Sunday 28th July 2013; — On Saturday 27th July, in Dahab, at the most recent of the Little Blue Hole competitions, arranged by Brian Crossland of Blue Ocean Freedivers, British Freediver Dave Kent smashed his own National Record in the discipline of Constant Weight No Fins by swimming to an amazing depth of 70 meters.
It was only two years ago in September 2011 that Dave competed at his first major competition in Kalamata at the AIDA Depth World Championships, where on the opening day he gained his first National Record in CNF by swimming down to 62m. The following month at Dahab’s Blue Hole no less, he swam down a further 4 meters, increasing the record to 66m.
At the competition on the 27th, Dave had to swim down to the previously announced depth, marked with a weight at the end of a rope, and back without the use of fins, propulsion aids or pulling on the rope to assist him. CNF requires, as well as other things, a high level of technique, coordination, equalisation and buoyancy. Dave said that his training leading up the competition, his first one of the year, had gone well with solid 70m plus dives over the last month.
However in Dave’s own words, like most best laid plans, things didn’t go 100% as they should have done! On the day of the dive, Kent miscalculated his warm-up time and found himself getting cold during the two minute Official Top countdown, which is the countdown the athlete hears just before their competition dive. The cold is not conducive to relaxation and this combined with nerves, resulted in a not so comfortable descent compared to Dave’s training dives. This might have been detrimental to a less experienced diver, however his training and discipline, clearly put him in good stead. He was pleased with his dive time of 2:35, as he had announced 2:40 and the ascent part of the dive was very comfortable and was made in 1:15, it was Dave said the most positive part of the dive. This is also the part of the dive, which is going to give him the confidence in striving towards 80m, which he has his sights set on as his next goal.
Dave is now heading back to the UK for a short break after which he will return to Dahab where he is planning on competing in another competition at the end of August as his final preparation for the Aida Individual Depth World Championships in Kalamata in September. Brain Crossland (organiser of the Little Blue Hole competition), coaches Dave whilst he is in Dahab and has done for the past three years. Dave has also been working with Aharon Solomons through his remote coaching program, and trained with him last October and earlier this year where the main focus was solely on equalization, which Dave says, is arguably the single biggest change in how I dive now compared to 12 months ago.
Currently on a career break from his job in Sussex Police who have allowed him once again to take un-paid leave in preparation for this year’s World Championships, Dave is financing himself from his previous years savings and he says, basically letting go of most, if not all, of his worldly possessions to fund this year’s training. It’s been a huge sacrifice, and a difficult one at times – but one that is paying off when you look at Dave’s results, and he clearly has a lot more in there to give!