Winners of UK National Freediving Championship 2012

The BFA would like to congratulate Tim Money and Liv Philip who are the winners of the UK National Freediving Championship 2012!

Each year, the BFA grants a National Championship Award for men and women, to the athlete who has scored highest in STA (static apnea), DYN (dynamic apnea with fins), and CWT (constant weight).


Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven

Liv and Tim both train at London Freediving in Richmond and Crystal Palace Clubs, where they are extremely popular and respected athletes. Tim and Liv are always approachable to the older and newer members of the clubs, offering training advice when asked and willingly sharing their valuable experiences as freedivers.

Tim, a seasoned, strong athlete continues to push the boundaries of his abilities, gaining an easy personal best in the discipline of constant weight at the AIDA Freediving World Championships in Nice, having taken a short break from the sport which clearly did him no harm!

Liv has a wealth of experience as a freediving competitor and performed at various competitions throughout 2012, including the Red Sea AIDA World Cup in Sharm El Sheikh in September. This is the sixth year in a row that Liv has won the UK National Freediving Championship (2007-2012)! Liv is keen to point out that UK based Georgina Miller and Egypt based Anna Parayair were strong contenders for the top spot this year.

Tim Money
STA: 6:03
DYN: 169m
CWT: 60m

Liv Philip
STA: 5:58
DYN: 142m
CWT: 62m

We are pleased to announce that Tim and Liv plan to compete again next year and have included the UK Pool Championships run by Steve Millard and also the Mediterranean World Cup in Greece run by Stavros Kastrinakis in their plans. We wish them huge success in 2013 and we will be sure to keep you posted on their progress.

Next year, for the first time ever, athletes will be able to win the Championship with the scores accumulated from the best they have done in each of the six competitive disciplines (STA, DYN, DNF, CWT, CNF, FIM). This better reflects the changes in the sport of competitive freediving in the last few years, and for the first time acknowledges the no fins athletes’ performances. The scores are counted between the dates November 1st to October 31st and the awards are announced by the BFA at the annual AGM in November.

Mike Board is Britain’s deepest man – 96m Constant Weight

Monday 10th December 2012; — Mike Board has officially claimed his place as Britain’s deepest man; at the Vertical Blue competition last month he pushed the men’s Constant Weight record of 91m to 92m, 94m and finally 96m. He attempted 100m to become the first Brit to officially cross the line, but despite being conscious on the surface was disqualified for forgetting to remove his noseclip.

Mike had already made his mark on British freediving with two National Records in the discipline of Free Immersion (pulling himself down and up a submerged, weighted rope) to a maximum depth of 83m. These records, and his closest of misses at the 100m, really solidify Mike’s reputation as an outstanding freediver.

The competition got off to a wobbly start as nerves got the better of Mike in this, his first, attempt at the lauded CWT title. On 20th November Mike turned early at 88m on his first attempt at 92m, however two days later managed to pull the record out of the bag with a dive to 92m in two minutes and 50 seconds.

With the record secured, the pressure was off, and things began to get very exciting for the British freediving instructor and owner of freediving school, Freedive Gili in Indonesia. On 26th November, Mike did a far more comfortable dive to 94m one second faster than his previous record, and on 28th he hit an incredible 96m the same depth as fellow Briton Sara Campbell’s former World Record in two minutes 51 seconds.

Buoyed by his success Mike decided to take a risk on his final dive and attempt the magic 100m. To all intents and purposes it was a clean, successful dive, however the protocol of competition requires that a diver removes all facial equipment before giving the ‘OK’ sign to the judges. Mike forgot to remove his noseclip, thereby disqualifying this attempt as an official British record.

Mike said: After having narrowly missed the National Record at the Worlds in Kalamata last year I set my sights on Vertical Blue to really test my ‘depth legs’. Equalisation looked like being my main barrier to achieving it, but with a few tweaks, which clearly worked, any by increasing the speed of my dives to reduce my hypoxia at the end of the dives, I not only stole the record from Dave King, but I broke my own record twice over! The Worlds are being held again in Kalamata next year and you can put money on me attempting the 100m once more officially then! For now it’s back to work in Gili, and training whenever I can find the time and depth.

Liv Philip, one of the UK’s top female divers, was also at Vertical Blue, and came third in the No Fins category with a dive to 50m, and an excellent fourth place overall after a very tough and tight battle with Japan’s Tomoko Fukuda.

BFA AGM December 2012

The committee would like to say thank you to Sara Campbell for her time as press officer over the last two years. We are sad to see her leave and wish her all the best with her diving in the future. Also we should say another big thank you to Lia Tseki who is stepping down as membership officer. Your help will be missed!

It’s that time of year again. This year’s British Freediving Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place at Upstairs bier bar, lark lane ,Liverpool L 18 at 12pm. You are all very welcome to come to the AGM, listen, take part and give your views. If you can not make it in person, you are very welcome to join in via skype. We have an account: We_are_the_BFA, password is SteveZissou

The AGM is your chance to find out what the British Freediving Association has been up to over the past year and express your views on what it should be doing in the year ahead. Most importantly, it is your chance to stand for a Committee position and get involved!

We need to fill a few gaps in the BFA Committee this year and really hope you will use this chance to give something back to the sport you love. Without the BFA, we may not be able to compete at International or organise recognised competitions, will struggle with teaching insurance and won’t get our records recognised properly. If the Committee positions are not filled, then there is a good chance the BFA won’t be able to continue – so please consider whether you might be able to give an hour or so a week to give something back. To continue, according to our Constitution, we must appoint at least a Chair, Membership Secretary, Training & Safety Officer and a Treasurer. At the moment chair and training have someone who definitely wishes to stand for election, however membership role needs to be filled! It is currently be care taken by Liv Philip.

The Committee posts can all be managed wherever you live, as long as you have internet and email access a couple of times a week. Whilst it would be helpful, to us and to you, you do not need to attend the AGM to stand for a position.

The BFA Committee positions are:

Chair – Currently Brian Crossland, who will stand again. The Chair manages the organisation of the Committee in terms of the AGM, leads discussions on new developments for the organisation, keeps a bit of an eye to make sure all the Committee members are fulfilling their post’s requirements and generally keeps email and other discussions under control. The Chair sometimes also ends up covering roles in the short-term when vacancies arise and acting as a point of contact for other Committee members when they are on leave.

Clubs – Currently Georgina Miller, who will stand again. The Clubs Officer manages the recognition of BFA affiliated clubs, answers questions from club organisers and members, supports the clubs in developing their activities and advises on how to set up new clubs.

Competitions – Currently Ed Wardle, who will be standing again. The Competitions Officer supports anyone in the UK organising AIDA-ranked competitions, oversees the competition from the BFA’s point of view and may work with the E Media and Press Officer to help promote the competition. If organisers do not come forward, the Competitions Officer may be required to proactively seek out and encourage members to organise competitions.

E Media – Currently Martyn Jones, who will be standing again. The E Media Officer runs the BFA website and e-communications. Some technical ability is required for this post.

Membership – Currently care taken by Liv Philip after Lia tseki stepped down. The Membership Officer keeps track of who the current members are, processes membership applications, sends out membership packs and works with the Sponsorship Officer on building member benefits. Some technical ability required for this post.

Press Officer – Currently Sara Campbell, who will be stepping down. The Press Officer liaises with the media (mostly the UK dive press and dive websites) to publicise records, competitions and other freediving stories and acts as a point of contact for media with queries about freediving. A new appointee will be provided with lists of contacts but it would be helpful if they had some previous PR or writing experience. The Press Officer needs to work closely with the E Media Officer and the Sponsorship Officer, to ensure all stories are covered on the website and that Sponsors get sufficient coverage in return for their support.

Records and AIDA Liaison Officer – David Tranfield who will stand again. This position is responsible for liaising with the AIDA International Board and AIDA Judge list, sending information on any AIDA International Level votes (about 10 a year) out to the Committee, monitoring responses and sending back our reply. This post also handles the management and recognition process for UK records, based on the UK record rules you can download from the BFA website, and liaises with the Press and E Media Officers to make sure the records are publicised. It would be helpful if the person appointed to this post were an AIDA Judge.

Secretary – currently Gary Mac Grath, who will be stand again. The Secretary manages the BFA E-newsletter and other communications with members, takes minutes at the AGM and provides secretarial support to the other Committee members as required.

Sponsorship – currently Jay Cluskey, who will be standing again. The Sponsorship Officer manages our relationships with sponsors and builds new sponsorship agreements. Sponsorship normally relates to the UK Team but it would be great to achieve more general sponsorship for freediving in the UK.

Training & Safety – currently Liv Philip, who will be standing again. This post oversees freedive training within the UK, working with the AIDA Education Committee to advise instructors on matters of training. It also has a wider remit, usually working with the Clubs Officer and sometimes with the Competitions Officers, to advise on matters of safety and is responsible for keeping the Open Water and Confined Water BFA safety advice sheets up to do date. The Training and Safety Officer needs to be a qualified freedive instructor.

Treasurer – currently Gareth Cantin, who will be standing again. The Treasurer produces the annual BFA accounts for the AGM, keeps an eye on our finances, makes a final decision with the Chair on major expenditures, runs the BFA bank account and PayPal account.

ALL the Committee members are actively involved in voting on AIDA International matters, discussing and putting forward the UK’s views on the development of the sport through AIDA, selection and support of the UK Team at AIDA International competitions and supporting the BFA in various ways in its purpose of “promoting freediving recreationally and competitively, in safe environments”.

Voting Process – In line with the BFA Constitution, anyone who wishes to stand (or re-stand) for a post, should send an email submission, stating the post or posts for which they would like to be considered along with a short CV or manifesto explaining why they think they would be suitable. This should be sent in by the 17th November to committee@britishfreediving.org. Where more than one person stands for a post, that post will go to a majority vote of BFA members. Any vote will be sent to all BFA Members by 24th November. You have two weeks to vote and the results will be announced at the AGM on the 9th December.

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

UK National Pool Freediving Championships needs you!

The UK National Pool Freediving Championships has been announced by Apneists UK and the British Freediving Association for next year on the 9th and 10th of March 2013. It follows the successful format of the previous three years, which is day one; a dynamic no fins competition (DNF), and day two; the UK National pool competition which is a combination of an early afternoon Static (STA) competition and an early evening Dynamic with fin(s) (DYN) competition. We are looking for athletes, judges, helpers and spectators. Please contact me at apneaboy111@hotmail.com for details.

This British Freediving Championships is now known as ‘the event!’ because it is the largest gathering of like minded UK Freedivers in the calendar. Also, because of the good vibe the group always produces. It has been attended by a few International athletes and pretty much every single group in the UK has been represented. It might as well be a family day out the way everyone interacts, what a wonderful occasion. Some pictures here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvcerCpXTIg

There were an unprecedented amount of personal bests achieved in 2012, many athletes reporting 3 PBs in three events, I think the trust in the safety staff and the relaxed atmosphere certainly helped. We have had at least two National records every year we have had the competition. It is a competition I encourage athletes from all abilities to attend, all are catered for, we aim to please.

Here is George Miller, the 2012 Female Pool champion, winning the day two event which included another National record http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_AjsC0_5YY

Next year we hope for more athletes and aim to make it a truly International event, come join us, tell your friends. I will be putting accommodation and flight details up for those coming from Europe and beyond. Anyone interested in sponsoring this well attended established event, please contact Steve Millard.

British Freediving Team holds strong at AIDA Freediving World Champs in France

This September (8th to 16th) saw the biggest freediving World Championships so far. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of AIDA, freediving came home to Nice, France the birthplace of AIDA all those years ago. 120 athletes were supported by a safety and logistics crew of well over 100 people.

Team UK 2012

The team this year consisted of Georgina Miller, Liv Philip (captain), and newcomer Beci Ryan for the women, and Gary McGrath, John Moorcroft and Tim Money for the men. We also had the support of two reserves, James Cluskey and Gary Lowe. Sara Campbell was also there teaching free yoga and meditation to the athletes.

The team was very kindly once again sponsored by top Italian wetsuit manufacturer Elios Sub (www.eliossub.com) and team kit was generously provided by British dive fashion brand SevenTenths (www.seventenths.com). The team is also grateful for sponsorship from Oceanic (www.oceanicuk.com), for providing us with amazing new dive computers by Aeris and lava core wear. This company is in exciting talks with the BFA’s sponsorship officer, James Cluskey for a longterm mutually beneficial relationship and we look forward to being able to announce exciting news in the very near future on this front.

Sevententh Sponsors Team UK 2012

With challenging conditions both in and out of the water a special mention should be made to Gary McGrath for his impressive personal best of 68m in Constant Weight. Tim Money also managed a new personal best in Constant weight of 60m. John Moorcroft who, after over 30 years in the sport is also still pushing his depths to never-before reached numbers – 67m in competition! Beci also did amazingly well, having started the sport this year, she entered the competition with a spirit of courage and endeavour and, despite very unfamiliar and stressful surroundings for a beginner, also delivered personal bests in all three disciplines! In The pool we saw another personal best in dynamic from Georgina Miller of 133m, she also made 6th place overall in the women’s static, Tim Money also delivered a very strong 169m. Liv, George, and Tim are seasoned athletes who also delivered consistent and strong performances, both competing and coaching the less experienced members of the team, which is a tall challenge at such a big and important competition.

A strong captain in Liv Philip, with support, coaching and fabulous photography by Daan Verhoeven and coaching and general care from Stavros Kastrinakis made a difficult event a success.

British Liv Philip placed 4th in World’s Absolute Freediver Awards

As the six British athletes selected to represent the UK at the Team Freediving World Championships this year in France polish off their training, Liv Philip, one of the longest-serving and most consistent of all UK athletes has been placed fourth in the world overall for her performance over the past year in the annual World’s Absolute Freediver Awards (WAFA) 2011.

Liv received this award in 2010 also, but has since then increased her overall score (based on her performances in all competitive disciplines) by almost 20 points. Liv trains herself and runs training evenings at London Freedivers at Pools on the Park in Richmond, Surrey. As well as this, Liv also supports the British Freediving Association acting as their Training & Safety Officer. She is undoubtedly one of the most committed freedivers in the UK and the BFA is proud to have her representing the UK again at the Team Freediving World Championships, alongside teammates Georgina Miller (another long-standing competitive Freediver) and newcomer Beci Ryan.

The British men’s team will be represented this year by Gary McGrath in his first ever Worlds appearance, Tim Money who returns to competitive freediving after a few years out working in Australia (and getting married and having a baby!), and John Moorcroft, who was honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award by the BFA for a decade of service to the freediving community earlier this year. John’s commitment to competitive freediving goes back to 2000 when he competed in the 3rd ever AIDA World Championships in Ibiza.

More information on Liv’s WAFA award can be found at on the apnea cz website or some behind-the-scenes info in the blog too. The full results can be viewed at http://apnea.cz/ranking.html?awards. The AIDA Team Freediving World Championships are being held this year in Nice, France from 8th-16th September. All athletes are looking for personal or team sponsorship.

To sponsor the athletes, please send an email to sponsorship or press

BFA Safety Divers

The British Competition Freediving scene has really been hotting-up in the last few years, with UK athletes becoming competitive with the best freedivers in the world. Combining that with some excellent clubs and Instructors back home who are successfully helping more people into the sport, and providing safe and fun training places, even more freedivers are able to practise and make new freediving friends than ever before. Perhaps this is why so many people have participated in local and national competitions, discovering the fun of being part of a larger freediving community.

With record numbers of people competing in the UK already this year, the BFA want to make these events the safest places that you can go freediving and would like to announce that all safety divers at BFA endorsed competitions in pool and open-water, will now have a minimum safety diver qualification of AIDA 2*. We will be increasing this in September 2012 to a minimum of AIDA 2* plus the AIDA Competition safety diver course, or pool safety diver course (except for qualified & renewed instructors).

We have had positive feedback from swimming pools about this development and hope that it will help give the safety divers the support they need to continue to give the very best freediving safety to all of our freediving events. The BFA will be assisting clubs to organise AIDA Competition safety diver courses, or pool safety diver courses. If you would like some assistance or you would like to find out how to enrol on a safety diver course please email training@britishfreediving.org

You can download the associated safety images, for printing out, here.

Results for the British Freediving Association National Depth Championships 2012 – Hosted by Apneists UK and Salt Free Divers

Well, we haven’t had a BFA depth competition in the UK for a while, and its a nice way for a few of the divers who can’t get out of Blighty to get some points on the board and a very good excuse to meet old friends and make some new ones. So, freedivers.co.uk and saltfreedivers.com teamed up to run an event.

They say the sun shines on the righteous, and there it was, not a cloud for two days pretty much, which meant there was a wonderful feel to the whole event.

As ever the community pulled together and helped judge, safety, scuba, pull ropes, announce, man jetties and pontoons etc for our lovely athletes. Thank you all very very much!!. The athletes shone brighter than the sun and we had a slick showing with no red cards, a couple of National records from Apneists UK Mike Benke (Hungary) and some very very relaxed dives from everyone.

John Moorcroft won with two 50m dives, one was with no fins on. Tim Money finished second with two great Constant weight dives and Mikes two CNF NRs of 34m and 38m saw him finish third overall, and Chris Crawshaw getting the joint second best CNF dive getting the UK third spot. Rebecca Coales the yoga expert of OMdiver fame had a very comfortable dive to get the top spot for the ladies.

British Freediving Association National Depth Championships 2012 – Hosted by Apneists UK and Salt Free Divers

Entries for the BFA National Depth Championships 2012 are open. The competition will take place on the 26th and 27thMay at NDAC Chepstow in 3 disciplines CNF/FI/CW.

Saturday 26th May – Social dive, and practice hosted by Salt Free Divers. Contact sam@saltfreedivers.com.

Sunday 27th May – National Depth Competition. Registration will be at 9.30am, first top will be 12pm.

To enter you must be an BFA/AIDA national member, hold a valid medical certificate.

For details and entry forms please contact Steve Millard at apneaboy111@hotmail.com.