British freedivers Dean Chaouche and Helena Bourdillon have set new national records of 98m and 75m respectively, in the constant weight bi-fins (CWTB) depth category. The discipline has been recently recognised by AIDA International, whereby a diver descends using only bi-fins as propulsion. Dean and Helena are the first UK athletes to set records in this discipline.
This is the first time Helena has set a national record in freediving, and she set two over the course of just two days! The first of the two British records took place on 4 August when she swam down to 73m, the next day, 5 August, she went to 75m, both times at the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition. Helena had this to say: “I’m thrilled to have done this and enjoyed it a lot!”
Dean set the first of four CWTB records at the Asian Freediving Cup on 9 June, going down to 90m; he went two meters deeper on 24 August at the Korean Cup organised by Freedive Panglao in the Philippines and then to 95m on 29 August and finally to 98m on 31 August at the Freedive Panglao Mini Comp.
Dean said: “After my 90m bi-fins dive which I had made earlier in the year I was surprised by how much fun deep bi-fins dives can be and so I decided that I would push the depth a little more and enjoy the process of developing a new discipline. My other goal for these string of comps, organised by Freedive Panglao, was to achieve a greater state of relaxation similar to what I feel on training dives and to build slowly. I began with a 92m dive on the second day of the Korean Cup, following that dive I decided to go for 95m on day one of the Mini Comp, it was a very relaxed and enjoyable dive, exactly the experience I was looking for. I made a slightly more challenging dive to 98m due to current, though I am very happy with the numbers, what I’m more happy about is the circumstances and the quality of dives and focus. There was quite a bit of current all the way down, I was aware of this before my dive but I still maintained a very relaxed state of mind. When I started the dive I could feel it was taking more energy to keep straight and I could feel the current moving me around on the descent but I realised I was still in a very comfortable state of mind and knew that I could make the dive even with the added difficulty. The swim up was for sure harder than the previous dive but ultimately successful and a clean protocol. I’m super stoked with how relaxed I can feel even in competition and will aim to build on these satisfying dives.”
Dean Chaouche from Swansea has broken several national records in both the free immersion and constant weight no fins depth disciplines and is currently ranked in the world’s top 5. You can follow Dean on Social Media under the handle @deanfreediver. Helena Bourdillon(http://helenabourdillon.com) is a motivational speaker as well as a competitive freediver and is based in London.