As the clocks sprang forwards on the 28th March, the Liverpool Aquatics Centre was the beautiful venue of the UK National Freediving Pool Championship and marked the day when UK Freedivers came out of hibernation after a long, cold winter. As one of the 20 athletes I’d arrived at the competition grateful for an occasion so early in the year. After a slow start to my 2010 season, it had motivated me to train and get me out of all the bad habits of the winter.
Great Northern 2010 womens winners – Photo by Jean-Marc Kuffer
The day bought an interesting array of UK athletes from a broad selection of UK clubs together. Both the static and dynamic pools were perfect for the events, and the organisation, with Stuart Bond and Steve Millard both from Apneists UK (www.freedivers.co.uk) at the helm, left us athletes happy and relaxed to concentrate on our dives. There were some nice performances from newer divers and you could almost hear the rust falling off some of us more experienced ones. I was feeling a bit light on training so was really happy to take first place with 2 solid dives of 5.32 static and 133m dynamic putting some confidence in for later in the year. With many athletes achieving pbs, eye catching 150m dynamics from Stuart Bond and Mandy Buckley, & also with best newcomer Chris Laycock with a nifty 123m dynamic, Steves Northern Club Apneists UK looked on fine form on home turf with the men finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th and two great swims from the ladies.
There was also good performances from George Miller and Sam Still who finished second winning trygon nose clips, and Stuart Bond and Sam Kirby receiving mono fin bags from No-Tanx for their third place but swim of the day had to go to Dave King with a groundbreaking dive of 217m dynamic for a new UK record, which not so long ago would have been a world record. He not only did a great swim, but he has such a fantastic attitude and is a great role model for other divers, that to see him do a dive like this was really fantastic.
As UK Champion, Id like to thank ORCA WETSUITS for supplying Dave & I with new suits, and on behalf of all the athletes to the entire dive team for all their hard work on a day which left you feeling very excited about UK Freediving.