Saturday, June 19, 2021

William Trubridge Strong Attempt At Freediving World Record


William Trubridge attempted to break his own Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) Freediving World Record today as part of the Steinlager Pure Deep Dive World Record Attempt at Deans Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

Trubridge started strong and made the 102m depth with ease.  He started his return and continued to seem strong up to 10m before the surface.  He then signalled for the safety divers to swim him up and he started pulling on the rope for support.  Once he reached the surface he had a minor black-out/loss of motor control which combined with pulling on the rope disqualified his dive.  The overall dive time was 3min 58sec.

William said I gave it my best shot, but no world record today. At 10m from the surface I signalled to my safety divers, then started pulling on the rope. They helped me ascend the final meters, and I was out for a few seconds on the surface.
Though I’m disappointed not to achieve the goal, there is some content in the fact that I gave it my utmost best shot. And so much of my motivation to pull out all the stops in this attempt today came from the numerous messages of support that I have been receiving in the lead up. Everyone, from my wife, Brittany Trubridge who helped me in preparation and surface-coaching, to the outstanding Vertical Blue crew and safety team, friends and family, fellow kiwis, old classmates, All Blacks, Steinlager, NZ media and everyone else who’s written in to encourage me onwards and downwards: THANK YOU!! I owe you a world record, and this is just a plot twist – I’ll be back to try again…

Trubridge not only has the pressure of trying to achieve a new world record but also run the Suunto Vertical Blue competition which no doubt adds to the significant pressure felt by any athlete.

Vertical Blue Freediving event, Day 5

 Photo courtesy of Logan Mock-Bunting

William Trubridge Strong Attempt At Freediving World Record 4
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 helped grow the site to be one of the largest diving websites around today.


  1. I am wondering. There is a thing called biorhythms. Most people disregard it believing that it is nothing but trash. If William had mad the dive on a day when his biorhythm was down then he could try again at a time when it would be up.

  2. There is an important point here, missed in your article Stephan. As the sport’s profile grows and the number of good divers increases, there is building pressure on the athletes to succeed, which could ultimately lead to the tragedy that happened at VB last year. Even under his immense media pressure (live coverage on New Zealand TV with maybe half the country watching) William didn’t try to push himself. He listened to his body and knew when to bail out voluntarily. I think he should be acknowledged and praised for this responsible action, and hopefully it will encourage other divers not to push on to the ultimate total underwater black-out.


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