British men trash own records at Worlds

Monday 10th October 2011 : – The British men faced their toughest competition for records this year, with three strong athletes fighting for the No Fins title; Dave Tranfield, two-times holder of the title, newcomer Ed Wardle who took the record from Dave this summer at his first event; and Dave Kent, new to competitive freediving, who came through and surprised everyone, including himself.

At the 4th Mediterranean World Cup 1st-14th September athletes gathered from around the world to compete and prepare for the World Championships, taking place from 15th-25th September. Liv Philip shone for the women by taking Silver Medal overall in the women’s with CWT 61m, FIM 62m and CNF 46m.

Liv, who coaches and trains at London Freediving Club in Richmond, said: I’ve been working long hours back home to allow me to compete this summer and it’s been tough to fit training in, so I’m doubly pleased to have got a Silver Medal with so many strong athletes around.

On 14th September, the final day of the first comp, Dave Tranfield, or Tranny as he is affectionately known, although he prefers ‘Sheffield Steel’, and Ed Wardle who had ambitiously announced 65m, went head to head to push Ed’s 55m record deeper. Tranny, due in part to his greater experience, kept his cool and successfully dived to 56m in two minutes 25 seconds, breaking Ed’s former record by one metre.

Dave said: My dive started badly with a poor duck dive due to nerves and then my neck weight nearly knocked off my nose clip which barely hung on during the entire descent. But luckily equalisation went ok to the bottom and as soon as I took the tag I knew I had the dive. Unfortunately Ed didn’t make his dive, having announced 10m deeper than his former record, and making an early turn.

On 19th September, the first comp day of the AIDA Depth World Championships, Dave Kent joined the action, putting further pressure on Tranny and Ed, and the tables turned in Ed’s favour. Tranny made the most conservative announcement with 58m, followed by Ed with 60m and Dave Kent with 62m. Tranny was up first but didn’t make it. Ed completed a 60m dive, claiming his second National Record in two minutes 19 seconds. Ed said: I trained hard this year and it paid off, I managed to focus and it was as close to a perfect dive as I could have wished for, a solid 60m. Ed’s glory was short-lived as minutes later his record was broken by a Dave Kent, who made a clean and easy dive to 62m in two minutes 20 seconds. Kent, at his first ever major comp said: The world’s were awesome, it was great to meet so many athletes that up until then had just been names from hours of watching YouTube footage. My time in Kalamata has only reinforced my desire to attend further championships, and improve as a no fins freediver.

The other disciplines at the event were Free Immersion and Constant Weight. In the Mediterranean Cup on 13th September Mike Board did a 77m FIM to regain the National Record from Dave King who had set it at 73m in June in France. But on the 24th September the final day of the AIDA World Depth Championships, Mike extended this record by a further six metres setting a new record in FIM of 83m in a dive time of two minutes 55 seconds.

Mike said: “It’s been a fantastic month of training and dive performances for me that far exceeded my expectations. Training went well and I felt strong and confident enough to try new depths on the competition days.”

The team was sponsored by Elios wetsuits ( who donated the full team a brand new wetsuit each for the Worlds. Thank you, Elios!

Congratulations to all nine British athletes attended these two amazing events.

Dave Tranfield
Sara Campbell
Dave Kent
Liv Philip
Dave King
Georgina Miller
Ed Wardle
Mike Board
Gary McGrath (Med World Cup)

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National Record in Free Immersion 3rd May 2011

On the 3rd May 2011 British freediver Mike Board, 40, a former Royal Marine who now lives in Gili Trawangan in Indonesia, reclaimed his National Record in Free Immersion (pulling himself down and up a submerged, weighted rope) with a faultless dive to 72m. The dive, held at the ‘Freedive International’ Minicomp in Dahab’s Blue Hole, took 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Mike was again coached by four-times World Record holder Sara Campbell.

Photo by Jan Windszus

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.

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