By Steve Millard:
The 2012 British Freediving Association AIDA UK Championships was this weekend and a Dynamic no fins competition. It is now known as ‘the event!’ and it was almost certainly the best competition I have attended particularly because of the good vibe that the group produced. It was attended by a few International athletes and pretty much every single group in the UK were represented. It might as well have been a family day out the way everyone interacted, what a wonderful day.
There were an unprecedented amount of personal bests achieved, many athletes reporting 3 PBs in three events, I think the trust in the safety staff and the relaxed atmosphere certainly helped. There were some massive performances from the big boys and girls too, three National records, and some great performances from the newbies. It is a competition I encourage athletes from all abilities to attend, all are catered for, we aim to please.
On the Saturday which was the Dynamic No Fins event (DNF) In the men’s competition there was massive excitement in the lead up to it. Chris Crawshaw of freedivers.co.uk had only the Sunday before pushed the men’s record to 150metres with a beautiful dive
John Moorcroft, also of freedivers.co.uk, and last years winner, had already unofficially broken that record on the Thursday so it was going to be close. Alan Barber, the ex record holder was coming up from Notanx.com, one of the sponsors at the event, with the capability of passing the 150 metre marker too.
John Dove first and broke the record at 153 metres.
Then the the last dive of the day was Chris Crawshaw, an excellent Hungarian diver training with us called Mike Benke and Alan Barber all in lanes next to each other. Mike did 125m, Alan did 130m to get the third spot and Chris turned at 150 m into new territory with purpose. He came up at 163m and with a well drilled protocol smashed the record again. The sportsmanship between the clubs and athletes was amazing, what a great start to the weekend.
In the Women’s competition Liv who has won it every year since it started with National records in every one no less had a minor error cause her to get a card, so her good friend and fellow UK squad member Georgina Miller took the top spot with a solid dive. Benedicte Philippon secured second place and Sam Kirby owner of saltfreedivers.com took the third spot. There were many other good performances.
The second day is the UK National pool competition. A combination of Static and Dynamic performances.
The ranking was dominated by freedivers.co.uk athletes, the top three athletes were Chris Crawshaw, Mike Benke and John Moorcroft from the club. As it was a ‘with guests’ the actual UK positions were first, Chris Crawshaw. He earned himself a voucher for the cost of a new suit from orca.com for his great performance!. Second John Moorcroft with a solid 150m DYN and in third place was Gary McGrath from Londonfreediving.org . Also, a notable performance from Adam Drzazga of with a 6’00min plus static.
John Moorcroft was given a 200 euro voucher from www.polosub.com for his services to UK Freediving for the last decade. He has represented his country, gained NRs, attended and helped at competitions; he is an active AIDA Instructor for our club and is a keen spearo. This weekend he got on the podium twice and broke a National record. He is a well respected UK Freediver, well done John!
In the womens competition Georgina Miller of londonfreediving.org smashed her own Static National record with a massive 6’20 min hold and added a solid Dynamic performance for top spot. This earns her an Orca suit as well. A new talent took the second spot with two great performances, well done Allie Crawford . The ranking saw Germany's Meike Holzmann take third spot overall but Sam Kirby once again podiumed for the UK after a couple of years out of competing with a couple of great performances.
Well done all J thank you to the British Freediving Association www.britishfreediving.org and its members for their support! Come and join the ranks UK Freedivers.