Bristol Blue Freediving Competition
November 2, 2017
Bristol successfully hosted its second annual international freediving competition, covering the three main pool disciplines.
The two-day event, which took place on October 21 and 22 at Horfield Leisure Centre, was hosted by Bristol Freedivers and was supported by the Mares, Saltfree Divers, Dr Apnea, the British Freediving Association, Lobster Freediving Weight, Finisterre, Nomenca, D Smith Flooring, and Blue Water Freediving School. The event attracted experienced competitive divers as well as some new faces, both from the UK and overseas.
The overall winners of the competition were:
- Male: 1st Mike Board; 2nd Aristomenes Vounakis; 3rd Eóin Clarke
- Female: 1st Lucelle Simms; 2nd Beci Ryan; 3rd Rose Van-Gowler
Eóin Clarke set a new Irish National Record for his 137m DNF swim.
In the individual disciplines, the winners were:
- Male: 1st Adam Drzazga 6:35; 2nd Aristomenes Vounakis 6:05; 3rd Michael Board 5:46
- Female: 1st Hannah Thurston-McGowan 5:08; 2nd Lucelle Simms 4:47; 3rd Rose Van-Gowler 4:04
- Female: 1st Beci Ryan 120m; 2nd Lucelle Simms 104m; 3rd Johanni Nel 82m
- Male: 1st Eóin Clarke 137m (NR); 2nd Michael Board 130m; 3rd Constantin Timosca 116m
- Female: 1st Lucelle Simms 134m; 2nd Hannah Thurston-McGowan 130m; 3rd Beci Ryan 126m
- Male: 1st Michael Board 200m; 2nd Philip Fennell 183m; 3rd Aristomenes Vounakis 151m
Best Newbies were: Male, Paul Sutton; Female: Hannah Thurston-McGowan.
In recognition of all those who sacrifice their time and make great efforts to ensure freediving competitions are a success, special prizes were given to Becca Warren for providing Safety and Shirley Turner for coaching.
Organiser and founding member of Bristol Freedivers Andy Jardine said: “This was our first two-day competition, covering all three pool disciplines. We had competitors from eight different nationalities and 18 PBs were set, including Eóin Clarke’s new national Irish record in DNF. It’s great that we had six different winners for each discipline, too, which highlights what a strong field of competitors there was. We’re already planning for bigger and better in 2018!”
*Accompanying photos taken by and courtesy of Neil Wood, Bristol Freedivers
Background information on the BFA and freediving
1. The British Freediving Association (BFA) is the UK governing body of the international freediving organisation, l’Association Internationale pour le Développement de L’Apnée (AIDA). Founded in 1999, the BFA promotes recreational and competitive freediving, ratifies freediving records, and sponsors events for its members. The association also supports a growing network of affiliated freediving clubs throughout the UK. The BFA is a non-profit organisation and its committee is composed of volunteers. www.britishfreediving.org; www.aida-international.org
2. Freediving is the sport of diving underwater on one breath without the aid of mechanical breathing apparatus. The roots of freediving stretch back in time to the very origins of human development where the ability to hold our breath allowed us to gather food and resources at all depths. Today, the sport encompasses recreational activities like snorkelling and spearfishing as well as competitions. Some competitive disciplines include “static apnea” (a stationary breath hold in water), “dynamic apnea” (a horizontal swim underwater on one breath with or without fins) and “constant weight” (a vertical dive to depth on one breath with fins).
As with any extreme sport or sport involving water, freediving should only be undertaken with appropriate training and supervision. Freedivers draw upon a wealth of knowledge from within the freediving community to dive safely. Through ongoing training and education, freedivers develop increased awareness of and control over their bodies and minds. The BFA recommends that new freedivers take an AIDA freediving course.
Regular updates and news on UK freediving can be found at:
For further information please contact:
Louise Nelson, Press Officer