BFA AGM Announced – Sunday 14th November

It’s that time of year again. This year’s British Freediving Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place at the National Diving and Activity Centre, Chepstow ( for directions) from 1pm until about 4pm on Sunday 14 November. You are all very welcome to come to the AGM, listen, take part, give your views and if you wish, to join us for a freedive in the morning.

The AGM is your chance to find out what the British Freediving Association has been up to over the past year and express your views on what it should be doing in the year ahead. Most importantly, it is your chance to stand for a Committee position and get involved!

We need to fill quite a few gaps in the BFA Committee this year and really hope you will use this chance to give something back to the sport you love. Without the BFA, we may not be able to compete at International or organise recognised competitions, will struggle with teaching insurance and won’t get our records recognised properly. If the Committee positions are not filled, then there is a good chance the BFA won’t be able to continue – so please consider whether you might be able to give an hour or so a week to give something back. To continue, according to our Constitution, we must appoint at least a Chair, Membership Secretary, Training & Safety Officer and a Treasurer. At the moment, only one of these posts has someone who definitely wishes to stand for election.

The Committee posts can all be managed wherever you live, as long as you have internet and email access a couple of times a week. Whilst it would be helpful, to us and to you, you do not need to attend the AGM to stand for a position.

New UK Record – 100m passed!

The British Freediving Association is delighted to be able to announce that it today ratified a new British Record in the No Limits discipline.

Jim Lawless successfully dived to 101m using a sled and lift bag in Sharm El Sheikh on 28 August 2010, with the dive lasting 2 minutes and 7 seconds. Jim’s record exceeds that of Paul Whincup set at 77m back in 2005.

Jim Lawless
The first Brit to outdive his D4 – Photo by Deborah Metcalfe, Blue Eye FX

Jim is the first British Freediver to officially break the 100m mark but others are following swiftly behind. The BFA is looking forward to more 100m+ dives in the next year or so – and with our Constant Weight records for men and women now both in the 90s, it may not be long before someone does it without a sled!

The BFA would like to extend hearty congratulations to Jim and many thanks to the judges Marco Nones, Angela Ambrosi and all at Only One Apnea Centre for making this possible.

3rd Mediterranean Freediving World Cup

Seven British athletes attended the 3rd Mediterranean Freediving World Cup, between 6th and 20th June 2010, hosted in Kalamata Greece by Stavros Kastrinakis. Liv Philip, Georgina Miller, Maria-Teresa Solomons, Sue Pugh, Tim Money, David Tranfield and Mark Harris all competed.

In addition, Long-standing BFA committee member Ben Noble competed, representing Australia.

Photo provided by Laura Storm

A summary of their key achievements follows:


  • 2nd place for Maria-Teresa Solomons in the Women’s overall results
  • 3rd place for Liv Philip in the Women’s overall results
  • 3rd place for Mark Harris in the Men’s overall results
  • 2nd place for Maria-Teresa Solomons, Sue Pugh and Georgina Miller in the Women’s team results
  • A new British record in Constant-Weight No-fins of 53 metres for David Tranfield
  • A new British record in Free Immersion of 70 metres for Mark Harris
  • A new Australian record in Variable Weight of 100 metres for Ben Noble
  • A new Australian record in No-Limits of 105 metres for Ben Noble


BFA selects Freediving Team for World Championships Okinawa, Japan

The British Freediving Association (BFA) has made its selection for Team GB to represent the UK at the 2010 Freediving Team World Championships in Okinawa, Japan. The event will take place from 30th June until 10th July,and Team GB will be sponsored by Elios wetsuits, Fourth Element clothing, and Suunto.

The UK will be represented by three of the most experienced athletes in the country: Sam Still, Maria-Teresa Solomons and Suzanne Pugh, making up a mixed team, which will compete in the men’s category.

To find out more about this or to download our offical press release please click here

NoTanx freediving display in the Dubai Mall

The 12 guys and girls have just returned from performing in front of over 10,000 people in Dubai

The display was intended to raise awareness of our sport and the conservation efforts of the Dubai Aquarium. It was full supported by Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd…. “We [Sea Shepherd] are not invited to Aquariums, so your shows are a great opportunity to pass on our message to a new audience”

NoTanx ArnoWith over 1000 people coming to the Mall especially for the show it was a great success and gained TV coverage all over the Middle East and Europe.

NoTanx Arno

We would like to thank Immersion and 4th Element for supporting us, as well as Paul Hamilton and his team in the Aquarium itself.

Mike Board claims his first British Record 68m FIM – Friday 26th March 2010

The British men’s Free Immersion freediving record has fallen to a new-comer. Mike Board, training with Sara Campbell at her Discover Your Depths training camp in March, set the new record of 68m with a dive time of two minutes 39 seconds on Monday 22nd March.

Mike, already a freediving instructor, runs his own school near Bali on the idyllic island of Gili Trawangan. He completed the dive on the second day of competition.

68m FIM

Mike said: I didn’t really have any goals when I came to train with Sara in Dahab, simply to improve my own diving and become a better instructor as a result. However, my progress was so fast once she taught me the mouthfill properly, the British FIM record suddenly came into view.

Sara said: Mike trained with me for three weeks and am thrilled by his progress he arrived a 43m diver and leaves with a really impressive National Record, and is more or less touching 70m. He absolutely deserves this result and I look forward to seeing his name at the top of results lists in the future.

At the same event, Sam Still, who became World Champion in static five years ago, made an impressive come-back to the competition circuit after four years out, with two strong dives, racking up a total of 124 points to put him in first place in the competition overall. Mike came a very close second with 121 points after equalisation problems forced him to turn early on his attempt at 70m Constant Weight on day one.

Most of the divers were competing with a hope of qualifying for the British Team going to the World Championships in Okinawa, Japan later this year. However, many were less successful, several competing for the first time ever and learning valuable lessons in terms of the rules for international competition and the surface protocol.

Sara added: Many divers forget that a successful competitive dive is 50 percent the dive, 50 percent technical details and rules, which must be studied and practiced ahead of a competition as much as the actual depth and breathhold training.

To contact Mike please click here

A thank you to the sponsors of the Great Northern 2010 – by Liv Philip

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.

Dave King
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 ( 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.

Great Northern 2010 – by Emma Farrell

On Sunday 28th March 2010 I, along with Matt Kitchen were the AIDA Judges for the BFA Great Northern Pool Competition at the Liverpool Aquatics Centre. For me, competitions are always an experience, but being out of the water made it a lot more fun.

Dave King

Being pool side and watching the athletes compete meant that not only did I have the benefit of seeing all the preparation, performances and technique, but I was also given an amazing snapshot of the state of UK Freediving in the run up to the team world championships in Okinawa and the world cup in Greece and it’s looking really healthy. This competition was all about unifying the various groups around the UK to put forward a united front.

First place for the men was taken by David King with a storming 6.58 static and 217m dynamic swim creating a new British record. He was coached fantastically by George Miller who came second in the women’s comp, their electric blue suits marking them out as team Smurf. The only thing missing was Papa.

Sam Still of Apneists UK training at the moment in London, came second for the men, since his phenomenal position as world champion just a few short years ago, and then semi-retirement after the Dahab bombings, Sam was poolside demonstrating Qi Gong and an incredible physique, and back in the water ‘just taking it easy’ with two solid white card performances. Stuart Bond of Apneists UK was just behind him in third with a lovely 150 dynamic.

The competition was organised by Steve Millard of, assisted by Stuart Bond of the BFA. Steve has been instrumental in growing British Freediving in the North West and in a few short years has an active club of over 50 and great new talent including the Buckley mermaids (Mandy with a 150m dynamic and her sister-in-law Alison with a solid 100m in her first competition) and also Chris Laycock who won ‘best newbie’ with an easy 123 dynamic swim.

Even though the ladies were thinner on the ground and we were missing big hitters such as Sara Campbell, the competition was very close with great performances from Liv Philip who came first in front of George Miller and Sam Kirby.

As a judge, my job was made all the easier by incredible organisation and facility, support from a great team and well drilled athletes. click here to watch Daves amazing swim.

Liverpool Aquatics Centre
First Prizes – Orca suit
Second Prizes – Trygon
Third Prizes – No Tanx monofin bags

NoTanx Freediving Competition results

Saturday 13th March saw the UK’s Biggest Freediving Competition. 32 Clean performances by BFA members (Ady Hamilton did get a a technical red card for pushing on the bottom…. but then again he did walk 38m carrying 16Kg of weight!!)

1st place Lee Sheward (Biggest smile – Immersion Watch)
Joint 2nd Alan Barber (170m 98% grade – O’Neill Wetsuit)
Joint 2nd Jack Dybczak (Most relaxed dive – Immersion Stream Watch)
3rd Place Shared – Freya Greatwood, Ginny Kennedy, Bev Warner

NoTanx would like to thank all those who gave up their dive to help run the event.

Great Northern Comp

Apneists UK are proud to announce they are hosting the BFA National pool competition on the 28th March 2010. The event will include both the Static (STA) and Dynamic with fins (DYN) disciplines. It has been officially recognised by AIDA International as a National with guests competition so all athletes will receive an AIDA worldwide ranking. This is important as many of the athletes are using the competition to gain points for the upcoming World Championships in Japan.

Many of the UKs most respected freedivers will either be competing or providing services for the smooth running of the event so it will be a great opportunity to meet some really good people. If you would like to come and support the event or spectate everyone is welcome.

Directions to the event and further details can be found by clicking here.