New World Record Static apnea (STA)
New World Record Static apnea For Branko Petrović
11''54', Branko Petrović set a new Guinness World Record in static apnea
On the 7th October 2014 Serbian Branko Petrović set a new Guinness World Record in static apnea, beating Frenchman Stefane Mifsud by 19 seconds and pushing the new limit out to 11''54'. Although the coverage of this event was extensive by freediving standards and the achievement acclaimed worldwide, Petrović has done more than this already, and Mifsud's record still stands, because the attempt - at Skydive Dubai, a sideline to the Spearo Extreme Sports Expo - was conducted under Guinness World Record Rules, not by AIDA. Skydive Dubai was a glitzy event with extensive media coverage and, presumably to take the pressure off, unbeknownst to the watching crowd, Petrović had already broken the record 4 days earlier. That turned out to be just as well because with his first attempt, unbelievably, he equalled the existing record, because of a timing error, and despite having another go just 30 minutes later (incredible enough by itself) he managed only 10'54''. After he threw in the towel for that attempt, the new record was announced.
WHo is Petrović
Petrović has been spearfishing since the age of 16 and took up competitive apnea 6 years ago. Since that time he's gone from strength to strength, breaking records at 10'23'' in 2013 and a massive 12'11'' (the current Serbian national record) in January this year. He holds the CMAS world record too, at 10'18'', but for reasons still unknown, has yet to make an attempt on the AIDA world record. Although CMAS are arguably the larger of the 2 bodies, and more popular for athletes who compete predominantly in pool disciplines, the AIDA static world record is much bigger, and seems like an obvious target for someone of Branko's ability. It could be that he doesn't like the requirements for AIDA: There are some differences in the rules for the Guinness world record compared to AIDA: Athletes under Guinness rules are allowed "a certain time frame" (in this case 4 days) "as well as the flexibility of going ahead with his feat under ideal conditions." This is in contrast to the requirement from AIDA for a single attempt (unless multiple attempts are announced more than 2 weeks in advance) and a specific start (OT) time. The surface protocol that Petrović completed after his hold was the same as that required by AIDA but, in the video from the Skydive event at least, he does seem to receive assistance from the safety diver, something which under AIDA rules would result in disqualification.
For many people in the freediving community, the unseating of Stefane Mifsud as the man with officially the longest breath-hold in the world will come as a relief. His record was mired in controversy from the day it was set amid allegations that he breathed oxygen through a vent in the pool floor prior to his attempt. These rumours have never been substantiated and might well do Mifsud a huge disservice, but following the announcement of the new record, much of the discussion on facebook amongst freedivers was centred around the dispute, with many prominent members of the community expressing their happiness that someone had put the seemingly impossible figure of 11mins + beyond all reasonable doubt. What Branko will do next remains to be seen, but whatever it is, the Dh 120,000 (US$ 32,000) prize awarded by the Kemos Group, will certainly come in handy.