On Saturday 29th November, Rebecca Coales, trained by Steve Millard of the freedivers.co.uk group, extended her own national record of 179m in Dynamic apnea, to an impressive distance of 186m, at Grand Central pool operated by Life Leisure (www.lifeleisure.net). Rebecca’s underwater swim with a monofin took 3 minutes and was overseen by internationally qualified judges from the main Freediving agency, AIDA International (www.aidainternational.org).
When asked about breaking her 5th national record, Rebecca had this to say:
“As always Steve’s competition ran very smoothly and I had nothing to worry about apart from my dive. Safety, judging and organisation was very slick. I had a warm-up dive in Berlin two weeks before this one and that gave me more confidence in extending my personal best. It was also a chance to try my new Aqua Lung Freedive suit, which has performed well in both competitions, and looks really stylish. A big thank-you to Aquasphere UK for providing me with a suit, goggles and training aids. I’ll continue to work with my coach Steve Millard who has supported me over the last two years. We also look ahead to the AIDA pool World Championships in Belgrade where I hope to compete against the world’s best. I can’t wait!”
The national record was part of a larger competition, where athletes from around the UK and representing a variety of nations, came to Stockport to compete in one of three disciplines: Dynamic apnea with fins (DYN), Dynamic no fins (DNF) or Static apnea (STA). In DYN the athlete swims the length of a pool as far as they can on one breath and with the use of either a monofins or bi-fins; with DNF the athlete swims a style of breast stroke under the water without the use of fins; and with STA, the athlete lies stationary, face down on the surface of the water.
Rebecca won the overall female competition, but an excellent swim by Beci Ryan of 163m was a very respectable second position. In third place was Scottish number one no fins diver, Katey McPherson, with a swim of 107m DNF, no mean feat in a 50m pool which is much harder than the usual 25m pool as you do not get the benefit of as many push offs from the wall.
Adam Drzazga won overall for the men, with a 136m DYN swim, in second place Lorenzo Baldecchi for a 05:07 STA and in third place was Hungarian freediving champion Mike Benke. Eoin Clarke swam a solid and easy 104m DNF and broke the second national record of the evening, this time for Ireland! Jason Kirkpatrick was the ‘opener’ and therefore not officially a competitor into the competition, put in a 05:22 STA which would have won the men’s title; after only a few months training in the sport he is one to watch out for.
The competition was a small National competition, part funded by the BFA (www.britishfreediving.org), and was great practice for the athletes to get ready for the International competition we have on the 21st and 22nd March 2015 in Liverpool (facebook.com/Apneistsukfreedivingcompetitions).