A Freediving Record Attempt by William Trubridge
Note: This was published in 2012.
William Trubridge has done it again – 125 metres on a single breath. He completed the dive, but not quite the surface protocol – can you believe it… he forgot to remove his goggles! Simple as that and the dive wasn’t ratified. However, watch this excellent video of his successful 120 metre dive successfully completed just 3 days before…
William Trubridge Freedives to 120m
While hundreds climb Mt Everest every year, very few athletes have the ability to push themselves to the very edge, and pushing yourself to the very edge in such a hostile environment brings the number down even more dramatically.
William Trubridge, 31, is one such athlete. Lying on his back on the water’s surface, he inflates his lungs to their maximum capacity then gulps the air like a fish to ‘pack’ in more oxygen. Then he rolls on his side and disappears into the deep, finning down for a few seconds before he disappears from view. It will be almost four minutes before he emerges again. The video explains it all…
Trubridge was first to the 100m depth and he now intends to break the constant weight world record (currently 124m) by diving to 125m (410ft)— equivalent to five lengths of an Olympic swimming pool, but vertical instead of horizontal. His training base is Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. At 202m, it is the world’s deepest known sea water blue hole — a giant underwater cave.
Although he does actually reach the incredible depth of 125m, and this is confirmed by a Suunto D-Series diving watch, he cannot claim the record. In order for a record to be official, the diver must pass stringent protocols on the surface in front of two independent judges and he failed that test.
Defeated but not deterred, he buoyantly (haha, good pun!) comments: “I made it to 125m and back to the surface, but my oxygen was just too low, and I had a samba [a loss of muscular control caused by oxygen deprivation] and failed the surface protocol. I forgot to remove my goggles! There were groans and laughs, but on the whole I’m not too gutted. The dive felt good, so I know that it is within my reach.”
To prepare his body, Trubridge follows a highly disciplined regime that is a mixture of breath-holding exercises, diving technique and yoga. He has, in fact, been described as ‘an advanced yogi’.
“I train as many as 15 times a week. The training is very intensive: a dive may only last four minutes, but during that time you are taking your body to its physiological limit in so many ways. To extend your breath hold you need to develop greater storage capacity for oxygen in your blood and tissues, but perhaps more importantly develop a tolerance to high carbon dioxide levels so that you can relax or stay calm despite the urge to breath that comes when CO2 levels rise.
“I use a lot of exercises to develop flexibility of the lungs, ribcage and diaphragm. Some of these I have taken from yoga practices, others I have devised myself. I am constantly doing yoga to keep the body, and most importantly the lungs flexible.”
He adds: “There is unfinished business, but for now I will take a little time off training.”
You’ll read it here when it happens.