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Last year’s Bizzy Blue hole competition was a successful event for me. I’ve set new personal bests on 3 depth disciplines; -40m in CWT, -35m in CNF & 33m in FIM. Marieke made some excellent footage of these freedives and I found some time to combine the footage with the results from my D3 freediving watch.
These are the statistics from the different dives (keep in mind that the data shown below is from my own watch not the competition watch. The competition watch is attached to the wrist reaching for the tag.)
CNF – Dynamic No Fins
Dive time: 1 minute 33 seconds
Max depth: 36 meters
Announced depth: 35 meters
Judge: White card
FIM – Free Immersion
Dive time: 1 minute 16 seconds
Max depth: 32,6 meters
Competition depth: 33 meters
Judged: White card
CWT – Constant Weight
Dive time: 1 minute 16 seconds
Max depth: 39,3 meters
Competition depth: 40 meters
Judged: White card
Looking back on the past few days of competition and training I must say I’ve learned quite a lot about the freediving to depth, techniques and about my approach. The depth part is a new and undiscovered area which I really like to explore more.
Besides that I also liked the competition and to meet all competitors and enthusiasts. Good to see there a lot more people out there having the same thing with freediving. All freedivers were very open to each other, helping with technique and helping out with anything.
For me I think the best for future training and depth-options in the Netherlands I’d best be of with doing FRC-dives, which give me the possibility to train for deeper dives within shallow waters.
The stretching which Jorg already told me was very important for deep dives, has proven it’s point and this should be in my preparation for future deep freediving.
Coming here I think my body was well prepared and my ears have seen multiple depth’s without tiring out on me. In my opinion the pool exercises and training from the past weeks/months really paid of in this event.
Putting it all together this whole event was about training, getting into depth’s again and totally for exploration. But in the results ending up with a reasonable 100+ points and respectable depth’s (CNF: 35m, FIM: 33m & CWT: 40m & All PB’s) on a 13th place overall is good inspiration for the future. I really like to compete in more depth competitions and explore the capabilities and moving the boundries for my body in depth.
Overall feeling I have with competitions is still that it brings a certain structure and planning which really suits me…For the Bizzy Blue hole depth-competition I liked the fact of choosing my own time of entrance to the water, which makes it like the approach Jorg and I always use for pool competitions.
Today we agreed to meet up at 9:30 to do the relay freedive where 2 teams head up against each other in a speed relay session. the dives should have all the 3 styles; free immersion, constant weight with fins and without fins to a depth of 20, 30 and 40 meter. The team can decide which style to go with which depth.
I teamed up with David and Muir and we were up against a danish team, Muir got his first 20m without fins properly and David did his 30 meters with fins and with hang-over, after which I headed down for the free immersion to 40 meters. But at 33 meters the equalization proved to be a bit harder, which must have been the stress of time related competition. So I returned to the surface without a tag and we were disqualified :). Actually we didn’t really stand a chance against the first danish team. They got all depth within 2 minute and 30 seconds. Good fun to participate in!
For the second part of the day we set out to the canyon, which is a dive area nearby the Blue hole. David, Marieke and I went in the water with a buoy and got out to the point where the entrance to the fish bowl was. Prepared the buoy for easier descent. The entrance of the fish bowl is at about 16,5 meters, which we descent to with a free immersion style to save energy. First David showed me where the entrance was and after that we took a few minutes of rest and prepared for a dive through the first part of the canyon.
We dove down and got into the fish bowl, which was a kind of underwater underground cave in the shape of a bowl, at the end of the bowl the path bended down to about 23 meters to end up underneath a massive crack through which we ascended to the surface again. Breath-taking to do this and really got imprinted in my mind. We mad e a second dive down there and I filmed David going through this cave…awesome pictures and never to forget, this is what freediving is about!
At around 16:00 we headed out to sharm el sheikh to have the rest of the holiday in the Reef Oasis Beach Resort.
The last day of the AIDA competitions and I feel very confident in doing the 40 meter constant weight. It was about 10 o’clock when we arrived at the Aqua Marina and the weather had settled a bit since yesterdays 10 mph wind speed. The water still was a bit choppy, but over the Blue hole the waves were not too high.
Preparing the dive with a few stretch exercises and planning this one only with valsalva technique. So no mouthfill, just on pure relaxation and focus on good equalization. As the water was a bit colder than yesterday, I decided to go in only 15 minutes before my official top (OT).
10 minutes before my OT I did a 1 minute 20 seconds static at 10 meter, which should let my body know that I’m about to dive deep. I felt really at ease and confident that I would make it. 4 minutes left to OT and I get called to the line and the safety prepares the depth gage and connects the lanyard to the competition line. I hear Marieke telling me I’ve got plenty of time down there, which reminds me that I do indeed; so no lightning decisions.
I start the dive and descent with my normal speed rate (~1 meter per second) and reach 25 meters without any problem. I start the sink phase and focus more on the equalization, just as I think the equalization starts getting harder I see the bottom plate within normal reach. I choose a tag to bring up, put it in the side of my cap, finish the turn and head back up to the surface. A total of 1 minute 16 seconds dive time and I resurface and do my surface protocol within 2 breath’s, gave my tag to the judge and got a white card presented. This is how a freedive should go, feel and be executed. I’m very very pleased with this dive and depth! I recall Sebastian (organizer) saying this was one of the best dives on execution of that day.
Later that night at the meeting there was a BBQ arranged. Also a small pop-quiz with some freedive related questions, which was really fun to do. Everybody drinking Sakara’s and having fun. A really festive night and kind of closure of the event.
Last night we decided to go training in the Blue hole with a few other freedivers. So we arranged our taxi to be there at around 10:30 and we were of to the blue hole. The weather was a bit on the rough side, yeah you might put it that way… 😉 The waves luckily rolled over the reef and were not as high anymore when they passed over the blue hole.
The training dives went pretty well and I wanted to train my equalizing thing I learned yesterday, but my ears weren’t really up for it. So I tried a few times, but had to call it a day with a 31m dive.
Dave actually felt much better than the day before, although he wasn’t fully recovered. He started of with a practice dive for constant weight without fins, but had to come up free immersion style. After that he did a few really good free imeersion dives to 40m and they looked real easy on him.
Marieke tried a few dives as well and surprisingly she dove down to 16 meters without any problem. I think it’s a good thing she enjoys the deep waters just as much as I do.
Tomorrow the last day of the AIDA competition days is up and I think I’ll be registering for a 40 meter constant weight. As Dave, Marcus and Allan already told me…just try and relax and the equalization will be just fine. This is actually what Jorg has been telling me since a long time, but now it seems to make more sence as the 33 meters or more are getting easier, it all comes down to being able to do more depth training in the end.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings and I’ll report back later.
Today the 2nd day of bizzy Blue hole’s Aida competitions were up. The first official top time had been moved to an earlier time, so the freedivers had to readjust their taxi appointments a bit, but everybody was right on time. Dave, which whom I share the taxi with, had to cancel due to ongoing belly problems. So Marieke and I got the taxi at 9:00 and got to the blue hole to sit and relax for a while.
Daan had swapped with Martin and so he had is dive in the beginning. Daan did a good 44 meters constant weight without fins, which was good for a new national record as he got the white card presented.
I started preparing 35 minutes before my official top and got ready with a small hang at 10m’s. The hang was about 1 minute 20 seconds, it helped me great to prepare for my dive. At 11:38 I was up and arrived at the small yellow boat and got the d3 attached around my wrist and the safety took care of hooking me up to the line. I prepared and took off a few seconds over official top. My duckdive wasn’t optimal which loosened my weight belt, never the less it was no problem. At around 23 meters I did a mouthfill, which actually got me to the 33 meters without equalizing just holding the pressure on my eardrums. At the point of 33 meters, I wanted to top up my mouthfill, but instead of topping it up, it slipped back into my lungs…startled as I was I turned around and headed back to the surface. That was the stupidest thing to do as I had enough air left to just relax and refill the mouth again. In the end it’s never too late to learn from moments like those. I surfaced after a 1 minute 16 seconds dive without a tag and lesson learned.
I’m very pleased with the dive as it was my first ever successful mouthfill performed 😀 Although now I’ll have to train a lot to get this thing right the next times. Also I instructed Marieke to remember me that I must realize I have enough air and should take my time down there. Never make the quick decisions as I normally do when I’m down there. The fact of having enough air was confirmed later this day when I did a test for lung capacity; without any packs I got it to 6,9 liter and with a limited pack I got to 7,8 liters. I was kind of surprised and on the other hand it helped me gain some confidence.
After the competition Marieke and I were going out in the water again to check out the bells. Unfortunately the sun was hiding behind the clouds so we did not have all the proper light to make the pictures. We managed to make a few, but never the less we enjoyed it. I think we’ll go out there again sometime later this week and then with proper sun shining over the corals.
Registration is due, so i’ll head out and maybe post back later.
So we’re back from the briefing and registration for tomorrow. I’ll just post the lists below and catch y’all later when we’ve had another great competition day.
Results from today
Announcements for tomorrow
Today was the first of the competition days organized by Freediving.biz for the Bizzy Blue Hole. We met up with Dave at around 9:00 and arranged for a taxi to pick us up and bring us to the Blue Hole and back. Once we’d arrived we just got into the relaxing Aqua Marina lounge bar to sit a couple of hours. Dave was feeling quite a bit sick from last night’s food, but eventually he decided to do his first CNF (Constant weight No Fins) dive anyway. He made his depth of 30m’s but his stomache didn’t agree all to much.
I got into the water at around 11:30 to swim out and do a warm-up dive to about 25m’s. The warm-up felt really good and I was confident about my 35m CNF-dive.
After the warm-up, at around 12:00 it was my turn to make my freedive to 35m’s without fins. The first part went really smooth; duck-dive, the first strokes and equalisation were fine. At around 16m’s I got into the sink-phase and I could focus more on my equalization, but it wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped it to be. I looked for the plate and it was only a few meters away and just descended a bit slower, grabbed the tag and returned for the surface with the tag still in my hand.
I surfaced after 1 minute and 33 seconds immersion and took 3 breath’s, performed my surface protocol and gave my tag to the judge. A white card was shown to me, meaning the dive had been judged as valid. I’m very pleased with this nice performance, it shows me that I’m capable of doing a little more with some more practice hours.
Tonight’s registration will be at 19:00 and I might have list of the performances of today with the points and I hope to have a list of the starting times for tomorrow aswell.
So today we were up for a magic 3 and team static competition, which was held at the pool of our hotel. The magic 3 is basically static breathholding to what you think is 3 minutes, which I managed quite good, but still 18 seconds off with 3:18. The winner Georgina Miller had a time of 3:02 very close to the magic number ;).
The team static was very nice to do…it’s a small competition where 3 freedivers are put into a team and you have to hold your breath the longest of all groups. So head in the water, before your team mate surfaces. I was in the team with Daan Verhoeven and Ulrich Wulff and we managed to reach a time of 11:56 which was good for a 3rd place.
After that we arranged for a cab to bring us to the blue hole and start a training session. The road there is a bit bumpy, but as I heard Sven telling me that when he was there like 10 years ago, Dahab wasn’t the city as it is now. I started practicing with Daan and Sven and I had to say…Blue hole is just an amazing site. Althouh I didn’t do much more than train for 1,5 hours, my girlfriend Marieke managed to shoot quite a few very nice pictures.
Training went very well, as it was a warm-up day I didn’t expect anything above 25m’s, but turning up feeling well after each deeper dive was very nice. I tried to do the different styles and train with a lanyard, as that is my first as well. I think training was really good and I’m very pleased with today. With a maximum of 37m’s almost equaling my previous personal best, says enough. Free Immersion was also very nice and relaxed on which I was curious on which point the free fall starts, in my case at about 16m with 3 kg’s.
Later that night the briefing and registration for tomorrow’s competition was due and I registerd for the first day with a constant weigh without fins of 35m’s. The rest of the starting list is in the picture.
We’ll grab a cab together with Dave Tranfield and head out there at about 9:00 in the morning.
After our arrival at the airport we got through customs and there was a cab-driver waiting to pick us up. He brought us to Dahab in quite a good tempo, we were a bit confused by the way they communicate on the road here, but after a while the flashing and claxon fade into the background.
As we’d just checked into the hotel (Nesima), Rahel called me to meet up with the rest of the group. So there we ate a quick meal and met up with all the other freedivers around.
We managed to tag along with the excursion next day to Ras Mohamed. With a few check-ups and a bag searches, we were on a boat to the dive area. A nice quiet place surrounded by mountains and a few other boats.The first stop was a good warm-up area with a few corals and a lot of trigger fish.
After a nicely cooked meal on the boat we were on our way to the 2nd and last site for that day. This site featured a nice long coral wall and one beautiful cave to freedive through. I think that was quite an amazing part of the day.
Time to head back to Shar el Sheikh and from that point we travelled back to Dahab. When we were back there was a small briefing about tomorrows schedule. We’re asked to meet up at the pool of Nesima to do the magic 3 and team relay static. After that I’m going to finally meet the Blue hole and hopefully with a nice line to dive by.