Saturday, July 13, 2024
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World Record Breath-holds Set

“It’s something we’ve all tried at some point safely in our homes, but June 30th and July 3rd saw two of the worlds most respected freediving / apnea records set in Miami, Florida with the Performance Freediving Team and H2O Scuba Sunny Isles.

Freediving or breath-hold diving / apnea is an advanced form of snorkeling for time, depth or distance in competitions or for world records on one-breath of air from the surface. Team members included Mandy Cruickshank (Canada), Eric Fattah (Canada), Karoline Dal Toe (Brazil) and Martin Stepanek (Czech Republic) under the direction of trainer and coach Kirk Krack came together in an attempt at 4 freediving world records in one week.

Unfortunately due to bad weather both Mandy and Eric were unable to successfully complete their open water freediving attempts, but their teammates set new records in the discipline of static apnea. Static apnea is where the freediver attempts a breath-hold at the waters surface for maximum time.

Karoline Dal Toe of Brazil reset her own record that stood at 6:02 to an amazing 6:13 on June 30th. Karoline had been achieving record times in excess of 6:30, but due to a slight illness successfully achieved 6:13 under the watchful eye and video documentation of AIDA (Association for the International Development of Apnea) judges and attending medical personnel and spectators. While her achievement is an amazing success, her friend and counter part, Martin Stepanek three
days later reset one of the longest standing records in freediving.

On July 3rd, Martin Stepanek of the Czech Republic attempted the world static apnea record held since 1995 by Andy Le Sauce of the Reunion Islands at 7:35. Several tries on Andy’s record had been attempted, but all unsuccessfully until Martin pushed this new category to an amazing time of 8:06 being the first person at surface static apnea to break the eight minute barrier.

Martin has been training under the guidance of Kirk Krack of Performance Freediving since January of this year and first learned to freedive when he took the Performance Freediving class in June of last year in Miami. Martin now has his sights set on other freediving records and looks forward to competing with his fellow countrymen at the up-coming AIDA World Championships this October in Ibiza, Spain as will the other Performance Freediving Team members.”

Cliff Etzel
Cliff Etzel
Cliff is the former Freediving editor of He is now a freelance journalist and film-maker.