Day one of Vertical Blue 2017 was a bit of a mixed bag. Energy around the competition was high, but perhaps too much adrenaline was running through the veins of a few of the athletes as the field resulted in one DNS (did not start), three red cards (due to blackout), five yellow cards (due to early turns or lack of tags) but thankfully also 18 glorious white cards and five shiny new national records.
One of the most anticipated records was set by Aolin Wang of China, who kicked off his second appearance at Deans Blue Hole with a strong dive to 100m CWT — making him the first Chinese freediver to ever reach 100 meters, and granting him entry to a very exclusive club.
“Today’s dive felt great!” said Wang, “I am definitely going deeper next time.”
Alex Davis of Barbados achieved his country’s inaugural national record on his first dive at the comp, which is extra special since #VB2017 is actually also his first comp ever. Italian freediver Homar Leuci had a very good day with a super clean free immersion dive to 96 meters — it is clear that he too will go deeper. British diver (and Vertical Blue staff instructor) Dean Chaouche was feeling the nerves of the first day of the event but he managed to squeak out his surface protocol in the nick of time to nab a new national record for Great Britain of 98 meters in free immersion. And last but not least Anna Von Boetticher of Germany proved that all her hard training in the gym has paid off. Despite having been out of the water since last year’s event, Von Boetticher realized both a personal best + a new record with a no-fins dive to 52 meters
“I’m so strong right now!” quipped the fit blonde, who has been working with a nutritionist and dedicating much of her time to cross-fit workouts. “My dive reflex is horrible right now — I was feeling contractions at 15m on the way down! but because I am stronger I was able to push through.”
Morgan Bourc’his of France posted an impressive no-fins dive to 88 meters; there are very few people (if any) who come even close to the depths that William Trubridge can achieve and Morgan is most likely the closest, but upon completing his dive Bourc’his exclaimed
Fellow Frenchman Stephane Tourreau executed a clean and speedy constant weight dive to 101 meters but explained that despite the white card he was not happy as he too was feeling the stress of the pressure of the first day. But a couple of the Japanese ladies felt entirely different, as soon as Hanako Hirose finished her dive to 90 meters under constant weight she squealed “I feel so good!” and made everyone around her feel good too.
And veteran diver Misuzu “Mimi” Okamoto smiled and told us that her dive was very easy, which is the way she always makes all of her dives look.
Hopes ran high that Alessia Zecchini of Italy would grab her first AIDA World Record in free immersion, but she ran out of gas before she could reach the surface. ”
“Tomorrow I will rest,” said Zecchini, “and then I will try again.”
Stay tuned as the diving continues tomorrow and check out the Top Times for Day 2 of #VB2017 here below.