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First day of competition

Today the competition started with women’s CNF (Constant Weight No Fins). CNF means that the freediver swims down to a target depth without fins and return to the surface with whatever weight they took down with then. Usually about 4-6 lbs of lead to help overcome the buoyancy of their wetsuit at the surface.

There were 13 women who dove today to depths between 21 m – 55 meters.

The safety team started at 8am today, setting up the bottom plate and camera system, getting the oxygen and training lines ready. We had a great competition, with no accidents and all competitors returned safely to the beach. A few of the athletes attempted personal bests and there was a few black outs, but all athletes started breathing without needing assistance from the doctor.

At 2pm the competition ended, but the safety team stayed around and dove on the line. We used the weight to pull us down, so we don’t have to use our tired legs. We also pulled down the roped and Aaron and Martin both achieved new depth personal bests.

The day ended with safetying a few of the athletes who came out to train. We did this for a few hours and then back to the house for something to eat before the committee meeting where all the athletes, judges and organizers talk about the day. There were no major complaints or concerns today, so the meeting didn’t take to long. Now back to the house for food and recharge our batteries.

Another great day in Bahamas.

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We have posted more pictures on www.enjoyfreediving.com under the Safety Team 2009 sub menu.

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Last training day

Today was the last training day which is nice for the safety team. On the two official training days we spend a lot of time in the water. I had 58 dives yesterday and I know Phil had 78, and the rest of the team had equal amount of dives. Today we were in the water for 7 hours of safetying and one more for testing our safety procedures.
My hands and feet have blisters and we are all sun burnt and tired, but it has been two great days. All the competitors are very friendly and generally seem happy about us being there to make them safe.

We had several impressive dives today and a lot of the competitors make freediving look so easy.

We tested the counter ballast system (safety system) and did a simulated rescue from 25 meters to show the judges that we were able to handle this. Even after a long day it all went as planned.

No pictures posted today, because it is time to go home to eat and then it will be early bedtime tonight. The ladies start diving in the competition.

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Enjoy Freediving

This blog has been started to describe the joys of freediving to people who know little or nothing about this great sport. There will be several freedivers contributing to the blog to bring different view points to life.

I often get asked what the atraction to freediving is? For me it is the feeling I have when I dive, which is difficult to describe, but I hope you will get several answers to this question if you keep reading.

The next question I usually get is about the safety during freediving. We spend considerable time training safety procedures, instructing safety to new members of our local club FreediveToronto and discussing pool and open water safety. I hope that the coming entries will show you that freediving done correctly is a very safe sport.

We just spent more than 6 months training and preparing for being safety divers at the upcoming AIDA Freediving World Championship in Bahamas. Most of the writing for the next 3 weeks will be about the preparation for this event and the event itself.