British freedivers excel at Vertical Blue freediving depth competition

Dean Chaouche National Records 74m CNF

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)

British freediver Dean Chaouche set a new UK Record in Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) of 74m on the opening day of the Vertical Blue depth competition in the Bahamas. Since 22 April, the world’s top divers have been challenging each other to dive deeper, some further than anyone has been before. Three World Records were also set at what has become the premier freediving competition in the world.

Two days later (24 April), Dean then became the second British man to reach 100m in Constant Weight (CWT). Dean said on Twitter that “It’s been very hard to get here, there have been many hiccups, but I’m glad I made it!” Dean has been living on Long Island by Dean’s Blue Hole, where the competition is held. Although not named after him, it’s fitting given he’s become so comfortable diving here regularly.

Dean put his success down to working hard on swimming technique, diving regularly and training his body and mind to be more tolerant to carbon dioxide. His National Record feels all the better for the frustration he felt missing an opportunity to set the record in 2015. His persistence has paid off – along with the CNF national record he came 3rd overall in the competition and 2nd in the CNF discipline.

Fellow Brits Liv Phillip and Georgina Miller also found success at Vertical Blue, ranking 6th and 8th respectively. Despite ill health during her stay on Long Island, Liv achieved a 63m Free Immersion (FIM) dive which gave her 4th place in that discipline and Georgina performed a personal best.

The competition closed with not one, but two World Records by British-born, New Zealand freediver William Trubridge in Free Immersion to 122 and then 124m. That followed an impressive CNF World Record of 72m set by Japanese freediver Sayuri Kinoshita. The events kept us all on the edge of our seats for almost two weeks!

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