New UK CNF National Record by Dave Kent

Sunday 28th July 2013; — On Saturday 27th July, in Dahab, at the most recent of the Little Blue Hole competitions, arranged by Brian Crossland of Blue Ocean Freedivers, British Freediver Dave Kent smashed his own National Record in the discipline of Constant Weight No Fins by swimming to an amazing depth of 70 meters.

It was only two years ago in September 2011 that Dave competed at his first major competition in Kalamata at the AIDA Depth World Championships, where on the opening day he gained his first National Record in CNF by swimming down to 62m. The following month at Dahab’s Blue Hole no less, he swam down a further 4 meters, increasing the record to 66m.

At the competition on the 27th, Dave had to swim down to the previously announced depth, marked with a weight at the end of a rope, and back without the use of fins, propulsion aids or pulling on the rope to assist him. CNF requires, as well as other things, a high level of technique, coordination, equalisation and buoyancy. Dave said that his training leading up the competition, his first one of the year, had gone well with solid 70m plus dives over the last month.

However in Dave’s own words, like most best laid plans, things didn’t go 100% as they should have done! On the day of the dive, Kent miscalculated his warm-up time and found himself getting cold during the two minute Official Top countdown, which is the countdown the athlete hears just before their competition dive. The cold is not conducive to relaxation and this combined with nerves, resulted in a not so comfortable descent compared to Dave’s training dives. This might have been detrimental to a less experienced diver, however his training and discipline, clearly put him in good stead. He was pleased with his dive time of 2:35, as he had announced 2:40 and the ascent part of the dive was very comfortable and was made in 1:15, it was Dave said the most positive part of the dive. This is also the part of the dive, which is going to give him the confidence in striving towards 80m, which he has his sights set on as his next goal.

Dave is now heading back to the UK for a short break after which he will return to Dahab where he is planning on competing in another competition at the end of August as his final preparation for the Aida Individual Depth World Championships in Kalamata in September. Brain Crossland (organiser of the Little Blue Hole competition), coaches Dave whilst he is in Dahab and has done for the past three years. Dave has also been working with Aharon Solomons through his remote coaching program, and trained with him last October and earlier this year where the main focus was solely on equalization, which Dave says, is arguably the single biggest change in how I dive now compared to 12 months ago.

Currently on a career break from his job in Sussex Police who have allowed him once again to take un-paid leave in preparation for this year’s World Championships, Dave is financing himself from his previous years savings and he says, basically letting go of most, if not all, of his worldly possessions to fund this year’s training. It’s been a huge sacrifice, and a difficult one at times – but one that is paying off when you look at Dave’s results, and he clearly has a lot more in there to give!

A new British record in constant weight, no fins free diving set by David Kent at Dahab’s Blue Hole

Only twenty days after setting the British Men’s Constant Weight, No Fins Free Diving record at 62 meters (204 ft) at The World Championships in Kalamata, Greece on 19th September, David Kent, 41, broke and reset his own record by comfortably diving an impressive 66 meters (217 ft) in 2.32 minutes in The Blue Hole, Dahab, Egypt, on 9th October.

To set the Constant Weight, No Fins Free Diving record, Kent was required to descend to a pre-announced depth and return to the surface on a single breath of air and present the bottom-tag to the judges to qualify; He did this without incident and looked clear and focused as he resurfaced, a good indication that there’s still deeper depths he can reach over time.

The discipline Kent specialises in (one of the three major competition disciplines) is often referred to as ‘unassisted free diving’, as the athlete swims to their depths and resurfaces without the aid of fins, sleds, airbag, or any other supplement – using only the combined power and discipline of the body and the mind.

41 year old Sussex Police Sergeant David Kent was given a mini career-break to train for and compete in the World Championships this year. He was coached by Brian Crossland of Blue Ocean Free Diving in Dahab, Egypt, leading up to the Worlds, then returned to train up for and carry out his record breaking attempt, organised and overseen by Crossland. He will no doubt be welcomed back to The Force with a huge round of well-deserved applause as the UK Men’s World Record holder.

Kent has now set his sights on competing in the 2013 World Championships to medal-winning standard.

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