Saturday 11th May was the Madchester Challenge Competition, hosted by Apneists UK. Compared to the annual Great Northern International Pool Championship, also run by Steve Millard of Apneists UK, it was a small competition, but what it lacked in size it made up for in atmosphere and personality and attracted athletes from all over the UK. The whole day had a very relaxed and almost informal feel to it.
The idea of the competition was that the athlete choose one discipline to compete in and the highest point score won, simple (there was an opportunity for people to choose a second discipline if they wished to do so as well). No prizes were up for grabs just Northern love – this was a competition done for the chance to compete and for the sheer fun of it.
The winner of the day was John Moorcroft, an Instructor for Apneists UK ( www.freedivers.co.uk ) and UK Team member, who did a very comfortable and impressive 154 meter DNF swim. John used to hold the DNF record and by his own admission had not done a huge amount of training, making the swim that much more impressive! Coming first out of the Women was Georgina Miller of London Freediving, another UK Team member and National Record Holder who completed a huge static of 6 minutes 15 seconds. George then went on to do a big 104 meter DNF swim, finishing off her day in style. It was great to see George do so well, especially after a freak accident with her toe, which prevented her from competing just moments before her starting time at the Great Northern International earlier in the year.
There were many other notable performances, some from seasoned athletes and some from brand new divers. Please see here for details of performances: Madchester Challenge (the link is here )
The pool was provided by Wright Robinson College and as you would expect with Apneists UK, there was a strong team on hand ensuring the smooth running of the day. We had a fantastic crew of safety divers swimming around looking after the athletes, wonderful judges Mandy Buckley and Gary Lowe watching the Official Tops, as well as photographers and other volunteers. Well done to Steve Millard and Apneists UK for pulling another competition out of the bag and providing athletes across the country to gather, compete, and generally have a lot of fun!