Freediving World Championships 2015
For the first time in the history of the modern sport, the location of this year’s Freediving World championships which kicks off on the 11th September in the Mediterranean, was voted for by AIDA national members, and it’s a corker.
Sitting astride Akrotiri bay on the Southern Coast of Cyprus, the port city of Limassol, or Lemesos, as it’s known to some of the locals, is a new venue on the international circuit for competitive freedivers. With evidence of habitation dating as far back as 2000 BC, the island’s second largest city has been an important one for its inhabitants since ancient times. Cradled by Turkey to the North and Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel to the East and South, the deep blue waters of the Eastern Mediterranean promise excellent surface conditions and minimal current for the athletes as they battle it out for the ultimate title of 2015 Freediving World Champion. Some of them have already arrived.
The official training period doesn’t start for almost 2 weeks but with so much at stake, and so little room for error, it makes sense to scope things out early. The surface temperature is a balmy 28 degrees at the moment, warm enough, even for all those fair-weather divers from around the equator. Athletes used to training in more tropical waters, though, might struggle a bit with the mouthfill-busting thermocline, notorious in the Mediterranean, which is kicking in at about 20m this year, taking the temperature down as low as 17 degrees at depth. That’s unlikely to phase the likes of William Trubridge and the Japanese Women's Team however, who are in rampant form, and will probably be too relaxed to notice. We’ll all be hoping for a strong appearance from Alexey Molchanov, too, though it’s still not clear whether he’ll be emotionally ready to compete.
The organisers, Cypriot freediving school Free2Dive and AIDA Cyprus have clearly done their homework. Not only have they put together their bid, and arrange accommodation for the hordes of athletes from 28 Nations about to descend on the city, they’ve also secured sponsorship from locally-based supplier of support ships EDT offshore who have provided a great-looking 500m2 barge to act as a platform.
The recent scrutiny of Freediving safety by the international press has clearly not escaped their notice either. There will be a total of 4 auxiliary boats in attendance, and an ambulance waiting on shore. All 3 competition lines have counter-balance and sonar equipment with scuba safety divers on standby at the surface. As always, Freedive-Earth will be here for you with a collection of results, anecdote and stunning images from legendary freediving photographer, Daan Verdhoeven. Join us soon!