Day 4 & 5 – Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th August 2004
The weekend saw the Constant Weight portion of the competition and was the first opportunity to see how the members of each team interacted with the judges, media and safety divers and whether this would effect their performance.
Saturday was a very clean day in performances and despite some quirks in the various systems being used everyone had a brilliant day. A 50" Plasma Screen was projecting the dive from various cameras in the water to the specators and resting althetes on the surface. Whilst said reporter didn’t actually see the dives on the screen reports were that it worked reasonably well. As a first in competition I believe it’s an excellent step towards making the sport of FreeDiving a more spectator and media friendly event.
Several National Records fell today including:
- Haico Aaldering from the Netherlands at 53m
- Suzy Kensington from New Zealand at 50m
- Sam Still from the UK at 68m
It is always exciting to see new National Records being set as they represent something very special to the FreeDiving community. Whilst World Record attract the money and media, National Records are the real ways of putting FreeDiving on the map in each individual country. For them to be set in the pressured environment of the World Champsionships only make them more spectacular in my mind.
We must not discount the excellent performances by all the other divers on the day and by the miracle of technology and hard work by the organsing committee you can see all theand results on the AIDA Worlds 2004 website. On Saturday night the UK led the leaderboard due to exceptional performances by most of the team.
The start on Sunday was later as the first top time was 14:00. Japan was set to take the top spot with Ryuzo Shinomiya attempting 75m however he ended a dive with the only blackout of the day.
There were more sambas (Loss of Motor Control) Sunday than Saturday but again the safety teams and procedures in place meant that every competitor felt safe in the hands of the crew onboard. Crew were wearing bright yellow t-shirts and nearly outnumbered the actually competitors at several points.
The day brought 1 blackout (Ruyzo Shinomiya) and 4 disqualifications (George Georgas, Ananda Escudero, Michael Antinori and John Wright) but excellent performances by everyone else.
Deepest Bear also made an appearance as the last, surprise, competitor on the list and achieved a rather shallow 25m. Rumour are that he is going to be making a 4 hour Static Record attempt this week so perhaps a new record shall be broken, although the New Zealand Kiwi may be making an appearance.
Coming out of Sunday the leaderboard looks as follows:
- Germany (198 points)
- UK (181 points)
- Canada (156 points)
- Canada (155 points)
- Japan (139 points)
- USA (127 points)
On the mens side, baring a Black Out Germany looks set to win (they have a very strong Static performance). The Women’s competition should still be open but only the next few days will show.
Overall the setup and operation was a lot slicker on Sunday as everything had been practiced and prepared. Media attendance is quite high and competitors have very little to complain about (which is unusual in FreeDiving circles!).
There are now two days off diving before commencing the pool activities, however we shall bring you details of the training and recreation days as well.