Monday 10th October 2011 : – The British men faced their toughest competition for records this year, with three strong athletes fighting for the No Fins title; Dave Tranfield, two-times holder of the title, newcomer Ed Wardle who took the record from Dave this summer at his first event; and Dave Kent, new to competitive freediving, who came through and surprised everyone, including himself.
At the 4th Mediterranean World Cup 1st-14th September athletes gathered from around the world to compete and prepare for the World Championships, taking place from 15th-25th September. Liv Philip shone for the women by taking Silver Medal overall in the women’s with CWT 61m, FIM 62m and CNF 46m.
Liv, who coaches and trains at London Freediving Club in Richmond, said: I’ve been working long hours back home to allow me to compete this summer and it’s been tough to fit training in, so I’m doubly pleased to have got a Silver Medal with so many strong athletes around.
On 14th September, the final day of the first comp, Dave Tranfield, or Tranny as he is affectionately known, although he prefers ‘Sheffield Steel’, and Ed Wardle who had ambitiously announced 65m, went head to head to push Ed’s 55m record deeper. Tranny, due in part to his greater experience, kept his cool and successfully dived to 56m in two minutes 25 seconds, breaking Ed’s former record by one metre.
Dave said: My dive started badly with a poor duck dive due to nerves and then my neck weight nearly knocked off my nose clip which barely hung on during the entire descent. But luckily equalisation went ok to the bottom and as soon as I took the tag I knew I had the dive. Unfortunately Ed didn’t make his dive, having announced 10m deeper than his former record, and making an early turn.
On 19th September, the first comp day of the AIDA Depth World Championships, Dave Kent joined the action, putting further pressure on Tranny and Ed, and the tables turned in Ed’s favour. Tranny made the most conservative announcement with 58m, followed by Ed with 60m and Dave Kent with 62m. Tranny was up first but didn’t make it. Ed completed a 60m dive, claiming his second National Record in two minutes 19 seconds. Ed said: I trained hard this year and it paid off, I managed to focus and it was as close to a perfect dive as I could have wished for, a solid 60m. Ed’s glory was short-lived as minutes later his record was broken by a Dave Kent, who made a clean and easy dive to 62m in two minutes 20 seconds. Kent, at his first ever major comp said: The world’s were awesome, it was great to meet so many athletes that up until then had just been names from hours of watching YouTube footage. My time in Kalamata has only reinforced my desire to attend further championships, and improve as a no fins freediver.
The other disciplines at the event were Free Immersion and Constant Weight. In the Mediterranean Cup on 13th September Mike Board did a 77m FIM to regain the National Record from Dave King who had set it at 73m in June in France. But on the 24th September the final day of the AIDA World Depth Championships, Mike extended this record by a further six metres setting a new record in FIM of 83m in a dive time of two minutes 55 seconds.
Mike said: “It’s been a fantastic month of training and dive performances for me that far exceeded my expectations. Training went well and I felt strong and confident enough to try new depths on the competition days.”
The team was sponsored by Elios wetsuits (www.eliossub.com) who donated the full team a brand new wetsuit each for the Worlds. Thank you, Elios!
Congratulations to all nine British athletes attended these two amazing events.
Gary McGrath (Med World Cup)