2017 UK National Champions announced

Georgina Miller

The BFA is delighted to announce that Michael Board and Georgina Miller are the 2017 UK National Champions.

The selection is based on UK and international competition results across all major pool and open water disciplines. Competitive freediving requires an exceptional level of commitment to training as well as travelling across the world to participate in the leading depth competitions.Georgina and Michael have a long history of competitive freediving for Great Britain in individual and team championship events. Each of these talented divers have broken multiple national records and have competed at some of the world’s most prestigious freediving championships. Georgina is a six-times national record holder, with a personal best of just over seven minutes in the Static Apnea discipline. Michael has set sixteen British National records and is the current British record holder in two depth disciplines for Constant Weight at 108m and for Free Immersion at 100m.

Georgina said: “I’m really pleased to get this award. It is pretty challenging to get competition points across all six disciplines, which were gained at just two events, one pool and one depth competition. Fitting in time to train around work teaching free diving is always a tricky balance, but it’s fun to try to practice all the disciplines! The cold waters of the UK are not always the easiest, but it does help to be able to dive as much as we can in the summer. We have a wonderful community of free divers to help motivate and support us and meet some incredible, inspirational people, so I feel very lucky to be able to do this. I would really like to thank Daan Verhoeven for all of his knowledge and endless support, Porthkerris Divers for the space to practice and teach, and my mum for the dog sitting while we are away.”

Georgina and Daan Verhoeven run Aquacity Freediving (www.aquacityfreediving.com) at Porthkerris in Cornwall.

Michael said: “I am so happy to be named UK Champion for 2017, and to have got the final points needed at the Bristol Blue competition in October. Last season was a difficult one for me, after an injury early in the season, I failed to achieve any good results in the rest of that year, I really felt that my performances had plateaued and it left me with many doubts when starting to train for this 2017 season. However, I decided to make some big changes, took on a new coach, and started training at a level that I had not previously managed. It’s been hard work, with many early morning sessions but the results speak for themselves – it has probably been my most successful year since starting to compete eight years ago. The high point for me was coming 3rd place at Vertical Blue earlier this year in the Monofin category, increasing the British depth record to 108m, and ranking 5th in the world for 2017, and then also setting another new British depth record of a 100m in Free Immersion. Being awarded UK champion is a great way to top off this great year. Thank you to all my training partners, especially Kate Middleton and the instructors at Freedive Gili in Gili Trawangan, and to coach Goran Colak for his training and advice.”

Michael Board runs Freedive Gili, a Freediving School in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia (www.freedivegili.com) and is on Instagram @mikefreediver.

Congratulations to Georgina and Michael for their outstanding freediving achievements and we wish them every future success!

Michael Board

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)


2016 National Champions

Tim MoneyTim Money

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)

Every year, the BFA selects the male and female National Champion based on competition results across all disciplines in the pool and open water. For UK divers this means training year-round and often having to travel abroad to reach the depths needed to excel on the world stage.

The 2016 champions are Tim Money and Liv Phillip.

Both athletes are cornerstones of British freediving; they are not only consistent high performing athletes on the pool circuit, but they rank at a high level in depth disciplines as well. The BFA would like to congratulate them both and wish them every success in 2017.

Liv Phillip commented: “It’s a real pleasure to receive the British Championship award again this year. It’s the 10th consecutive year I’ve won the British Championship, and every year has been very different as my freediving and my goals have developed. In the beginning I just wanted to hit the water with any excuse to do so, which is where my desire to do all the pool and depth disciplines came from. Now I’m a very experienced diver, things of course change, and I find new reasons to continue competition freediving. One thing that does not change is the freedom I feel from being in the water, and specifically in the sea. I made a competition personal best this year in constant weight with a dive to 75m, and the challenge in doing this was having very limited training time and resources, and very few training days doing depth in the sea. What I fall back on is a real joy of the water and the friends I get to share the challenges with along the way. I’d like to thank all the people who have supported me this year, and I’m looking forward to the 2017 Depth World Championship in Roatan in August.”

Tim Money commented: “I love this award and am really chuffed to get it. It’s really challenging to get points on all disciplines, and almost see it as the pentathlon of freediving, as it’s very hard to train and do well across the board. My head says I should be more specific and concentrate on one event to progress, however the excitement factor throws that out the window and I have a go at everything, which is great fun. My main challenge is with time between teaching, family and work – I just don’t get to do enough diving or events. I managed to get to two events this year, so only just got points in all disciplines, and hope to do more in the future. I would really like to thank my family who let me run away to these adventures, and my employer (www.saba.com), as they help me with time to get to the World Championships.”

For more information, please contact Louise Nelson, Press Officer, British Freediving Association at press@britishfreediving.org.

Mens & Women’s British Freediving Champions 2015

Mens British Freediving Champions 2015 - Tim Money Women's British Freediving Champions 2015 - Liv Philip

Every year, the BFA selects the male and female National Champion based on competition results across all disciplines in the pool and open water. For UK divers this means training year-round and often having to travel abroad to reach the depths needed to excel on the World stage.

Meet 2015’s UK Champions Liv Phillip and Tim Money, who have trained together for many years in London. This is Liv’s 9th consecutive year as Champion, and Tim’s 3rd. Both are AIDA Instructors, representing the UK regularly at team and individual championships and both volunteer their precious time to assist in running the BFA. Liv and Tim spoke to each other about their freediving year, challenges overcome, achievements and how they’ve kept on top of their game for 10 years.

Liv Phillip (LP): “Tim, I met you on a cold winter’s day on the Saltfree platform in 2006. You were doing some sort of strange leg stretch in your wetsuit. Why are you still going strong in freediving ten years later?”
Tim Money (TM): “Freediving is great escapism from conventional life, which of course I value with my job and family, but it gives me a chance to have some adventures. Plus, the community is special. At events there is a common shared love and understanding of freediving despite differences in race, culture and lifestyle and I think that is pretty unique. Our sport is competitive, but because of the intensity of our sport, camaraderie shines through”.

TM: “Liv, you like all the competitive disciplines and this is the 9th consecutive year you have been the British Women’s Champion, what was your freediving all about in 2015?”
LP: “2015 was totally about looking after my family and not about freediving. I took two trips to deep dive this year and the training time was minimal, but it provided some much needed time away from responsibilities back in the UK. Family illness and difficult circumstances meant it wasn’t possible to make the sort of selfish decisions necessary to be a top athlete, but made it very clear how much I love diving in the sea. The challenges I’ve faced this year outside of freediving have been very important to me to put into the perspective how unimportant competition results are in the grand scheme of things. Having said that, as soon as I was in the water, I valued every moment and I think that explains winning the British Champion title. I ended up with a personal best in Free Immersion with a 4th place dive of 68m at the Depth World Championship in Cyprus. The nice thing is that my mum is my biggest fan and this really cheered her up”.

LP: “What about you? How were you looking at your freediving in 2015?”
TM: “I got some more time in deep water this year which let me concentrate on some things. I did more UK diving, which I enjoy and keeps me from getting so rusty, and I was able to get away to the Cyprus Depth World Individual Championships. I did a Constant Weight dive to 67m there, but I think for me the real achievement was the experience of learning how to do that. I went to the Bahamas earlier in the year for the Vertical Blue Championship and my family came along, but I found my little girl won my attention hands down and so I just dived for fun”.

LP: “Are you still as excited about freediving 10 years on?”
TM: “I question this every winter, and I’ve decided I will continue in whatever way as long as I am enjoying it. That may be recreational, within my club, teaching, or competitively”.
TM: “And how about you?”
LP: “Yes, I still love what I’m doing and I am quite adept at changing things so I don’t get bored. Anyway someone has to beat you and give you something to aim at!”
TM: “Haha! I think having a training partner who I can have healthy competition with gives us both a kick to make an effort”
LP: “I agree you need a training partner who’s going to be honest with you and know when to tell you the truth however much you might not want to hear it. When it all goes right, or wrong, you want your best friends to be there to share it with, or really what is the point of it all?”

Liv would like to thank Fusion Lifestyle, Powerfins & Elios Wetsuits for their support in 2015.

Tim would like to thank Powerfins and his employer Saba for their support in 2015.

2013 UK National Freediving Champions

Liv Philip & Tim Money Crowned Again!

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven

Saturday 25th January 2014 — Tim Money and Liv Philip (www.free-flowh2o.com) have been awarded the annual UK National Freediving Championship prize once again! Both athletes won last year, and incredibly this will be the 7th time in a row for Liv. Tim and Liv of London Freediving (www.londonfreediving.org), are experienced athletes who put a lot of thought and work into their training and both reaped the rewards in different ways: Tim sites this as the year his deep diving changed, taking on the same consistency of the pool, learning a different way to equalize and progressing 10m deeper than his personal best; Liv’s concentration on performance was divided at the beginning of the year with teaching in danger of taking over, but with time invested on herself to train she earned a bronze medal at the World Championships.

The year kick started for both athletes, in the wet and cold winter with some pool competitions whilst training off-season, achieving some solid performances at the Riga Freediving Cup (www.free-diving.lv/competitions.html) and the Great Northern International Pool Championships (www.freedivingcompetition.com). As the summer began the great friends who have trained together for many years, travelled to Myrtos, Greece, to take part in the 6th Mediterranean World Cup (www.freediving-club.gr). This event was particularly significant for Tim, as it was here that his diving technique changed completely: ‘I figured out I had been equalizing a very hard way for the last six years, and there was an easy way to do it! It was a revelation, I went from constant focus, and probably anxiety of whether I can equalise at the next meter, to just falling and ears open no stress, laaaaa…. amazing.’ Performance-wise Money did well, diving five times below the 60m mark over the course of the competition.

During the Mediterranean World Cup Liv had placed her focus on teaching, not performance and so upon her return to the UK, she topped up her training, largely through working a very physical job as a landscape gardener in preparation for the Individual Freediving Depth World Championships in Kalamata, Greece (www.freediving-club.gr): ‘Its a vicious circle in an unfunded sport, if you are working to fund yourself, you are often too busy or tired to train, so I’m particularly grateful for any support I can get and especially to Fusion Lifestyles Camberwell Pool (www.fusion-lifestyle.com), who continue to support me by providing training space.’

Upon arrival in Kalamata, Liv made enjoyment of the competition a priority: ‘I wanted to have fun being in the water, and avoid the tension that creeps in’. Philip performed well, both at the mini competition held prior to the main event, and at the main event itself, receiving white cards in every discipline: CNF, CWT and FIM. The icing on the cake was when she performed a beautiful 50m CNF dive under challenging conditions and was rewarded with a place on the podium and a bronze medal: ‘CNF is probably my favourite discipline and performing a big CNF dive at a World Championship was the result of years of dedication and hard work. CNF is a much more technical discipline, but alongside that you have to be very relaxed at depth and naturally love being in the deep water. The time spent deep on a no fins dive is longer due to the slower ascent speed compared to the other disciplines, so it isn’t possible to wing it just to hit the plate. When you get it right, CNF is mind blowing. When you don’t it’s the worst thing in the world. That’s what I like about it I guess.’

Having missed out on the chance to compete at the World Championships and eager to continue further his exploration of equalizing at depth, Tim finished the year with ten days in Sharm at Freediving World (info@freedivingworld.it). He took part in three competition days and attended three theory sessions with Andrea Zuccari on equalizing which he says were incredible: ‘Equalising is becoming a joy, and I did 62m, 64m, 67m CWT in competition and then ended with a 71m personal best (PB) in training.’

Selection of the annual male and female UK Champions is made by collating points earned across all six competitive disciplines, pool and depth, between 31st October and 31st November.

Liv will be teaching courses as well as taking on a limited number of athletes for coaching during 2014. Trips for deep water training are scheduled both in the UK and abroad. Contact Liv on hellofreeflow@gmail.com

The winners’ competition performances for 2013 were:

Tim Money

STA 5min 37sec
DYN 154m
DNF 129m
CWT 67m
CNF 38m
FIM 52m

Liv Philip:

STA 5min 41sec
DYN 134m
DNF 112m
CWT 62m
CNF 50m
FIM 66m

Winners of UK National Freediving Championship 2012

The BFA would like to congratulate Tim Money and Liv Philip who are the winners of the UK National Freediving Championship 2012!

Each year, the BFA grants a National Championship Award for men and women, to the athlete who has scored highest in STA (static apnea), DYN (dynamic apnea with fins), and CWT (constant weight).

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven

Liv and Tim both train at London Freediving in Richmond and Crystal Palace Clubs, where they are extremely popular and respected athletes. Tim and Liv are always approachable to the older and newer members of the clubs, offering training advice when asked and willingly sharing their valuable experiences as freedivers.

Tim, a seasoned, strong athlete continues to push the boundaries of his abilities, gaining an easy personal best in the discipline of constant weight at the AIDA Freediving World Championships in Nice, having taken a short break from the sport which clearly did him no harm!

Liv has a wealth of experience as a freediving competitor and performed at various competitions throughout 2012, including the Red Sea AIDA World Cup in Sharm El Sheikh in September. This is the sixth year in a row that Liv has won the UK National Freediving Championship (2007-2012)! Liv is keen to point out that UK based Georgina Miller and Egypt based Anna Parayair were strong contenders for the top spot this year.

Tim Money
STA: 6:03
DYN: 169m
CWT: 60m

Liv Philip
STA: 5:58
DYN: 142m
CWT: 62m

We are pleased to announce that Tim and Liv plan to compete again next year and have included the UK Pool Championships run by Steve Millard and also the Mediterranean World Cup in Greece run by Stavros Kastrinakis in their plans. We wish them huge success in 2013 and we will be sure to keep you posted on their progress.

Next year, for the first time ever, athletes will be able to win the Championship with the scores accumulated from the best they have done in each of the six competitive disciplines (STA, DYN, DNF, CWT, CNF, FIM). This better reflects the changes in the sport of competitive freediving in the last few years, and for the first time acknowledges the no fins athletes’ performances. The scores are counted between the dates November 1st to October 31st and the awards are announced by the BFA at the annual AGM in November.