Call out to British Freediving Instructors

If you are a qualified Freediving Instructor and would like to be included on the British Freediving Association website annual list of instructors, then we would like to hear from you!The BFA would like to provide a listing for individual instructors in addition to the club listings.

If you would like to be included then please send an email to Liv at training@britishfreediving.org. Include up-to-date copies of your teaching insurance, HSE medical & a first aid certificate (First aid within the last 2 years), and we will list you up on the BFA website as a British Free Diving Instructor.If you send along any contacts such as a websites or email and what agency and instructor level you arethen this will be added to your details.This list will be renewed each yearand you will need to send your details to the training officer annually to be re-listed.

2016 National Champions

Tim MoneyTim Money

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

Every year, the BFA selects the male and female National Champion based on competition results across all disciplines in the pool and open water. For UK divers this means training year-round and often having to travel abroad to reach the depths needed to excel on the world stage.

The 2016 champions are Tim Money and Liv Phillip.

Both athletes are cornerstones of British freediving; they are not only consistent high performing athletes on the pool circuit, but they rank at a high level in depth disciplines as well. The BFA would like to congratulate them both and wish them every success in 2017.

Liv Phillip commented: “It’s a real pleasure to receive the British Championship award again this year. It’s the 10th consecutive year I’ve won the British Championship, and every year has been very different as my freediving and my goals have developed. In the beginning I just wanted to hit the water with any excuse to do so, which is where my desire to do all the pool and depth disciplines came from. Now I’m a very experienced diver, things of course change, and I find new reasons to continue competition freediving. One thing that does not change is the freedom I feel from being in the water, and specifically in the sea. I made a competition personal best this year in constant weight with a dive to 75m, and the challenge in doing this was having very limited training time and resources, and very few training days doing depth in the sea. What I fall back on is a real joy of the water and the friends I get to share the challenges with along the way. I’d like to thank all the people who have supported me this year, and I’m looking forward to the 2017 Depth World Championship in Roatan in August.”

Tim Money commented: “I love this award and am really chuffed to get it. It’s really challenging to get points on all disciplines, and almost see it as the pentathlon of freediving, as it’s very hard to train and do well across the board. My head says I should be more specific and concentrate on one event to progress, however the excitement factor throws that out the window and I have a go at everything, which is great fun. My main challenge is with time between teaching, family and work – I just don’t get to do enough diving or events. I managed to get to two events this year, so only just got points in all disciplines, and hope to do more in the future. I would really like to thank my family who let me run away to these adventures, and my employer (www.saba.com), as they help me with time to get to the World Championships.”

For more information, please contact Louise Nelson, Press Officer, British Freediving Association at press@britishfreediving.org.

Mens & Women’s British Freediving Champions 2015

Mens British Freediving Champions 2015 - Tim Money Women's British Freediving Champions 2015 - Liv Philip

Every year, the BFA selects the male and female National Champion based on competition results across all disciplines in the pool and open water. For UK divers this means training year-round and often having to travel abroad to reach the depths needed to excel on the World stage.

Meet 2015’s UK Champions Liv Phillip and Tim Money, who have trained together for many years in London. This is Liv’s 9th consecutive year as Champion, and Tim’s 3rd. Both are AIDA Instructors, representing the UK regularly at team and individual championships and both volunteer their precious time to assist in running the BFA. Liv and Tim spoke to each other about their freediving year, challenges overcome, achievements and how they’ve kept on top of their game for 10 years.

Liv Phillip (LP): “Tim, I met you on a cold winter’s day on the Saltfree platform in 2006. You were doing some sort of strange leg stretch in your wetsuit. Why are you still going strong in freediving ten years later?”
Tim Money (TM): “Freediving is great escapism from conventional life, which of course I value with my job and family, but it gives me a chance to have some adventures. Plus, the community is special. At events there is a common shared love and understanding of freediving despite differences in race, culture and lifestyle and I think that is pretty unique. Our sport is competitive, but because of the intensity of our sport, camaraderie shines through”.

TM: “Liv, you like all the competitive disciplines and this is the 9th consecutive year you have been the British Women’s Champion, what was your freediving all about in 2015?”
LP: “2015 was totally about looking after my family and not about freediving. I took two trips to deep dive this year and the training time was minimal, but it provided some much needed time away from responsibilities back in the UK. Family illness and difficult circumstances meant it wasn’t possible to make the sort of selfish decisions necessary to be a top athlete, but made it very clear how much I love diving in the sea. The challenges I’ve faced this year outside of freediving have been very important to me to put into the perspective how unimportant competition results are in the grand scheme of things. Having said that, as soon as I was in the water, I valued every moment and I think that explains winning the British Champion title. I ended up with a personal best in Free Immersion with a 4th place dive of 68m at the Depth World Championship in Cyprus. The nice thing is that my mum is my biggest fan and this really cheered her up”.

LP: “What about you? How were you looking at your freediving in 2015?”
TM: “I got some more time in deep water this year which let me concentrate on some things. I did more UK diving, which I enjoy and keeps me from getting so rusty, and I was able to get away to the Cyprus Depth World Individual Championships. I did a Constant Weight dive to 67m there, but I think for me the real achievement was the experience of learning how to do that. I went to the Bahamas earlier in the year for the Vertical Blue Championship and my family came along, but I found my little girl won my attention hands down and so I just dived for fun”.

LP: “Are you still as excited about freediving 10 years on?”
TM: “I question this every winter, and I’ve decided I will continue in whatever way as long as I am enjoying it. That may be recreational, within my club, teaching, or competitively”.
TM: “And how about you?”
LP: “Yes, I still love what I’m doing and I am quite adept at changing things so I don’t get bored. Anyway someone has to beat you and give you something to aim at!”
TM: “Haha! I think having a training partner who I can have healthy competition with gives us both a kick to make an effort”
LP: “I agree you need a training partner who’s going to be honest with you and know when to tell you the truth however much you might not want to hear it. When it all goes right, or wrong, you want your best friends to be there to share it with, or really what is the point of it all?”

Liv would like to thank Fusion Lifestyle, Powerfins & Elios Wetsuits for their support in 2015.

Tim would like to thank Powerfins and his employer Saba for their support in 2015.

The 7th Great Northern competition and the UK BFA Pool championships has been announced for the 10th April, 2016

The 7th Great Northern competition and the UK BFA Pool championships has been announced for the 10th April, 2016

The competition has reduced to one day for this year, and will be two disciplines over two sessions.

Static (STA) will be held on the first session, and the second session will be a choice of Dynamic with fins (DYN) or Dynamic no fins (DNF). In the dynamic no fins sessions points will be multiplied by 1.3 to even out the fairness in the point score.

For example, a Freediver getting 130m DYN will be the same points as a Freediver getting 100m DNF (100 x 1.3 = 130m)

The competition winners are those athletes with the biggest point score over the two disciplines. AIDA rankings are given for all disciplines competed in. The AIDA rankings for DNF will NOT be multiplied by 1.3, this is purely to decide the competition winner.

Please visit the site www.freedivingcompetition.com to see more details and enter the competition.

Video from Apneists UK’s last competition: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fu9GhxeU7sk

British Freediving Association saddened at the loss of Natalia Molchanova, Freediving’s most accomplished athlete in history.

Natalia Molchanova was reported missing after diving on Sunday August 2nd

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

The British Freediving Association (BFA) is saddened by the news 23 times World Champion freediver Natalia Molchanova was reported missing after diving on Sunday August 2nd off the island of Formentera near Ibiza. Natalia was diving recreationally for fun with friends to depths of 30-40m without fins, a relatively shallow depth for someone of her accomplishments, when she failed to surface. Search efforts are ongoing but Natalia has yet to be found in a region known to have deep water currents. When Natalia was diving on Sunday, she was diving recreationally in the sea which is the same activity enjoyed by many recreational free divers and snorkelers in the ocean to much shallower depths.

During training and competition, Natalia always dived on a line with a safety lanyard which is the system all trained freedivers use to avoid unnecessary dangers. Being attached to a line allows the divers safety freedivers to react immediately should a diver ever have any problem during a dive. Natalia was a great teacher of freediving as well as a great athlete and would have taught this system to her hundreds of students many times.

The sport of freediving has strict safety protocols in place which are developed by the sports main organisation AIDA International www.aidainternational.org and used in competition. Safe diving practises are also taught to all students when they enrol on a course with a properly qualified freediving Instructor, making the sport a surprisingly safe pastime despite its media image as an extreme sport. Freedivers combine careful training, slow progression and a combination of athleticism and meditative techniques to allow them to make their dives.

Natalia is much loved and respected within the International freediving community as a gracious Champion and exceptional person and her loss will be hard for the community to come to terms with. She has broken 41 World records and won 23 Gold medals in World Championships making her the most accomplished freediving athlete in history. The first female athlete to break the 100m barrier with a dive to 101m during the 2013 depth World Championships, she set yet another world record with a dive to 71m in the no fins discipline in May in Egypt at the age of 53.

Natalia is the president of the Russian Freediving Federation and has developed many training programs for teaching freediving safely around the world. She is the author of scientific articles about freediving, and she has written poetry on the subject. She was known by her peers as being a remarkable athlete and intensely competitive, whilst remaining accessible to everyone, and always being generous with help and advice.

Natalia had an intense love of the sea and the sport of Freediving, and devoted her life to doing the thing she loved. Our condolences go to Natalia’s son and training partner Alexey, and to all of her family and friends at this time.

Thankfully tragedies such as this are rare in free diving, but never freedive alone and always seek training from a qualified instructor.

Glass and Water: The Essential Guide to Freediving for Underwater Photography by Mark Harris

Glass and Water:  Freediving for underwater photography - Author Mark Harris

Glass and Water is the first book on underwater photography for freedivers. With contributions from expert underwater photographers this book teaches the skills, knowledge and equipment necessary to successfully pursue underwater photography without scuba gear.

Glass and Water is not a replacement for existing books on underwater photography as it focuses on freediving techniques, equipment and photo opportunities which are better suited to freediving (rather than scuba).

‘It’s most unlikely that you’ll come away without learning something brand new and innovative. I know that I did’: Martin Edge.

In ‘Part 1: Equipment and Basics’ Mark shows how by choosing or adapting freediving and photographic equipment some early hurdles can be avoided. He also explains some underwater photography basics and opportunities for freedivers.

‘Part 2: Technique’ explains how using appropriate freediving techniques can increase the length of time available for taking photographs underwater and help to manage camera equipment.

And in ‘Part 3: Perspectives’ Mark and a range of informed contributors reveal how to photograph particular animals and their personal approaches to freediving photography. This includes the author’s ‘Virtual Dive’ which pulls together everything covered in the book.

The book includes photos and/or contributions from Fred Buyle, Sue Flood, Danny Kessler, Dr Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler, Laura Storm, Andrew Sutton, and Shane Wasik. There is also a Foreword by multi-award-winning underwater photographer Dan Bolt and a Glossary of key terms.

‘Glass and Water should be as essential as a pair of fins and a camera for underwater photographers. Mark shares his tremendous expertiseÉ the methodical and well-illustrated techniques will benefit anyone wishing to produce great images in the sea’: Brian Skerry, National Geographic.

Mark Harris is a former British champion freediver who has instructed, coached and judged at international level, consulted on and taught students how to freedive for roles in both television and film and ran London’s main club, London Freediving for almost a decade.

Available now in paperback for £16.95 (ebook forthcoming) from Divedup.com, online and from retailers.

Dean Chaouche wins silver medal at Suunto Vertical Blue, the Wimbledon of Freediving!

Dean Chaouche wins silver medal at Suunto Vertical Blue

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

Suunto Vertical Blue (VB2015), one of the most prestigious and much-anticipated freediving competitions took place at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas between 27 April until 7 May. Attracting elite freedivers from around the globe, Vertical Blue has become known as the Wimbledon of Freediving.

Three of the UK’s top Freediving athletes attended the competition: Georgina Miller, Tim Money and Dean Chaouche. The athletes had the opportunity to do nine dives in the three freediving depth disciplines, constant weight (CWT), constant no fins (CNF) and free immersion (FIM), in order to win the coveted championship title.

Dean Chaouche, 25, a former electrician from Swansea, turned professional freediver, is a relative new comer on the competitive freediving scene. Quietly making his way up the ranks, he performed incredibly well, taking home a silver medal in the discipline of CNF, with an impressive dive to 68m and narrowly missing out on third place overall. We caught up with Dean and asked him to share his experience of the competition, what he learned and his plans for the future.

“Running up to the competition my training went really well, physically and mentally I felt strong and confident. Last year was the first year that I could dedicate most of it to freediving so I feel that I’m really getting to know my body and how it works.”

Dean went from strength to strength in the other two disciplines, with an easy 91m CWT dive (a first personal best in a competition and he says his best dive, with more meters in the tank) and 80 FIM. The length of the competition can really test the athletes’ stamina. And as the competition goes on, unexpected obstacles can appear to challenge an athlete’s journey. The conditions, which had been perfect for the first three days, with no wind and amazing visibility, deteriorated when a cold front moved in. Before Dean’s 80 FIM dive, on day 6, he was very cold and close to not starting, but fellow athlete Georgina gave him her Gore-Tex jacket, which he says pretty much saved the dive.

“If I could change anything to what I did in the competition, it would definitely have been how I approached the last third (act of the competition). I could have put some more depth on either CWT or FIM, which may have given me an overall finish. So next competition I will put the CNF dives in the beginning and I will make sure I can always dive on the last day.

Overall I felt the comp went well, I managed to get three good dives in all. The competition itself was amazing I was overwhelmed with the blue hole, finally being there felt very surreal. The set-up is perfect for smashing out big numbers because it gives you a chance to get into the competition and work your nerves out on the earlier dives. The organization and safety are carried out in a very professional manner and that feeds your confidence in knowing that you’re in safe hands.”

Dean is off to Columbia for Nirvana Oceanquest in Columbia, organised by Walid Boudihaf, starting on 6 June. And after that he plans to head back to Australia and teach some freediving courses (email: dean.chaouche@yahoo.com) Looking into the near future, Dean would like to run some training camps and aims to achieve maximum performances:

“I feel now that I have a lot of personal knowledge training for deep diving, and I have a solid structure which really works for me and hopefully for others too.”

Find and follow Dean on Facebook and Instagram as Dean Freediver.

Introducing Freedive-Earth, a brand new resource and community for freedivers worldwide

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

Freedive-Earth

Freedive-Earth is a brand new resource and community for freedivers worldwide. Our team is made up of experienced international athletes, instructors and a real life doctor. The site is packed full of training tips, freediving physiology, a no-holds barred Q&A zone, the latest in safety, news and information all with an emphasis on fun. We’re proud to offer you the world’s first online freediving-specific training log, a comprehensive freediving school directory and the facility to connect with other freedivers around the world.

www.freedive-earth.com/

Introducing the 2014 UK Team, Proud to be sponsored by Elios Sub, Beet-it & Bounce Energy Balls

24.08.14; — The BFA are delighted to introduce the UK Team for the 2014 AIDA Team World Championship in Sardinia (www.blueworldchamp.it, which will run from 16th to 27th September, in the Gulf of Cagliari. The team comprises of 7 athletes: Liv Philip, Georgina Miller, Beci Ryan, Mike Board (Captain), Tim Money, Adam Drzazga and Jay Cluskey (reserve). All of our athletes are self-funded, and we are pleased to announce some fantastic sponsors for this year’s World Championships, helping them to perform to their full potential:
Elios Sub (www.eliossub.com) was established in 1977 and prides itself on its continuous innovation, evolution, improvement and refinement of comfort in its suits. Elios have sponsored the British Team for a number of years and many British Freedivers wear their suits across the UK because of the quality and feel of materials used. We are extremely proud that Elios have offered sponsorship to our UK Team for this year’s World Championships. elios
Prawno Apparel(www.prawnoapparel.co.uk) makes thoughtfully designed clothing for divers, freedivers and water sports enthusiasts. Underwater photographer Lia Barrett creates each design by pulling imagery directly from her underwater shots. Discreetly placed within each design are the location and depth at which the subject was photographed. The Freediver design used for the new BFA Team clothing features Caribbean reef sharks and Elisabeth Mattes, Austrian national freediver, both photographed off Roatan, Honduras, printed onto t-shirts and hoodies made from partially recycled fabrics. prawno
Beet-it (www.beet-it.com) uses 100% natural ingredients and the Beet-it Sport shot juice drink delivers a dose of 0.4g dietary nitrates per shot. The beetroot juice shots are now the preferred delivery method used by research teams to boost nitric oxide (NO) levels in the blood. Nutrition is extremely important to freedivers and we are excited to see how the Beet-it Sports range of drinks and bars, boost and prepare our bodies before an apnea session. Beet It
Bounce Energy Balls (www.bouncefoods.com) are an amazingly convenient and are a tasty way to nourish your body, satisfy your hunger and sustain your energy. Bounce Energy Balls are a special combination of high quality proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and essential fats. After a freediving session, recovery is of great importance and the Bounce Energy Balls have all the necessary ingredients to help our athletes do so. Bounce Balls

 

And now to meet the Team GB! Keep up to date with the team on our Facebook page by joining as a member:
Tim Money Tim Money

Tim thinks freediving makes the world go round, however his non-freediver friends refer to it as “hold your breath club”! He has been diving for a few years now and first represented the UK in 2006. Since then he has dived all over the place, and one of his favorites has to be Honaunau Bay, Hawaii. Imagine heading out for a dive, walking over the black lava rock beach, getting into the water with a turtle swimming in the coral reef, and then heading out to the deep past a few spinner dolphins to the dive line! He loves any events in freediving, and really enjoys the competitions as you spend a day, weekend or week in the pool, lake, sea or other country with loads of other people who are excited about the same stuff you are! Tim is very grateful to his employer, Saba Software (www.saba.com), for sponsoring him and enabling him to have the time to represent the UK in Sardinia.

Mike Board Mike Board (Team Captain)

Mike is a 7 times National Record holder for team Great Britain, an SSI Freediving Instructor Trainer, and a former Royal Marine Commando. Mike has a strong background in teaching, as a freediver he is an SSI Instructor Trainer and an Apnea Total Master Instructor, but he is also a TDI Technical Diving Instructor and a PADI OW scuba instructor. He has a strong physical approach to his own training, however through Freediving he has discovered that equally important is the balance achieved through activities such as yoga and gaining greater self-awareness and mental focus. Both approaches feature strongly in his teaching style. Mike has dived to 102m in the Constant Weight with Fins (CWF) discipline, has set seven British National records, and is the current British record holder for CWT at 102m and for Free Immersion (FIM) at 96m. He was also a member of the British Freediving Team for the 2011 World Freediving Depth Championships. Mike lives in Indonesia, on the island of Gili Trawangan, where he teaches freediving courses and training (www.freedivegili.com).

Adam Drzazga Adam Drzazga

Adam is an Aida Instructor, Judge and Chairman of the British Freediving Association. He has represented the UK at the World Championships in Belgrade last year and has participated at other international freediving events. He greatly enjoys the recreational side of freediving, diving on shallow reefs and the simple pleasure of being in the water. Adam started freediving as a spearo in the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, where he discovered the beauty of the underwater world. After running a spearfishing school for a few years in the UK, he then decided to enter into and concentrate on the pure discipline of Freediving. Freediving changed his life, giving him the right input to discover and enjoy life in a whole new way, through the many amazing techniques and experiences. Adam runs a club called Blue Water Freediving (www.bluewater-freediving.co.uk).

Jay Cluskey Jay Cluskey (Reserve)

Jay has been freediving for many years and is currently training to be an instructor. He runs a club session in the City of Liverpool for Apneists UK (www.freedivingcompetition.com). Jay has always been drawn to the sea and freediving has simply allowed him to grasp what he loves about it. He enjoys the competitive side of Freediving and likes to see people come out of their ‘freediving shells’ and pull out big performances. He also relishes the camaraderie and support of his teammates and fellow competitors alike, there is in his opinion, no sport like it. This will be the second time Jay has represented the UK. He is a ‘pool rat’, ‘depth junkie’ and ‘spearo’ all in one. Jay works on the British Freediving Association committee, dedicating his time to supporting and promoting freediving in the UK.

Georgina Miller Georgina Miller

George has always been interested in the underwater world. She learned to scuba dive in 1998, and is a PADI MSDT instructor since 2005. She has been freediving since 2007 and is an SSI freediving instructor. George is a 5 times British National record holder, currently holding the women’s record of 06:27 in static apnea and competes for the UK; she has been part of the UK team since 2007. She has trained all over the world, including the famous Deans blue hole. George has a strong background in yoga and swimming and believes that mental focus and self-awareness is a crucial part of freediving, but most importantly it has to be fun. Above all freediving is a passion for her and a fantastic community to be a part of. She has recently set up a club called Aquacity Freediving (www.aquacityfreediving.com) along with her partner, photographer Daan Verhoeven. George has also been a committee member of the British Freediving Association as Clubs Officer since 2011, to help to share her love of the sport.

Liv Philip Liv Philip

Liv has represented Great Britain at 7 World Championships. In 2013 she won a bronze medal at the AIDA Individual depth World Championships in her favourite discipline Constant No Fins (CNF). In 2010 she was the World Absolute Freediving Champion with the highest combined international ranking and has been the UK Champion 7 times. This year she was awarded for outstanding contributions to British Freediving. Liv runs the UK’s longest running freediving club London Freediving (www.londonfreediving.org), as well as her own businesses in landscaping and in Freediving Teaching and Coaching (www.livphilip.com). She has body doubled for Halle Berry and taught numerous stars including TV personalities Ant & Dec. As Training and Safety Officer for the British Freediving Association, Liv helps to promote safer freediving in the UK. Based in London, she has collaborated on many arts projects and has recently completed her first soon to be released short film ‘A Place Below’. Liv says ‘over the years freediving has given me a great deal of pleasure and allowed me to meet some wonderful people. I look forward to this 2014 Great Britain Women’s Team pulling together to produce some really solid competitive performances at the Team World Championship in Sardinia in September’.

Beci Ryan Beci Ryan 

Beci got into freediving after scuba diving in Thailand in 2012 and was blown away. She came back to the UK wanting to continue her underwater adventures but without all the heavy equipment and found a club in Richmond called London Freediving (www.londonfreediving.org) where she was introduced to an exciting yet tranquil, silent, underwater world, falling in love instantly. That same year she joined the UK Team to compete at the World Championships in Nice, France, her very first competition. Because of the support and encouragement of her fellow teammates and club, she has continued competing and playing under the water. This year Beci came third in the women at the pool National Championships, more commonly and affectionately referred to as the Great Northern (www.freedivingcompetition.com).

Would you like to sponsor the UK Team? If so please visit our website for more information, or contact our Sponsorship Officer Jay Cluskey: sponsorship@britishfreediving.org

BFA 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Freediving Award goes to Liv Philip

BFA 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Freediving Award goes to Liv Philip
Picture Credit: Emma Critchley (www.emmacritchley.com)

Monday, 23 June 2014; — The BFA is very proud to announce this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Freediving award has been presented to Liv Philip (www.livphilip.com). This award was introduced some years ago year and in previous years, has been awarded to John Moorcroft and Ben Noble. As well as being National Champion seven years in a row, breaking ten national records, being the World’s top ranked female freediver across the six disciplines in 2010 winning the title World Absolute Freediver award and World Championship Bronze medal winner in the 2013 Individual Depth World Championship, Liv is one of the UK’s most active freedivers in our community. Liv, a Master Instructor who also runs two London-based clubs (www.londonfreediving.org), she has instructed and coached quite a number of other successful freedivers including many of the British Team showing a community spirit that makes her a great ambassador for freediving. Liv has represented the sport of freediving in the media many times with film and TV work, and works extremely hard in her role as Training and Safety Officer for the BFA.

Orca has very kindly sponsored this award in the form of an Orca Breath suit (www.orca.com/gb-en/). For more information on Liv, her achievements and courses, please visit her site www.livphilip.com