Day 8 & 9 – Wednesday 11th & Thursday 12th August 2004
The final two days of the competition are the pool based disciplines of Static and Dynamic Apnea. Static counts towards the Team Rankings, whereas the Dynamic is an optional discipline that will be used in the Competitor World Rankings but not for Team Rankings that will decide who will win the World Championships.
Wednesday saw the Static competition and excellent performances were generally seen by all competitors. New National Records were set by:
- Sam Still from the UK with a breathhold of 6 minutes 14 seconds. Dave Harries from the UK previously completed a 5 minute 58 seconds during the same competition and held the new record for 2 hours.
- Suzy Kensington from New Zealand with a breathhold of 5 minutes 1 second. This is her second National Record during the competition.
By the end of the day the unnofficial final Team Rankings were announced (This is due to the fact that Dynamic does not count to the overall competition rankings). Even though protests still needed to be completed it was obvious that the top 3 teams (mens and womens) were not going to change. The final results were as follows:
- Germany – 442.2 Points
- United Kingdom – 396.4 Points
- Canada – 367.2 Points
- Canada – 341.0 Points
- United States – 318.0 Points
- Germany – 292.3 Points
Goto for full rankings
Watching the results being changed live was an interesting experience. For example, after the first hour Mexico was top of the Mens Team Standings but as more competitors completed their performances they slowly dropped in Ranking till they were placed last in the overall Rankings. Credit must go to the organisers, in particular Tom Lightfoot who built and maintained the website.
The defining moment of the Static Competition was watching Tom Sietas complete a 9 minute 24 second clean breathhold. He was disqualified for touching his coach by giving her a hug but this was done on purpose as he is going for the official World Record later this year. Saying that there were gasps around the poolside as everyone watched this incredible performance.
Thursday was the Dynamic competition and you saw a dramatic shift in how the athletes performed. Since their performances didn’t count towards the Team Rankings, athletes really pushed themselves and this was reflected in the 4 National Records that fell during the day. They were:
- Haico Aaldering from the Netherlands at 129m (dynamic with fins)
- Julia Moran Morton from the USA at 82m (dynamic without fins)
- Armando Torres from Mexico at 66m (dynamic without fins)
- Nikka Moniaga from Japan at 128m (dynamic with fins)
By the end of the day the top rankings for men and women in the Dynamic Discpline were:
- Tom Sietas – 90.0 Points
- Dominique Ventzke – 75.5 Points
- Panos Lianos – 72.0 Points
- Nikka Morinaga – 64 Points
- Megumi Matsumoto – 59 Points
- Mandy-Rae Cruickshank – 55.5 Points
Goto for full rankings
Once the Dynamic Competition had been completed everyone shifted into Party mode with the Closing Ceremonies, After Party and the DeeperBlue.net "After Party" After Party. Prizes were handed out to the main athletes and the amazing trophies, made by, where given to the 3 top mens and womens teams. Sea-Doo scooters also were given to volunteers and athletes which delighted the assembled athletes.
After the official closing ceremony the athletes, volunteers, judges, media and friends all joined together at the on-campus pub for several hours of fun and drinking. The dance floor was full and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. Kirk Krack, the organiser was dragged outside to have jugs of water tipped over him and ended up in a Sumo Wrestling match against Kaz Ichikawa from Japan.
For quite a number of athletes this wasn’t the end as DeeperBlue.net’s room became the venue for the final hours of the competition. Seeing over 40 people squeeze into a flat designed for 6 was very interesting and memorable for all. Everyone let their hair down and the traditional t-shirt swapping even seemed to take on it’s own FreeDiving form as other clothes were then being swapped (although i’m not sure one of the Media Crew wearing girls clothes was a good idea).
That’s all from the on-location reporting. My thanks go to the Organisers (particularly Kirk Krack), Judges, Volunteers, Media and of course the Athletes and Coaches. It was an extremely memorable time.
However, our coverage hasn’t finished. Keep checking back with DeeperBlue.net over the next few weeks as we provide more online diaries from athletes, coaches and Volunteers, as well as analysis on the event itself.