Thursday, November 30, 2023

Vertical Blue 2021 Kicks Off Today


The world’s most exclusive and competitive freediving competition in the world, also known as the “Wimbledon of freediving” – Vertical Blue – is kicking off today at Deans Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

42 freedivers from across the world have been arriving over the last couple of weeks to experience this world-class invitational competition running between 13-23 July 2021.  All eyes will be on the rivals of organizer William Trubridge and Alexey Molchanov who often are going head to head with some spectacular dives in Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) – a specialty of both divers.

It’s the first major international freediving competition since most of the world was locked down due to the global pandemic.  World-renowned freediving photographer Daan Verhoeven is onsite to capture the event with his usual spectacular photography.

We are fortunate to have the world's best freediving photog with us for #VB2021 Thank you Daan Verhoeven for sharing…

Posted by Vertical Blue on Saturday, July 10, 2021

William spoke to Suunto, returning as a major sponsor of the competition again this year, about the competition:

“In these last 18 months a lot of people have been trapped and locked down, not able to travel or go to the sea, but everyone has been continuing to train and they are all amped to get back into the water. It’s the first big freediving event since COVID hit so we will get a chance to see where all the top athletes are with their training, and what they have been able to improve on, or whether they are behind now because of a lack of depth training. First indications are that everyone has been training really hard and there are going to be some epic performances.”

The lineup for the first day of competition looks to be spectacular – with 4 World Records announced by Alexey Molchanov (Russia), Arnaud Jerard (France), Alenka Artnik (Slovenia), and Alessia Zecchini (Italy).  There are also 8 National Records announced to round out probably one of the most thrilling starting line-ups we’ve ever seen.

Vertical Blue 2021 Day 1 Start List
Vertical Blue 2021 Day 1 Start List

Stay tuned to for more news and results coming from the competition.

Feature photo courtesy of Daan Verhoeven

Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and has grown the site to be the most popular diving website and community in the world.