Picture Credit: Sean Peters, Frogfish Photography
Wednesday, 4 June 2014; — John Moorcroft has broken the dynamic no fins (DNF) national record at the 2nd Manchester Classic competition, organised by Steve Millard of Apneists UK (www.freedivingcompetition.com), with a marathon swim of 167m. Chris Crawshaw previously held the record for his 163m swim at the Great Northern competition back in March 2012.
DNF has long been one of Johns strongest freediving disciplines and the only one that he trains regularly in the pool. When Moorcroft started training in 1999 at a 25m pool, there were no long fins were permitted. The world record was held by Frenchman Andy Le Sauce and was 125m, so when John swam 100m he realized he might have a talent for the discipline: “Back then nobody used neck weights or suits, it was purely a speedos and goggles job!”
Before long the world records for DNF got bigger and bigger and John stopped training the discipline as much, but he returned to it in 2009 and came close to a national record with a swim of 140m, but unfortunately blacked out upon surfacing. In 2012 he came back fighting with a 153m swim this time, taking Chris Crawshaws previous record of 150m, which at that stage was just days old, but it was a short lived victory as John explains: “My record lasted even less time, a matter of about an hour as Chris came back with a massive 163m.”
John credits Crawshaws record standing for the past two years despite his attempts on it, the most recent of which at the Great Northern in Liverpool earlier this year, failing due to a technical error in the surface protocol, a silly mistake he says, not caused by hypoxia. Looking back on his training in the run up to this years Great Nothern competition, John openly reflects “I put in a lot of training, something like 70 sessions over 3 months consisting of a combination of pool, hill running, depth and gym. It certainly helped me gain the fitness to be confident in regularly going beyond 150m but with hindsight I think I was over training; recently I’ve not been able to train so much due to work and the distances have if anything been a bit easier. Something to bear in mind.”
John attributes his success to his buddies and sponsors: “None of my freediving achievements would be possible without my regular training buddies in Apneists UK and of course Steve Millard who has coached me and provided great advice and training opportunities not just for me but for everyone up here in the northwest. I would also like to thank Alun George who has always been there to inspire and motivate me. And I am grateful to my two sponsors, Polosub and Carbonio GFT whose products I rely upon with my [other] training.”
John is now setting his sights on the open water and improving his depths in both constant weight disciplines (with fins CWT, and without CNF).