UFC – unassisted freedive competition – how tough are you?
As deep as you can with only breaststroke, a noseclip and swimming trunks.

20 knots of wind and waves in Masbat bay posed a challenge for the dive platform. Well it’s a paddle boat that has been named the duck. We anchored above 60 meter of water. Not many divers did their target depth and turned early, but according to the UFC rules there were no penalties and they got points for every meter actually performed.
Judge Hanli Prinsloo (South Africa) had an easy job since the only thing to look out for was:
1) Rope pulls (there should be none whatsoever, not even at the turn).
2) Blackouts or double dips with the airways.

The main organizational focus was the safety and there where just too many safety divers (which was nice indeed): Daan (NED), Rahel (ERI), Henning (DKK), Jesper (DKK), Christian (SWE), Klara (SWE). Sebastian (SWE) was on UW-video and Annelie (SWE) on still photo. Sven Grauman (SWE) was medic on the platform with oxygen on standby.

Suits where removed onboard (Allan swam out though), and most divers entered the water just half a minute before Start-time having warmed up with the suit on. Once you started your dive the 22 degree water temperature seemed just fine. Many divers had problem staying close to the line, probably because not use to swimming without mask. They had a 1.3 safety line attached to waist or ankle – binding them to the dive line. Most people failed equalization early or just plainly chickened out. The weather scared away half the registered. These are the results of the tough divers.

1. Josef 44
2. Sebastian 36
3. Christian 25
4. Lars 24
5. Allan 20
6. Anna 20
7. Jacob 19
8. David 19
9. Jesper 16
10. Klara 13
11. Maria 15-5=10 (rope pull)

Anna Boeticher, Germany. 20 meters












Well Ola tried to start, but since the platform was slowly sinking the dive site had to be abandoned. A dramatic day, all along the ambitions of the UFC guidelines. More pictures and video in the future.

Magic 3
Seventeen participants breathed up pretty vigorously in the Nessima pool in Dahab. Weine of the target (as usuall) holding his breath for 4 minutes thinking it was 3 minutes. The talented "beginner" Jacob from Denmark also overestimating the challenge holding his breath more than 4 minutes. First one up was Klara, holding her breath while lying on the poolside clothes on with head into the pool. Daan using the same "tactic" did better with his 2.48 finishing third.

1. George 3.02
2. Lars 3.07
3. Daan 2.48
4. Sven 3.24
4. Tim 3.15
6. Sanne 3.17
7. Hildur 3.19
8. Fanny 2.36
9. Dave 2.34
10. Maria 3.32
11. Christian 3.35
12. Ullie 3.43
13. Klara 2.12
14. Ilka 3.49
15. Henning 3.54
16. Weine 4.00
17. Jacob 4.08

Aida comp (CNF/FIM/CWT)

Final Aida results later...

First day a smooth sea and burning hot sun in the Blue Hole. This time the duck was fully operational. 8 beginners, a few national record holders, a world champion, a world record holder, some women, some men, some red cards, many white cards, some went to deep, other had easy dives, others did PB in comp... well the usuall stuff. Three DQ because of 02. Many early turns in the comp as a whole, which is good since it probably avoided unwanted troubles at the surface. In total 7 nationla records and many. many PB´s where set

Judging by: Hanli Prinsloo, Sebastian Näslund, Rahel Zemoi, Martin Muller.
Safety by: Christian Ernest, Patrick from DD, Annelie Pompe, Martin Muller, Klara Hanson, Jesper Stechman, Henning Larsen.
Medic/lineman: Sven Grauman (MD).
Surface surveilance by Muir.


for CNF
1 Weine Gustavsson SWE CWT 70 70 CWT 60 60 CWT 70 76 206
2 Josef Zbynek CZ CWT 63 63 CNF50 65 CWT 70 70 198
3 Jesper Stechman DEN CWT 60 60 CWT 55 55 CWT 65 65 180
4 Elizabeth Kristoffersen NOR FIM 55 55 CWT 57 57 CWT 61 61 173
5 Lars Strandridder DEN CWT 50 50 CWT 40 40 CWT 55 55 145
6 Ulrich Wulff GER CWT 49 45 CWT 46 39* CWT 52 52 136
7 David Cizek CZ CWT 41 30* CNF 38 49.4 FIM 52 52 131.4
8 Kasper Moth Poulsen DEN CWT 46 41* CWT 40 40 CWT 48 48 129
9 Sara Campbell UK DQ SP 0 FIM 70 70 CWT 67 53* 123
10 Daan Verhoeven NED CNF 44 57.2 CNF 35 48.1 CNF 35 17.2* 122.5
11 Ingela Karsson FIN CWT 37 37 FIM 36 36 CWT 40 40 113
12 Jacob Hanson DEN CWT 40 30* CWT 35 35 CWT 45 45 110
13 Sanne Buurma NED FIM 33 22* CNF 35 45.5 CWT 40 40 107.5
14 Ilka Michaelis GER FIM 40 40 FIM 36 36 CWT 31 31 107
15 Maria Livjberg DEN CNF 41  52.3* DQ BO 0 CNF 42 54.6 106.9
16 Henning Larsen DEN DQ SP 0 CWT 60 60 FIM 51 43* 103
17 Tim Money UK CWT 49 45* DNS DNS CWT 54 54 99
18 Marcus Greatwood UK FIM 50 50 FIM 42 42     92
19 Anna Von Boetticher GER FIM 46 40*     FIM 51 51 91
20 Klara Hanson SWE DNS 0 CWT 55 55 CWT 46 31* 86
21 Trond Klimen NOR FIM 40 40 CNF 30 39     79
21 Georgina Miller UK CWT 38 38 DNS DNS CWT 41 41 79
22 Alan Barber UK FIM 35 35 CWT 41 41     76
23 Mads Vejlby Boesen DEN CWT 40 40 CWT 35 35     75
24 Martin Muller GER CWT 47 47     CWT 39 27 74
25 David Tranfield UK DNS 0 CNF 30 39 FIM 42 33 72
26 Mads Becker Jorgensen DEN DQ BO 0 CWT 40 40     40
26 Alexsejs Potapenko LVA     CWT 40 40     40
  Sebastian Näslund SWE DNS 0       0 0
  Erland Breidal NOR DNS 0 DQ SP 0*     0
  Annelie Pome SWE           0 0
  Christina Kummel DEN ?   ?   ?   soon

Yoga every morning at 7.00 with 5-12 participants

Aida Freediver courses (8 certificates)

UW-photo comp and Kampschwimmer challenge
- cancelled due to exhaustion and lack of enthusiasm.

Team static
After magic 3 we quickly rounded up some teams for the three man relay breath hold, Swedish Christian ended up in the Girlie team with Scientist Erikas "daughters" (13 and 15). They finished last with a total time of 9 minutes. Newly arrived Dave from britain spoiled a "switch" in the relay and Doctor Sven had to speed breath and duck down on slightly over FRC - the team was penalized 10 seconds for every late second (5x10=50 secs). The Danish with Maria, Lars and world team champion Henning won easily with a total time of 14.15.

1. Maria, Lars, Henning: 14.15
2. Sven, Jacob, Dave: 13.21-50=12.31
3. Ullie, Daan, Sanne: 11.56
4. Tim, Weine, George: 10.36
5. Hildur, Christian, Fanny: 9.01

Since you are allowed to verbally intimidate, stress, splash or blow bubbles between the teams, Henning could feel the heat when being the last athlete. Tim and Weine did most of the "attacks" creating jaccuzi and swimming under and releasing airbubbles in his face.

The first Aida competition depth safety diver course.
Hanli Prinsloo, Sebastian Näslund, Christian Ernest, Sven Grauman, Rahel Zemoi, Ingela Karlson, Daan Verheuven, Martin Muller, Ola Rantala, Annelie Pompe.

A full day of theory, pool and depth training. Discussions on safety and different scenarios.

The speciality clinic (with nine divers).
Hanli Prinsloo lead yoga with focus on lungs, Annelie spoke of basic training (muscular/cardiovascular), stretching for fin swimming and alkaline food and its effect. Sebastian led some yoga focusing on relaxation and mental focus, and techniques for equalizing and sensitizing the dive response. Some stretching were shown that could solve future squeezes.

We tried different warm-ups before “dives” (walking apneas) and measured the effect. We could see results like this one:

Diver 1:
2.45 walking apnea every time. First type of warm-up: 78% oxygen saturation, second type: 54%, and the third type: 62%.

Diver 2:
2.10 walking apnea. First type of warm-up: 81% oxygen saturation, breathing reflexes at 45 seconds.  The third type of ventilation: 80% and breathing reflexes at 1.05.

We measured the following data: VC (lung volume) W/WO packing, “CO2 levels”, heart rate, oxygen levels (finger or lung). Pulsedrop test.

The day finished with Tim Money holding his breath 14.49 after breathing oxygen for three minutes. Anna Boetticher did 10 minutes.

Sara Campbell half day Kundalini Yoga special
"Cutting through the bullshit of your perceived limitations"
(with 22 participants).

Scientist Erika Shagatay (assistant Angelica) doing tests on the freedivers
Measuring the spleen and its reactions to breath hold was her main objective, setting up a lab in one of the camps. She also measured some oxygen saturation values on divers after competition dives below RV. Most divers returned within minutes to normal values (98-100%). Three divers showed signs of not recovering directly, implying that gas exchange in the lungs had been inhibited. Sebastian did a 61 meter FIM as starter and had 88% saturation for several minutes after the dive. After about 2 hours saturation levels where still as low as 94%.
A similar test was done 2006 at the Nordic Deep competition by Johan Andersson in Lund. Nearly all divers showed lower values for half an hour or more.

Suunto guess your depth

1. Josef 29.3
2. David 29.2
2. Sebastian 30.8
3. Ilka 28.9
4. Patrick 32.5
5. Maria 27.2
6. Jacob 33.9
7. Christian 26.1
8. Jesper 35.9
9. Henning 35.1
10. Ullie 25.3
11. Weine 39.3


Top snorkler competition

A 15 year old girl zoomed down to 27 meter with snorkel equipment, leaving the safety behind and the organization a bit stressed. This won her great recognition and a Freediver Hat.

Christian from Sweden turned up in Bermuda shorts and a pair of baby flotation devices on his arms. He fought his way down to 15 with water pouring into his sinuses and the safety divers bubbling with laughter.

Next years Bizzy Blue Hole will put more emphasis on laid back beginners competitions.
F.BIZ will push on until FREEDIVING is a folk sport as big as football :-)

Relay speed depth
20,30 and 40 meters - three freedivers in each team one discpline each (CNF/CWT/FIM). First diver to 20, second to 30 and last to 40. First team finished - wins.

1. Maria (DEN), Henning (DEN), Jesper (DEN) - 2.30
2. Kasper (DEN), Kristina (DEN), Mads (DEN) - 2.56
3. Weine (SWE), Tim (UK), Klara (SWE) - 3.06
4.  Dave (UK), Sanne (NED), Muir (SA) - DQ early turn 33 on 40.

Ras Mohammed excursion with 19 freedivers
This is a famous dive site south of sharm. Warmer than Dahab, clearer water and more fish. Most of our time was spent over glistering sandbottoms and exploring a shallow cave with several openings. The best dive site (Shark/Yolanda) was closed though due to a fatal accident the day before, involving two scubadivers.

Ras Abu Galum (excursion with 19 freedivers)
Less than a two hour camelride north of the Blue Hole. A peaceful and silent excursion in company of a fierce wind and a full moon. Beduin dinner, snorkling in two places and a hot camelride in the stony desert shore of the red sea.

Judging, cheating and safety
On day three we did a more thorough test on the antiballast system
. Henning Larsen did a 48 meter dive and simulated a BO at 40 on the way up. The actual extra weight adding on to the counter ballast was released around 1.30 into the dive when he was not spotted. After releasing he was back to the surface after 46 seconds with a total dive time of 2.25. The rope speed was also increased manually by the lineman.
The base plate hase been welded on top of a metal tube with camera mountings at the bottom. Care has been taken making the system as narrow as possible and with several big holes in the plate to enable waterflow and less resistance when moving through the water. Henning said he felt just fine being liftet to the surface side by side with the bottom plate. Lotta Ericson that was present spotted a weakness in the lanyard though - the metal clip that holds the 1 meter wire in the loop in a D ring actually was sliding out of the claming 1 cm metal piece that makes the loop. With all faith being put in the AB system it is important that they work - my impression is that the weak links usually are in the operation of them, things can get tangled, ropes stuck, weights jammed. Now this is the second time a lanyard has failed in a test and more emphasis has to be put on this (I know the Aida int. Board is discussing this right now).
On the second day of the competion I asked Marcus Greatwood to cheat in whatever way possible (apart from infringing safety). He did a 51 meter FIM where he didged an extra hidden weight belt and came up with a tag he had made himself resembling the comp tags. White card. I who knew he was cheating could not spot the hidden weight belt. At has been my conclusion for a long time the the justice of depth competitions are done relying a lot on the honesty of our divers.
One peculiarity occured when no one wanted to protest the dive (not the diver himself or other divers in the comp). Since the white card was given, results posted and the fact that judges can not protest their own rulings the dive is now being sent to ranking.

In my opinion as a judge, the weakest links in the fairness of the comps (apart from how easy it is to get away with doping) are in deep CWT and CNF where rope pulls only can be detected by feeling the line (not easy in waves) or bottom camera (a rare thing). As the national records are getting deeper this is a bit disturbing, as is the fact that many poolrecords are judged by only one judge (since judges split up in lanes in the smaller competitions).

We put all the tags down from the beginning giving the athletes a wide variety of choices :-). Complains on bouncing plate, hard pulled tags and "miss measured rope" (not anticipating the added rope stretch by the weight of the bottom plate construction) was finally dealt with.

Half day climbing safari with bedouin dinner in the desert (10 people)