On the very first day of Vertical Blue 2016 an astonishing nine national records were set, and the competition has literally only just begun. The first dive of the day was a clean and exuberant performance by Hanako Hirose, one of the petite and powerful ladies from Japan, who opened the comp on a very happy note with a personal best dive to 88 meters. Aolin Wang of China set a new record in constant weight with a super speedy dive to 80 meters in just two minutes and :20 seconds. Then Dean Chaouche of Great Britain had a break-through… with a no-fins dive to 74 meters.
“It’s been a hard work to get here. There have been a lot of hiccups for me but I am glad to finally set this record” said Chaouche.
Immediately after, perhaps the mightiest of the Japanese freedivers, Sayuri Kinoshita took center stage and put an exclamation point on her ability & strength as she garnered a white card for a constant no-fins dive dive to an impressive 68 meters — improving not only her own previous national record but also surpassing the men. As Ryuzo Shinomiya said “She beat me!“, albeit with great pride for his fellow country woman.
Then after a short break Adam Stern of Australia, joined what is perhaps the most elite club in freediving – the 100 meter diver kabal with a determined performance in CWT in three minutes and :06 time.
“I’d like to thank the whole freediving community for making me the diver I am and for supporting all of my efforts.”
Stig Pryds decided it was a good day for a personal best, and with ease and grace he delivered a white card dive to an incredible 98 meters in free immersion, also notably ahead of schedule. Furthermore, the ecstatic Pryds gleefully shared:
“Now every time I have a new PB I will have a new national record too!”
First-time VB attendee Italian Homar Leuci, (who is normally competing with CMAS), punctuated his inaugural event at Deans Blue Hole with a definitive new national record for AIDA in free immersion 95m CWT in three minutes and :07 seconds.
Colombian Sofia Gomez Uribe proved again why she is one to watch with a commandingly deep dive to an astounding 93 meters in a fast two minutes and :44 seconds, and a new national record to show for it. “I am so happy!” exclaimed Sofia “I felt so good in my dive”.
Fan favorite, Tomoka Fukuda also made a 93 meter attempt, but sadly having completed the dive she was foiled by the pesky surface protocol. Camila Jaber decided it was time for her first national record in no-fins and took the Mexican title in two minutes and :15 seconds. “My dive was super bueno!” Camila beamed.
Next up for a no-fins national title was Anna Von Boetticher, who set a record with an easy (for her) dive to 47 meters, although contractions began quite early for her, as shallow 20 meters, so thankfully the German diver could rely on her experience to persevere. “Why does anyone do this?!” she joked, “but seriously, I am happy to be back!”
Among the nine was Luke Maillis who set the first-ever freediving record for his home country (and the host country of #VB2016), the Bahamas. A constant weight dive to 46 meters in bi-fins has Luke on the books.
Stay tuned for Day 2 and what will surely be more fantastic diving. Top times for Day 2 are here below.