One world and three new British freediving records

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One world and three new British freediving records

A new women's freediving world record was set at the annual Vertical Blue international freediving competition at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas earlier this month.

Italian Alessia Zecchini set the 104m Constant Weight record, beating her own 102m record of a few days earlier, and also a 103m record that Japan’s Hanako Hirose had held for just 24 minutes.

Meanwhile three new British freediving records set at the nine-day competition have been ratified by international freediving association AIDA.

Ex-Royal Marine Commando Michael Board set new national records in Constant Weight (108m) and in Free Immersion (in which a line but no fins are used) of 100m. Board, the first British man to freedive to 100m in 2013, runs a freediving and yoga school in Indonesia.

“After rupturing my eardrum last year just before the competition started and not being able to compete, I was really motivated to come back strong,” he said. “My training this time focused a lot on being in good physical shape, as you would expect, but equally on being mentally prepared, with a strong emphasis on meditation.”

Board’s Free Immersion record beat by 2m a national record set by fellow-Brit Dean Chaouche on the first day of competition. On the final day he reached the 108m mark, adding a further 2m to a new British record he had set a few days earlier.

“This also put me in the third-place position with a bronze medal in the Constant Weight discipline – my first podium finish after five years of competing at Vertical Blue!”

Chaouche, an instructor at Team Vertical Blue in the Bahamas, set the other British record of 80m in the Constant Weight No Fins discipline.

The third British freediver to compete, Georgina Miller, placed sixth overall among female freedivers in a table dominated by Japan’s Sayuri Kinoshita.

Chaouche was 11th and Board 13th overall in the men’s rankings – Russian Alexey Molchanov topped the table.

Board and Chaouche will compete as part of the mixed UK freediving team of six at the AIDA Freediving World Championships in Roatan, Honduras, from 22 August to 2 September.

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