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!).’