safety Supervisor and AIDA judge, Francesca also serves as the Editor-At-Large here at You can usually find Francesca diving in the kelp, hanging out at the Farallones with sharky friends, or trying to improve upon her own PB's.