Day 3 – Friday 6th August 2004
The weather, a favourite discussion pasttime of British, was on the lips of athletes today. We woke up to a grey, cold and rainy day here in Vancouver. Everyone waiting for the first bus to the dive site was dressed in warm and waterproof clothing. Luckily the rain was expected so people came prepared, however once we got out to the dive barge most people realised that the water was a lot colder and darker than previous days.
Today is the last day of training in Constant Weight before the two competition days on Saturday and Sunday. Depth Subscriptions will need to be in before the end of the Captains meeting tonight, however, a number of athletes decided to stay home. The UK Mens Team, Greece, the US Womens team, Germany and some members of the Canadian team all decided to take today as a rest day. In reality this won’t effect many performances or decisions on subscription as many athletes arrived in Vancouver before the official start of the competition.
Standing on the barge today the common story being heard from athletes was that the outside temperature and in-water darkness was effecting performances quite significantly. Kaz Ichikawa of the Japanese team had a blackout at around 10m on a training dive to 70m today and numerous members of each team complained of the physical and pyschological effects of the conditions.
Speaking to Kaz after the dive he explained that he had trouble concentrating and getting focused for the dive due to feeling so cold. He aborted his breathe-up several times and was struggling to warm up. He eventually headed down but was unable to keep a calm state of mind and blacked out on the way up.
The safety team, barge and medical facilities are superb with tremendous credit to the organisers. If, like Kaz, you suffer a blackout you are immediately put onto oxygen by the onsite EMT/Paramedic who keeps an eye on you for a good 15 minutes. Volunteer safety divers (both Scuba and Freedivers) are in water keeping an eye on each line (of which there are 5 training lines at the moment) and ready to pounce into action on the first sign of trouble.
At the end of the training session everyone got an opporunity to try out the Sea-Doo VS Supercharged Sea Scooter. Sea-Doo are sponsoring prizes for the competition and generously provided 6 scooters for athletes to use down to 30m today. Most people had a go on the scooters and worried, cold faces were turned to beaming smiles after a few minutes going up and down with these fantastic toys!
The afternoon is being taken as a time of training and reflection by most athletes with a steady stream of people heading to and from the pool and gym.
The DeeperBlue.net team is now heading down to the meeting rooms to listen to a selection of scientific talks by leading members of the Medical Profession on aspects of the Physiology of Freediving. We’ll be picking up the subscribed depths at the same time and will post them early tomorrow morning for you.