At 11:20am in Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas New Zealand freediver William Trubridge broke the world record in unassisted freediving, descending 88 meters (288 feet) and returning to the surface on a single breath of air and without the use of any weight or propulsive assistance.
The dive took place as part of Vertical Blue 2009, an invitational freediving event where the world’s elite freedivers compete over nine days of diving. Already in the competition three world records had been broken by British Sara Campbell and Austrian Herbert Nitsch, but this was the first to be set by a New Zealander in the event.
William Trubridge has been training as a freediver for the last 6 years, and in April of 2007 he set his first world record in this discipline, with 82m. The same year the record was broken with 83m by Herbert Nitsch, widely considered the world’s greatest freediver, but William bettered it again in 2008, with 86m. Herbert attempted the record on the sixth day of this event, but turned early at 71m. William also attempted 88m on the 4th day of the event, and although he made the depth and returned to the surface he blacked out as he took his first breath, and was thus disqualified.
William admits that there was a lot of anticipation and anxiety when he entered the water for another attempt at the record this morning, but he managed to remain calm and finished the dive in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, returning to the surface completely lucid.
He said that this result is the product of years of intensive training, and the support of his sponsors Suunto, Extreme Drinks and Orca and a generous scholarship from AMP.
News and photos from Vertical Blue 2009 can be found at http://www.verticalblue.net/news
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