The Oceanhunter Deep Obsession competition has just been completed in New Zealand – the competition was held over two days last weekend in Auckland.
The various disciplines in freediving might be a bit confusing to some of us, so I have listed them clearly below for clarification purposes:
Static Apnea (STA)
breath hold time in the pool
Dynamic Apnea (DYN)
distance swum in pool on a single breath, usually in a monofin
Dynamic without fins (DNF)
distance swum in pool on a single breath without the use of fins
Constant weight (CW)
depth dived to and returned from on a single breath, usually in a monofin, the diver follows a rope but can not pull on it except for at the turn and must return to the surface with the same equipment they left with
Constant weight without fins (CNF)
as above but without the use of fins
Free Immersion (FIM)
depth dived without fins but the diver may pull on the rope
Variable Weight (VAR)
non-competition event where the diver goes as deep as possible but may drop weight at the bottom for an easier descent and ascent
non-competition event where the diver rides a sled as deep as they can and then fills an air bag to ride back to the surface as seen on the film “The Big Blue”.
Day one was the pool based event and Day Two, Sunday, was the constant weight with or without fins.
The pool event was in the 33m long, shallow Panmure pool in Auckland and the deep dive events were held at Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s north shore. There was a 50m limit to the lake dive as Pupuke was very cold, windy, and dark as, unfortunately, it was an overcast day and there had been a bit of rain, so the visibility was down to about 1-2m, and no-one was quite sure what the divers might get stuck in if they went much deeper.
Guy Brew performed an amazing 8 min 31sec static dive in Panmure pool to claim his New Zealand record back off fellow seal Dave Mullins – the only freediving club in New Zealand is called The Lazy Seal Club! This remarkable dive was the longest competition static performed in 2008 anywhere in the world. It also makes Guy only the third person to break the 8:30 mark in competition, behind Tom Sietas and Stig Aavall Severinsen.
Kathryn McPhee topped things off with a 7 min 01sec static, just two seconds short of the number one ranking for 2008. “The static was just one of those amazingly beautiful relaxed dives that really reminds me why I love freediving so much”, she said.
The top-ranked dive of the year remains Natalia Molchanova’s 7:03. Natalia currently holds every competitive world record, excepting Kathryn’s own Dynamic with No Fins record.
Kerian Hibbs, my source who keeps me up to date with freediving news and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, sadly did not beat his own personal Dynamic’s best, although he came second overall in the constant weight component on Sunday. He is determined to beat his 201m Dynamic Apnea record in 2009.
Congratulations to you all.