Tag Archives: Kostas

Freediving training @ the tongelreep’s 50 meter pool

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Last night I went out to the Tongelreep for some freediving training as it’s thursday again. Jorg only just got back from holiday and pointed out that he would be joining again next week, but both Kostas and Yugyug were there to join me in training.

img_3893I didn’t really set up a schedule for me to work on, but I did want to do a few crawl without breath’s, DNF’s and some static at depth. Unfortunenately the Tongelreep was on summerschedule, so the 5 meter deep pool was not available to us at this time. We had to switch to the 50 meter official competition pool section to do our training. This is the section also used with the dynamic’s during the 4th dutch Apnea Open. The pool is 3 meters deep and has a lot of lanes available, but it’s rather hard to get a lane to yourself » so you’ll always have to be alert to swimmers going about their own business.

So Yugyug and I agreed to start with some warm-up laps, which for me meant doing about 4 lanes of 50 meter crawl without breath. Yugyug was doing 25 meters of DNF’s to get his system prepped. After our warm-up Kostas joined up with us and it was time for the static’s at 3 meter depth. Yugyug and Kostas did really good static’s and I got inspired to do a static as well. I agreed with Kostas on their tapping strategy and told him I would see how things progressed but I set the max to 3 minutes. This all went really good, I wasn’t all that relaxed as the last time with Jorg I had a good 3 minutes at 5 meters, but in general I did not have a hard time taking the contractions for the last 60 seconds.

After the static session I had a go at DNF’s over 50 meters, which had been a while in a 50 meter pool. First lap was progressing good, but confidence was lacking a bit so for safety reasons I went up at 40 meters, as I was training alone at this moment.  But after resurfacing I instantly could feel and notice that this safety measure altho good to do, no where near any out of breath signs ;). So as confidence was up again I started at the other side and did another DNF run back and this time the 50 meters went away easily again. Although touching the wall at 50 meters did feel as a relief, I think that’s only due to the fact I haven’t been doing this at all lately.

20081217_Technique_DYN_Kostas_01Kostas decided to go for a DYN over 50 meters after he first tried 2 x 25 meters to warm up. He came up easily, but one of the things to note here was that he’d decreased his swimming speed and now did a dynamic over 50 meters in about 1 minute 10 seconds, which he said did make him more comfortable. We’ll see how this progresses over the weeks to come.

Overall we had a quality training, learning a lot and having fun. I’ll try and write an exercise post about the crawl without breath to give more insight in this good training exercise. So stay tuned.

Kostas’ Christmas trip to Greece

As Kostas joined up for training and freediving with us last year, I’ve asked him to write a small report on his journey to Greece last Christmas. Enjoy the story:

When I returned from Greece after my Christmas vacation I was completely blown away. The reason was that I went for the first time spear fishing during winter and it was an amazing experience. When I told Sanne about it, he asked me whether I could write a short story about it so he can upload it on the site. Well, it’s been four months since I was in Greece for Christmas and I am about to keep my promise… 😛

The most incredible thing about the spear fishing trips was not the depth of the dives, nor was it the fish we saw or speared. It was in fact the realization that we were experiencing all this in the middle of the winter, the season I used to sit in a warm place and watch the sea from a distance.

kostas-trip-01-mediumHaving been used to visit the sea during the summer holidays, I was thinking of winter as the time of the year when weather conditions, the temperature of the water, were making water activities, especially spear fishing, a thing for a few life defying people. How wrong I was…

The plan of going for spear fishing during our holidays in Greece was already fixed in our heads months before, but we were still not quite sure about the sanity of it. As we left Thessaloniki on our way to Chalkidiki the sky was changing between clear and cloudy and Karin and me where wondering what we would confront once we arrive. We were already tipped about three spots we should visit. The first location was windy and high waves were hitting the shore. Not ideal. We moved to the second but conditions were still not good.

kostas-trip-02-mediumAfter being two hours in the car, having rejected two out of three locations and being almost convinced that this will not happen today we arrived at the third one. We drove off the main road and down a narrow curvy one surrounded by dense green vegetation that would take us to the small port. Curve after curve as we were getting closer to water the excitement, as to what conditions we would find, was rising. Taking the last curve the landscape revealed itself: a bay surrounded by green hills, and in it, secluded, a small port with a small beach located at its left and a rocky formation on the right. To the south-east the horizon was clear and the sun was shining above us. The water was as calm as I have seen it during any nice summer day. The sight was thrilling.

Acceleration… we couldn’t wait to get into the water. Gear out of the car as fast as we can, putting it on in no time and into the water. Here we were, floating in cold water. Visibility was 15-20 meters and coping with the cold was no issue with the 5mm wet suit. We stayed in the water for almost two hours, saw plenty of activity, and even took an octopus home weighing almost 2 ½ kg. One of the greatest things during our stay in the water was the complete silence. No motorboats around, no boats at all as a matter of fact, something that is just unimaginable to experience during summer in Greece, especially if you don’t own your own boat to take you to remote locations.

kostas-trip-03-mediumThe first experience was so positive that a second trip was planned after five days already. This time Karin stayed back and a friend of mine, Kostas (very popular name in Greece), joined me. He was already wound up to the extreme from the story of the first dive. This time however the weather was worse and I was less optimistic about it. The sky was cloudy, it was raining slightly and the forecast was talking about winds of 4-5 Beaufort strength. We drove off, telling ourselves that in the worst case scenario of forbidding conditions we will have a coffee and drive back and consider this as a nice short road trip.

kostas-trip-04-mediumOur destination was the same location and it seems that it is a good one as conditions where unbelievably good. The water was even calmer than the previous time, almost mirror smooth, and the visibility unchanged. It was raining during the whole dive and some waves picked up as we were leaving. This time my friend took an octopus out for dinner (the octopus was the dinner).

What an eye opener! All these years the thought of going into the sea during winter seemed to be so daring. How wrong I was. Given the right weather conditions, a protected location and good gear, freediving or spear fishing during winter is just as fun, if not more, as during summer. Having the chance to experience this made me think of all the miss beliefs  I might have about many things in life and that the only way to overcome these is to get out there and try them out.

4th Dutch Apnea Open

dutchapneaopen.jpgLast weekend Immersion organized Dutch Apnea Open in the Tongelreep Eindhoven. Together with Kostas and Guy, I participated in the competition, Marieke and Jorg were there to coach us along with friends who dared to travel through the snowy weather.

As it was the first competition for both Kostas and Guy,we had practiced the rules and procedures on the Thursday before the competition. It was a good training and new ground exploration for both of them.

20081123_DutchApneaOpen_02.jpgArriving at the competition we looked up our Official Top times and whilst doing so you just always bump into all familiar faces. Nice to see such a large competitor field. Talking to fellow freedivers and friends filled the first hour at the competition.

After all the socialization I got to coach Kostas and Guy for their performances in static. so we agreed upon our safety-tapping strategy and set out the planning for a small schedule until both their OT’s.

Static sessions
Guy Keulemans
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_03.jpgAs the organization set up the lanes somewhat confusing for freediver participating for the first time, Guy showed up in the wrong lane. As Guy was preparing I saw the competition field being entered by an other competitor so I had to relocate Guy into the proper lane after which he was ready to do his static. Not totally relaxed, but confident he did a great performance of 2m 39s. Not topping his personal best, but usually that’s a hard thing to do in a competition.

Kostas Kevrekidis
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_01.jpgAlso Kostas showed up in the wrong lane and after relocation we got to do the warm-up static’s. Eager to go for his static Kostas did his warm-up dives properly and prepared for a very good static. Having no problems while his goggle straps almost sprung just before his OT, he didn’t really had to struggle to get a perfect 4m 36s static.

Dynamic Sessions
Kostas Kevrekidis
Not totally confident about performing a 50m+ dynamic with fins, Kostas prepared for his DYN with a warm-up dive of 50m’s, no problem at all! So Guy and I inspired him to just do a turn and a few kicks and then he could still see how he felt. That being said he started his DYN and almost got stuck in the 1st meter start line, not distracted by that fact he went for 50m’s and turned. The 2 or 3 extra kicks got more and he did a great 85m DYN. Slipping up the surface protocol made it a disqualified performance, but does nothing to the fact he really made a good effort and perfect distance.

Guy Keulemans
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_04.jpgGuy prepared a schedule preceding his OT for DNF and the warm-up statics proved to be helpful. As the 3m deep pool posed no problem, he did a perfect 86m dynamic without fins (DNF). Seeing all the technique from our training put into practice and the points of attention for the surface protocol all went flawless.

I’m very proud of both Kostas and Guy for showing good performances!

Guy put up his pictures and movie-clips in this gallery » click here…

So…What about yourself…?
As for me, I’m currently going through a phase where I think it is best to resign from competitions for now. The pressure I put upon myself in wanting to always show the rest a worthy performance, I forget to enjoy competing in competitions like these.

For the record; my performances:

  • Static: 3m 35s, the point where usually my contractions come and the first fight starts.
  • Dynamic: 70 m DNF, clean and comfortable and yet again to the point where contractions and the fight start.

I wrote a post about my motivations to take a break from competitions, check it out here…