Join 40+ speakers at this weekend’s GO Diving Show!

Dive straight into the UK’s biggest diving event of the year
Dive straight into the UK’s biggest diving event of the year

The UK diving event of the year is almost upon us – this weekend (2/3 March) the expanded GO Diving Show takes place at the NAEC, Stoneleigh Park, which is near Kenilworth in Warwickshire. 

The show is notable for the sheer number of prominent divers ready to deliver compelling presentations as well as being on hand for visitors to meet – in fact more than 40 star speakers are preparing to take their turns on the four show stages around the halls. 

In the past few weeks Divernet has set out a number of these special guests. Set to speak and answer questions from the Main Stage are SARAH DONOHUE (11.30 Sat), MONTY HALLS (10.30 Sat, 2.30 Sun), JARROD JABLONSKI (1.30 Sat), KIRK KRACK (2.30 Sat, 11.30 Sun), MIRANDA KRESTOVNIKOFF (12.30 Sat, 10.30 Sun), ALEX MUSTARD (1.30-5 Sat, 1.30 Sun) and master MC ANDY TORBET (2.30 Sat). 

We have also covered the Tech Stage, with 10 names likely to ring more than a few bells: LEIGH BISHOP (1.45 Sat), TIM CLEMENTS (11.45 Sun), GARRY DALLAS (10.45 Sun), PASCAL VAN ERP (12.30 Sat, 12.45 Sun), RANNVA JØRMUNDSSON (10.45 Sat), GARETH LOCK (2.45 Sat), MARK POWELL (3.45 Sat), KURT STORMS (11.45 Sat), PAUL TOOMER (1.45 Sat) and LANNY VOGEL (2.45 Sun).

GO Diving: This must be the place…
This must be the place…

Now we can bring you the names of even more diving personalities preparing to deliver their 45-minute presentations, including time for your questions. You’ll have to decide which talks you want to catch!

While Alex Mustard will be presenting the results of the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition on Saturday and returning for a standard 45-minute presentation the following day, there will be many other underwater photographers appearing on the PHOTO / INSPIRATION STAGE keen to share their underwater image-making secrets.

Strictly underwater photography

BYRON CONROY has shot all over the world since his first dives in the Maldives inspired him to quit his job and get serious about diving. Favourite sites include Silfra and Strytan in Iceland, where he has been based since 2015 and co-owns a diving expedition company, so you can expect the focus to be on coldwater photography (10.30 Sat).

ANNE & PHIL MEDCALF have many years of underwater photographic experience between them, have tasted success in competition and provide tuition in person at home and abroad as well as online. Regular speakers at the show, this year they present “A Rough Guide To Being A Happier Underwater Photographer”! (12.30 Sun). 

STUART PHILPOTT has trotted the globe as an underwater photo-journalist for more than 30 years, with wide scope thanks to his rebreather and mixed-gas training, and this year looks into the varied opportunities – and challenges – awaiting underwater photographers in Cyprus and Cuba (2.20 Sat, 10.30 Sun). 

SAEED RASHID lectures in media and communications at Bournemouth University. Since learning to dive on the Great Barrier Reef and buying his first underwater camera in duty free, he has travelled all over the world running photo-workshops and on commissions from both governments and publications. He will offer invaluable advice on making the most of one his passions – muck-diving (12.30 Sat). 

RICHARD SMITH is not only a photographer but an author, marine biologist and conservationist. His pioneering research into pygmy seahorses helped him gain the first PhD on that topic, and the marine-life expeditions he leads help participants get more from their diving and photography. He will focus on “habitat specialists” – favourite photo-subjects being lost through coral bleaching (2.30 Sun).

Feel inspired

Sharing the Photo / Inspiration Stage are six inspirational divers, including marine environmentalist DAVID JONES. Ahead of his time, for many years he has led from the front in diving’s fight against plastic pollution, and the latest developments from his Big Microplastic Survey project have just been published (11.30 Sat).

Diving author NICK LYON delivers the Hannah Brookes Lecture in memory of his friend, the technical diver and Valkyrie crew-member who died aged 31 in 2022. It’s all about celebrating the fun aspects of British diving that Hannah typified (3.30 Sat).

DAN METCALFE, better known as WheelsDan, is an adaptive training advocate. Paralysed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident, he now holds three diving world records (set in Stoney Cove) and is a BSAC Open Water Instructor (1.30 Sat).

Manta Trust education manager JEN SPACAGNA will be looking at diving and interacting responsibly with manta rays. She works to develop and deliver the trust’s marine education programmes as well as supporting its affiliate projects (4.30 Sat).

MICHAEL SYMONS will be talking about wreck-diving in “The WW2 Heritage of Vanuatu”. The Pacific island is of course associated with one of the world’s best-known wrecks – the President Coolidge (11.30 Sun).

Another Falmouth student, and current president of its club Fal Dive, underwater photographer GRACE WESTGARTH is appearing at GO Diving as a youth diving advocate – so make sure younger members of the family grab a seat (1.30 Sun).

On the UK Stage 

Thirteen more divers will be appearing on the UK STAGE – many of them noted underwater photographers in their own right but here concentrating on home-waters or other themes. 

Among them are KIRSTY ANDREWS, who learnt to dive in Thailand but has made her name with award-winning image-making in the UK as part of the Bristol Underwater Photography Group (12.30 Sat). 

Then there is JASON BROWN, who takes as his subject the attractions that make up “The Ghost Fleet of Scapa Flow”, one of the world’s greatest wreck-diving locations (11.45 Sun).

SALLY CARTWRIGHT & LISA SHAFE will discuss the important work of the British Diver Safety Group, which includes the main diver training agencies, Coastguard, RNLI and HSE and collaborates, educates and advocates to make diving safer (3.45 Sat).

JAKE DAVIES is a marine biologist and underwater videographer known particularly for his work documenting angel sharks in Wales (2.45 Sun).

DAN JARVIS has been involved with British Divers Marine Life Rescue in Cornwall for more than 20 years, has rescued countless marine animals and campaigns for their welfare (10.45 Sun).

Many UK divers will have visited Eyemouth and St Abbs, and Berwickshire Marine Reserve Ranger CHARLOTTE KEELEY will be on the UK Stage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of what was the first and remains Scotkland’s only voluntary marine reserve (2.45 Sat).

Zoologist DONOVAN LEWIS is an expert on shark behaviour and believes that photographing them can help to dispel the myths that surround them (10.45 Sat).

Though appearing on different days it so happens that both ROISIN MADDISON (1.45 Sat) and JANE MORGAN (1.45 Sun) graduated in marine & natural history photography at Falmouth University (Jane is a dive technician there) and as underwater photographers both devote themselves to recording UK marine life.  

CHANTELLE NEWMAN is DAN Europe area manager for the UK and founded diving medicine and safety education company The Diver Medic 15 years ago (11.45 Sat).

SIMON ROGERSON, editor of Scuba magazine and another underwater photographer, will be explaining why he thinks everyone needs to experience UK diving (12.45 Sun).

With 45 years of diving experience, LAWSON WOOD is a master underwater photographer and, with roots in marine biology, has written or co-authored more than 50 books, including on Scapa Flow’s wrecks. He was a co-founder of both the Marine Conservation Society and the voluntary marine reserve at St Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (2.45 Sat).

And that’s just the start…

Leigh Bishop checks out the retail possibilities
Speaker Leigh Bishop checks out the retail possibilities

This year the GO Diving Show encompasses no fewer than three halls at the NAEC, expanding to cover a cool 10,000sq metres of exhibition space. There is so much for visitors to see and do!

Try the ever-popular Cave, the giant Try-Dive Pool and, new for 2024, an Interactive Bouldering Wall and a Dual VR Diving Simulator so that you and a buddy can venture “under water” together. 

The special attractions are scattered among an ever-increasing array of stands from tourist boards, manufacturers, training agencies, resorts, liveaboard operators, dive-centres, retailers and much more.

You can bring along non-divers and wannabes of all ages, confident that there will be plenty to keep them entertained and informed. Get there early and make the most of everything on offer!

GO DIVING SHOW TICKETS, which are valid for the entire weekend and include complimentary parking, are available here, priced at £25.

Show stars Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Andy Torbet
Show stars Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Andy Torbet

Scuba Diver magazine subscribers receive a special discounted rate of just £11.68, and those who have completed a Discover Scuba Diver session, or an Open Water / Advanced Open Water (or equivalent – see website for full list of relevant courses from PADI, BSAC, NAUI, RAID, SAA, SSI and SDI) – since 1 April, 2023, are eligible for FREE tickets. 

Verification of subscription or course-completion is required for these special offers.

If you’re a BSAC, PADI, SDI, NAUI, RAID, SAA or SSI diver, get in touch with your training agency for special member discounts on tickets that will save you ££££s!

The 2024 show also sees the Ocean Film Festival taking place on the Saturday evening – settle in and watch a host of award-winning films on our giant screen on the Main Stage. 

Entrance to the Ocean Film Festival is included in a weekend show ticket, so it represents even better value for money! (A ticket solely for the Saturday evening film festival costs £14.94).

If you’re driving to the Show, you should be aware that the recent bad weather combined with a broken storm-pipe has caused severe flooding around the Stoneleigh Park site. This is NOT affecting the NAEC show venue at all – only sections of some of the roads that lead there.

To remain stress-free, stop using your satnav as soon as you encounter the directional signage that will be deployed in force around the venue. This will ensure that you reach the entrance(s) and car parks safely. Be advised that this might cause some queuing – another reason to leave home as early as possible.

To make things as simple as possible, GO Diving’s organisers have prepared the following directions using the What3Words and Waze apps. Both are free to download, and will bring you directly to an entrance point:

What3Words: MAIN GATE (HGV ACCESS) | GATE 3 (NO HGVS)

Waze: MAIN GATE (HGV ACCESS) | GATE 3 (NO HGVS)

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

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