Press Release: CNF National Record set by Alice Hickson

Alice Hickson on the descent. Photo credit: Daan Verhoeven

Alice Hickson has set a new freediving depth UK national record in Larnaca, Cyprus at the 5th edition of the Infinity Depth Games, on Sunday 13 October.  Using only her arms and legs for propulsion, Alice swam down a measured rope to 57m, collected a tag from the bottom plate (at the end of the rope) and returned to the surface to receive a white card validating her dive from the AIDA International Judges – holding her breath for a total of two minutes and thirty-six seconds.  The previous record (set twelve years ago by Sara Campbell at 56m in October 2007) has not been improved upon until now by the naturally talented Hickson.

Hickson is a thirty-year old Mental Health Practitioner, originally from Doncaster and based in Bristol.  In her spare time, as well as trying to fit in her freedive training, Alice teaches children with special needs how to swim.  Alice holds all of the records in the pool freediving disciplines, and having set her sights on depth just this year, has already won the 2019 UK female national depth championships, organised by Saltfree Divers in Chepstow.

This is what the new national record holder had to say about her constant weight no fins dive (CNF):

“This is my first time at the Infinity Depth Games (IDG) organised by Pavlos Kourtellas, Costas Costantinou and Nicole Karsera, and first time training in warm water!  I got here a week ago and each day has been amazing. The set-up is fantastic and the IDG team and volunteers go above and beyond to make everyone feel comfortable, calm and welcome. There’s a great atmosphere between all the other athletes too.

The past week I’ve focused on CNF as I’ve not had chance to do this in the cold quarry back home and it’s probably my favourite discipline.  I love the freedom of no fins (and it’s one less thing to carry and forget!).  The dive felt amazing and it was the icing on the cake to break the long-standing record.  The most important thing for me is to enjoy the dive and I loved every second.  It’s so much easier to put in a good performance when you know you’re surrounded by beautiful, kind people who want you to do well!

I would like to thank all of the organisers, safety, AIDA judges, friends and athletes for their support, well wishes and kindness.  In particular, Beci Ryan for epic coaching, Georgina Miller for all support, Daan Verhoeven for top tips and encouragement, Francesca for wise words, Liam Abel of 2971 for an amazing kit and Giorgos Sakkas for a great suit and assistance.  Looking forward to discovering what else I can do.”