Monday, 22 March 2010

Final day at the Polish Championship, 21st March

The Warsaw Mermaid is a great symbol for a beautiful city hosting a great freediving competition!

The championship was over on Saturday, but two disciplines remained: The One Breath static competition wih a head-to-head final, and the DNF Only competition. The athmosphere at the pool was more relaxed and there were only 16 competitors, which allowed time to chat and have some fun.

I must confess that I didn't have the same competitive instinct after wining yesterday. I was simply very satisfied with the dives and not to forget the amazing prices, and didn't have the proper focus on my DNF dive, where I came up after only 54m. There were some great performances though, among them a new polish record by Alexandra Sulkiewicz with 104m in DNF and Robert Cetler beating everybody with ease in STA.

The competition was a great success with good organizers, lot's of helpers and generous sponsors. I'd come back any time! The final results from Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

1st place at Polish Freediving Championship, 20th March

In static I had a very relaxed dive, floating around all the way to 5 min. Then coach Rune helped me push up to a final time of 5'31. I came up completely clean and got a white card, which was a great start of the day. Motivation was on top, and I enjoyed hanging out at the pool and watching the other performances (and sleeping a bit).

The pool was 25m long, which is not ideal for dynamic, but similar to my training conditions in Gellerup. The first lane I was so relaxed I almost forgot the turn and nearly bumped my head, but just got it. After 100m I could feel my legs and the fact that I hadn't had so much to eat since breakfast, but I kept swiming. I came up at 151m, with heavy legs and a big smile. I secured the 1st place in the competition and already looking forward for DNF tomorrow.

We finished off the day with dinner and a fully packed prize seremony. I won a Mares Nemo Excel Dive Computer, a Sporasub bag and a Panda Anit-virus program. Olga Martinez Alvarez took second place for the women and Veronika Szalontayova third. For the men, it Robert Cetler won (with a 8'42 in STA!), Rune Hallum Sørensen took second place and Sergio Martinez Alvarez third place.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Upcoming: Polish competition 20.-21.March

This weekend I will be competing at the Polish Freediving Championship, which is an open AIDA pool competition. On Saturday 20.March I will compete in STA and DYN, while on Sunday 21.March I have a special chance to improve my DNF record in the DNF Only competition.

I will post updates and results as soon after the competition as possible. I'm looking forward to travelling to Polen for the first time and to have some nice dives.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Dynamic under ice

Denmark has had an unusual cold winter with plenty of snow and ice. This opened up a great chance to go ICE DIVING again, almost exactly one year after my first try at Oslo Ice Challenge.

Knudsø (Knud's Lake) in Ry had a nice layer of 38 cm thick ice. The Danish lakes are not really deep enough for CWT dives, so this time we went for distance instead. Stig Severinsen was going for a Guiness World Record in DNF under ice in only his swim trunks. I was going to try DYN under ice for the first time.

The set up was very professional and the scuba safety crew from N.O.W. divers had full control over the holes, lines and cameras. The holes had been made at the following positions: 0m (starting hole), 25m, 50m, 60m and 70m. This gave the freedivers different options to surface. Two lines had been set up over the entire lane: One line for visual reference at 3-4m depth and one just underneeth the ice to clip the lanyard onto.

Stig went in first and did an amazing (and freezing) performance of 72m, coming up with a smile on his cold face. 1min 30 sek in 0 degree water didn't seem to have troubled him too much. Kurt, Rune, Mark, Jesper and I all got to test the water afterwards, while the scuba divers were still in the water to look after us.

On my first try, I was struggling with orientation. I was trying to stay down with my buoyant suit, but the lanyard held me back. It took two short dives to figure out that the best idea was to swim up-side down and face the ice. That way I could also see the holes better, and plan my surfacing. I finished off with a sweet 50m dive, and I'm eager to do this again! The day had been perfect, with a bright blue sky and great atmosphere. Big thanks to all the people being part of it and to Morten Bjørn Larsen for the pictures.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Physiological experiment at Lanchester University

Some time back I got an email from a scientist at Lanchester University. He was looking for freediving volunteers for his current physiology project, involving cardiovascular regulation and control by breathing. After learning a little about the experiments and the hypothesis, I booked my flight for Friday 26th February. I was gonna be a test bunny :)

The whole set-up was very professionel, and the tests were all non-invasive. The only thing I had to do was lying still and at times hold my breath. After being all wired up of course! The responsible for the experiment had even learned "blow-tap-talk" in order to wake up any blackout victims (although it's very hard to push that far on dry land...).

It was a fun experience, and it's always interesting to learn more about what happens in the body during breath hold. We had some interesting discussions, and I'm very glad I took the trip.