Taupo Advanced CNF Course

Last week in Lake Taupo, New Zealand, Vertical Blue held an advanced CNF course in collaboration with the Lazy Seal Freediving Club (www.lazyseal.co.nz). The course took place over 5 days from January 13-17 in Lake Taupo, New Zealand's most suitable location for freediving training.

Students, photographers and instructors all stayed in a villa in the small lakeside town of Tauranga-Taupo. All 8 students were of an extremely high level (at least 3 had performances to over 80% of the current world record), so it was an exciting challenge to be able to work with such an elite group. In the classroom sessions we were able to bypass all basic concepts and concentrate on some of the more delicate aspects of performance that I have discovered and developed over the last 5 years, such as dive strategies to maximise energy efficiency (MEE), no warm-up training, diet, use of yogic bandhas to 'super-slow' the metabolism & HR, and many more.

Thanks to the generous use of Philip Clayton's fully-equipped RIB we were able to easily train out on the lake each morning, where we were blessed with calm, warm weather for all 5 days of the course. The Lake was a toasty 21oC on the surface, with at least 12m of visibility, meaning the two expert underwater photographers Igor Liberti and Richard Robinson (www.diverdick.co.nz) were able to take some stunning shots. On Saturday Graham Mackereth brought out an ROV, an underwater robot operated by Clive from a container parked on the lake shore. It buzzed and swiveled to watch the students with two cameras, and flashed its lights when you looked into the lens.

After evening sessions of pranayama, lung stretches and exhale SA's everyone would settle down to a barbecue dinner and maybe a game of pool in the downstairs salon. It was a pleasure and an honour to be able to work with such an advanced group, and I trust we will be seeing some of them on the scene at international competitions in the future... Thanks to Kathryn Mc Phee from Lazy Seal for organising the course, and to Igor and Richard for the stunning underwater images.

1st Vertical Blue Freediving Course for Spearos a grand success!

Over the first weekend of 2008 Vertical Blue held its first 'Freediving course for spearos' at the Napier Aquatic Center in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. As well as lectures in the physiology of freediving and breathing technique, students were given drills to improve their finstroke, and attempted a pyramid interval dynamic apnea training table designed by William Trubridge for spearfishers. At the end of the course the students also attempted a series of static apneas finishing with a maximum attempt, in which all 8 participants set new personal best records!