|A day of Firsts for Apnea Revolution and the BFA
Thursday 6 November 2014; — On Saturday 1st November, Apnea Revolution (www.apnearevolution.com), organised their first pool freediving competition: the Apnea Revolution Cup BFA Pool Competition at the Queen Mother Sports Centre (www.better.org.uk. Apnea Revolution received sponsorship from BFA in the form of a pool competition grant, which is the first time the competition grants system has been introduced. There were some fantastic performances all around. Tim Money (UK) won with 154m DYN out of the men and Beci Ryan with 134m DNF for the women; in second place were Eoin Clarke (IRE) with 107m DNF and Rebecca Coales (UK) a very close second with 130m DNF; in third place were Deividas Stankevicius (LTU) with 105m DYN and Ana Vadillo (ESP) with 104m DYN, both personal bests.
Twenty athletes signed up to compete in either Dynamic with Fins (DYN) or Dynamic No Fins (DNF) in the beautiful 25m pool in Victoria, Central London. There were 11 countries represented with freedivers from 4 clubs across the UK.
Apnea Revolution is run by a group of experienced freedivers, made up of competitors, instructors, safety divers and judges. An ideal group to organise a competition, the team worked together seamlessly, from start to finish, creating a relaxed and fun environment for the athletes, many of whom were competing for the first time.
It was a beautiful if unseasonably warm afternoon as the athletes congregated around the pool to register for the competition. After a brief by the organisers on how the competition would run and a review of the rules, the athletes drifted off to stretch and mentally prepare for their ‘Official Top’ (the time of their dive). There was wonderful air of calm with an undercurrent of excitement as the experienced and new athletes mingled and prepared, offering one another advice and coaching when needed.
In the pool, there were no shortage of safety divers on hand to keep an eye on the athletes, helping to alleviate nerves and boost confidences in the water – eight safety divers were in attendance no less! The safety team were always there when needed but never in the way, their hard training clearly paying off.
There were some brilliant performances and it wasn’t necessarily the bigger swims that were any more enjoyable or impressive to watch than the not so big. Competing can be both a terrifying and exhilarating experience and it was great to see so many new faces braving the water under official conditions.
Apnea Revolution have already expressed an interest in hosting another pool competition and the BFA will be sure to keep you updated with any news. The next and final competition of the year will be run by Apneists UK (www.freedivingcompetition.com) and will happen in Stockport on Saturday 29th November.
Apnea Revolution and the BFA would like to thank all of the staff and lifeguards at the Queen Mother Sports Centre for not only allowing us to use their wonderful pool and facilities, but also for making everyone feel so welcome.
The BFA are offering a number of Grants to promote freediving in the UK, the following grants can be applied for pool, depth and national championships. The grants are discretionary and may be awarded dependent upon the review and acceptance of an application submitted by the competition organiser.
And ranks 2nd for UK in CNF!
Sunday 2 November 2014; — From 14th to 20th October, Freedive Dahab (www.freedivedahab.com) ran it’s 10th annual Triple Depth competition. British Freediver Helena Bourdillon, of Apnea Revolution (www.apnearevolution.com) and Freedive 2000 (www.freediving2000.co.uk) took part in her first ever freediving competition, securing third place on the podium and ranking number 2 in the UK for a tremendous 40m no fins dive! The BFA caught up with Helena to congratulate her on her achievements and ask if she would share her experiences with us of her first competition.
Helena arrived in Dahab at the end of September for the start of a 12-week trip. The idea was to spend three weeks training and then compete. Over the three weeks, training, Helena built up some great friendships and had some, she says, ‘fabulous dive buddies’. Prior to the competition, there were three morning training sessions and then a rest day before the competition. Over the three competition days, Helena would learn some valuable lessons and go through some steep learning curves:
‘All three training days were not particularly good but then it was my first competition so I didn’t really know what to expect. Lack of decent sleep and a diet borne of nervousness probably didn’t help. By the time of the competition, I was a nervous wreck but hiding it reasonably well, I think.
Day 1 was Free Immersion (FIM). Conditions were perfect with blue skies and calm seas. Alas a Red Card as I managed to tangle my lanyard in the noodle I was breathing up on. Didn’t even get to 4m. Lesson learnt – get a coach and ask them to keep checking!
I was very annoyed with myself but then realised that all of the pressure I had piled on myself had gone away so I could think about trying to enjoy myself a little bit and push myself a bit further.
Day 2 was Constant Weight (CWT) and I announced 50m. It was not a good dive. I’ve never had any issues with mouth-fill and I heard / felt the darn thing disappear into my stomach leaving me with pretty much nothing. I went a few more metres and then grabbed the line, took a sneaky peak to the bottom plate and decided I was going to get the tag. Back up to the surface and a White Card for protocol but the grab cost me a Yellow Card and 5 point deduction.
Day 3, Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) and I had announced 40m, which was 2m further than my PB. The swell was rather larger that day and it took a lot of focus to remain calm before the dive started. Once the countdown had started it was familiar and easier. I was super happy with the dive. It was relaxed and strong and I felt like I wanted to go again when I got back to the surface!
I went to the Triple Depth wanting to get 3 white cards. I came away with a full colour selection and a number of experiences and lessons that I’m glad I had during my first competition and not further down the line (hopefully!).’