The Al Fazza3 Freediving Competition held at the Mina Seyahi Le Meridien in Dubai this weekend, is said to be the most lucrative freediving competition in the world. Under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, and sponsored by Al Tayer motors, the top prize this year was a Range Rover.Yesterday the suspense mounted when international freedivers Tom Sietas (Germany), Alexei Molchanov (Russia), Timo Kinnunen (Finland), and Peter Boivie (Sweden), arrived at the competition to take part in a static breath hold competition, Emirati style.
The competition rules stated that divers were to wear no diving equipment at all, not even a mask, and pull themselves down a rope and hold themselves down for as long as possible. Blackouts at the bottom were not permitted, and once you let go of the rope your time was up. Crowds huddled together at the jetty in awe, to watch the superstars hold their breath for more than twice as long as the winners last year.
Tom Sietas improved his timing from yesterday by nearly three minutes, and finished with a final hold today of 8’25 minutes. Alexei Molchanov followed closely with a time of 7’48’, and Timo Kinnunen with 6’12 in third place. The prizes for 2nd and 3rd place are 30,000 and 20,000 AED respectively.