Great Northern International Pool Championships 2013 – a review by Rebecca Ryan

On the weekend of the 9th and 10th March, freedivers from clubs across the country and indeed across the waters flocked to the beautiful Liverpool Aquatic Centre for the Great Northern International Pool Championships. It was like a gathering of the freediving clans and a great opportunity for both new and old faces to meet. Eleven countries in total were represented which was absolutely fantastic: Great Britain, Ireland, France, Denmark, Poland, Canada, Hungary, Holland, Germany, Greece and Latvia.

The Great Northern, now in it’s fourth year, was superbly organised by Steve Millard of Apneists UK ( Each year ‘the event’ (as it is also known), has gone from strength to strength, growing year on year. This was my first time competing ‘up north’ and having heard so many good things, I was not left disappointed. The atmosphere created by Steve, the judges David Tranfield and Pim Vermeulen, Mandy and Kate, the safety team, volunteers and all the staff at the Aquatic Centre was phenomenal and ensured that the athletes were instantly put at ease and free to concentrate on what they needed to do.

The weekend was split into two separate competitions. Day one, Saturday, was kick started by the Dynamic No Fin (DNF) competitors. DNF is becoming more and more popular with athletes and this was reflected in the numbers taking part, totalling 35 (25 men and 10 women). And what an exciting day it was! The 50 meter pool was reduced in size to 25 meters to accommodate the no fins divers and with its glass ceiling, looked very blue and inviting indeed. There were some big dives as you would expect from some of the more experienced athletes and some equally big personal achievements from some of the newer initiates into the sport – all were acknowledged which was both generous and brilliant to see. Mateusz Malina from Poland completed an incredible 180 meter dive, making it look blissfully easy and securing first place for the men and Yulia Maryevich from Latvia, did a very elegant and solid 100 meters coming first out of the women and a new national record, one of three National records managed by the wonderful Latvian team.

Day two, Sunday, saw the number of athletes swell to 47 and the buzz around the centre increased too. The first part of the day was dedicated to Static (STA) and we all moved over to the 20 meter pool to register, warm-up and generally prepare for our Official Top start time. Athletes and their coaches congregated around the pool in preparation towels and yoga mats dotted the periphery of the pool for people to stretch, do yoga, lie or sit down, meditate, concentrate on breathing, or listen to music to get into their own competitive zone. There were some big breath holds by some of the men: Mateusz Malina (6:47), Erdhart Torsten (6:19) and British Adam Drzazga (5:58). There were also some strong statics performed by the women, notably the UK’s Liv Philip and Yulia Maryevich.

The second part of day two was finished off with the Dynamic (DYN) with fins element of the competition. As you would expect there were some great performances by Malina and Maryevich who swam a brilliant 201 and 151 meters respectively, gaining the top spot out of the men and women and for Yulia a National Record for her country. We were also very proud to see some great and strong performances by our very own home-grown British talent Liv Philip and Tim Money. Liv took 2nd Place on the podium and Tim Money ranked 1st out of the British Men overall. Liv and Tim regularly represent the UK on the British Freediving Team and are well known and admired athletes. Also it was great to meet some of the Dutch divers, a great video here of Eric by Daan Verhoeven

A lot of work goes into making a competition successful and the sponsors of the Great Northern are deserving of a massive thank you for their generosity: Without a pool we would not have been able to compete: Lifestyle Fitness centres provided a wonderful pool and facilities for us all to enjoy. Sensational prizes were provided by Orca and Fins4U for the winners of the competition. And official Sponsors of the competition were Saka, Blue Orb, Freediving yoga lessons from OM diver and TriBeCa who hosted us in their trendy bar and fed us delicious pizza and safety from Gone swimming. The British Freediving Association has supported and promoted the Great Northern and is well deserving of a mention as are Lifestyles leisure for their excellently run leisure centre. And on a personal note and on behalf of the athletes, I’d like to say huge thank you to Steve Millard and his fantastic team for a truly sensational weekend – well done!

Tandem No Limits World Record by Stavros Kastrinakis & Andrea Zuccari

Liv Philip headed the safety team for Andrea Zuccari and Stavros Kastrinakis’ Tandem World Record of 126 meters on 21st January 2013 at the new Freediving World Apnea Center in Sharm El Sheikh. Andrea Zuccari went on to secure the Italian National Record in No Limits by going down to an incredible 155 meters, a record previously held by the legendary Umberto Pelizzari. The record was judged by the UK’s David Tranfield and Liv Philip was the Head Safety.

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven

First AIDA World Cup Series Winner, Liv Philip!

Friday 1st March 2013 – The British Freediving Association is delighted to announce that Liv Philip is the winner of the World Cup Series 2012. The World Cup Series is based on three World Cup events in depth – including Free Immersion, Constant Weight No Fins and Constant Weight. Liv is the first person to win this new accolade! The first competition in the World Cup Circuit was the 5th Mediterranean Cup Freediving Comp in Crete in June where Liv picked up a silver medal. At the 2012 AIDA Red Sea Freediving World Cup in September she did one better by winning gold. And in November, at the 2012 Vertical Blue the third and final competition, Liv secured the title by diving to an impressive Constant Weight No Fins dive of 50 meters.

Picture Credit: Alice Cattaneo

Go Freediving Summer Party – 7th July 2013

Go Freediving are delighted to announce the date of their summer party to be held on Sunday 7th July 2013.

The morning will be spent at the pool with a static and dynamic session and the chance to try the amazing carbon fins from Fins4U. In the afternoon you’ll be at Vobster to try the whole range of incredible DPVs from and to take part in our underwater treasure hunt to win top prizes! There’s also a BBQ at the end of the day and more fun stuff to be announced soon!

To find out more please visit or contact Emma Farrell at

Indoor World Championships 2013

UK Team Selection

Applications for the UK Team – 2013 AIDA Indoor World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia are now open. The competition will take place from 21st-30th June and will include Dynamic apnea (without fins), Static Apnea and Dynamic Apnea (with fins).

We hope to send a full team of 3 men and 3 women per discipline, plus up to 2 additional athletes of each gender as substitutes, and a Team Captain/Coach (who may or may not be part of the competing team). Selection will be based on the highest proven performances in the three disciplines. (AIDA world championship team selection will be by AIDA ranked points dated from 18 months prior to 3 months before the competition entry deadline. In case of candidates wishing to be considered who do not have AIDA ranked points a performance witnessed by an AIDA Judge or AIDA UK Instructor will stand at 80% of the resulting outcome.)

If you are interested in competing for the UK in Serbia, please let us know by 24th FEBRUARY. Please send an email to listing your highest AIDA ranked performances since September 24th 2011 in Static Apnea, Dynamic Apnea (with fins) and dynamic apnea (without fins) with details of where this ranking was obtained. If you do not have a ranked performance in any or all of these disciplines, please let us know your current best performances in training, and when you anticipate seeing those ratified officially. If you anticipate achieving a higher ranked performance in any of the disciplines in the next few months, please also let us know that in your email. If your geographical location makes it difficult for you to gain a ranked performance, please let us know and we will take this into consideration. If you are interested in going to Serbia as Team Captain/Coach, please let us know you are interested by 15th July, letting us know your experience in this area, and why you think you would be good for the job. Applications for the Team Captain/Coach position will be considered by the team once they have been selected, and appointed within one month of final team selection. If you make the decision to apply for the 2013 team, you obviously need to be available to be in Serbia for the dates above. You also need to be sure you can afford your flights and expenses and the entry fee of 420 Euros (which includes 9 days accommodation, 3 meals/day, the arrival package ,comp entry, training, ceremonies and an event tshirt.)

In the meantime the BFA will be doing all it can to gather both sponsorship and logistical support for the 2013 team. All competing athletes must be over 18 years old, UK citizens and members of the BFA at the time of the competition.