Keeping an eye on William Trubridge’s progress…

On  6th October I told you that William Trubridge would be attempting his record breaking 100m unassisted freediving attempt in November. The update is that the dates have been set for this attempt, codenamed Project Hector. The dive will be made some time between the 10th and 16th December.

project hector poster

William is a phenomenal freediver and dedicated to his sport. He and his wife Brittany spend 7 months of the year training in the Bahamas and the rest of the year is spent traveling, teaching freediving and yoga in Europe. They are the hosts of the AIDA freediving event held at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas every year where records are made to be broken and where William won gold and bronze in both disciplines this year: fins and without fins.

Going down to such monumental depths as William does requires specially adapted clothing. He uses a silicon-coated wetsuit which is designed by Orca as well as swimming goggles that have been specially designed with corrective lenses mounted on the inside so that they can be flooded and still enable vision underwater.

The record depth will be verified by an official Suunto D4 depth gauge that Trubridge wears on his wrist. Suunto are the official sponsors of the AIDA Dean’s Blue Hole competition. But that’s not all. Underwater cameras will allow judges from AIDA – the official organisation for verifying freediving records – to monitor every moment of the dive.

A dive has to be completely trouble free. If it looks at any moment as if the diver has passed out, even for a moment or two, even after he has returned to the surface, then the dive is null and void. The rule is that athletes must keep their airways above the water after surfacing…

After two tragedies in 2002, one death and one severe case of decompression sickness which left the diver confined to a wheelchair, the now highly active freediving community instigated a complete re-evaluation of the deep diving safety measures, and as a consequence, AIDA introduced the mandatory use of a safety lanyard and back-up lifting systems in deep diving disciplines.

What William is attempting to do has never been done before. He himself has come the closest to it at the April competition in the sunny Bahamas with his successful 95m dive and new world record.

The depth has been reached and passed before – but never by an unassisted freediver.

All freediving is potentially dangerous, but this depth is mind boggling. For this reason safety technical divers will be stationed along the vertical descent line that William will follow.  These experienced divers will be using closed circuit re-breathers which increase the depth and bottom time for these divers and mean’s there there won’t be a column of ascending bubbles in Dean’s Blue Hole which can create powerful currents that play havoc with the freedive.

The vertical descent line is a guide only for William to follow. He will not touch it either going down or coming back up.

All fingers and toes are crossed for his success!

Enjoy the following video of williamtrubridge freediving at The Blue Hole in Dahab – and witness the deep blue as freedivers do…

This was the first no fins, no suit dive through The Arch, which connects Dahab’s Blue Hole to the Red Sea. It is a 30m long tunnel found at a depth of 55m.

What discipline!

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