Topside photos from Day 8, Vertical Blue

all photos courtesy of Frederic Buyle www. nek tos. net unless otherwise stated

The Blue hole as seen by a lizard on the eastern wall (above). Below, if the water wasn't so blue it could be a scene from a Nile cruise: camera crews are filming a documentary in 3D and use an extendible boom to get their lens close to the action.

Freedivi ng paraphernalia. Suunto have sponsored this year's Vertical Blue and have donated D4 depth gauges to use as the official depth measure (above left). Suunto is the brand ratified by AIDA, the homologating body for freediving records, as it combines maximum precision with function. On the right, all you need is a mask and a fin, and maybe not even that...

Day 8 of Vertical Blue 2009 was the day William Trubridge finally pulled through with his first world record of the comp in his specialty discipline, Constant Weight No Fins (above left, photo courtesy Grant Graves). He has been training also with the monofin, and trying to juggle the two disciplines has made it difficult to perform in both. The use of a high-performance Orca Alpha 1.5mm suit has reduced buoyancy change and increased hydrodynamics. Every little bit helps: William wears his lanyard belt on the inside of the suit, with a sealed hole for the line to pass through to the carabiner.

William would like to thank his coach in the water, Kerian Hibbs, who has been the most sought after coach in the competition, and to the safety team who have been so supportive during the first half of the competition. Thanks also to the medic Joy Hibbs for her lucky charms, and judges Grant and Linden for showing the right colour!

photo above courtesy Dave Button

One of the stars of Vertical Blue 2009, Walter Steyn was a freight train hurtling towards 100m, and today he was the first Australian and only the 10th person in the world to acheive this historic depth. Walter is one of the few allrounders of the sport capable of huge performances with and without fins, in depth and in the pool. Maybe this taste of depth after several years of absence will spur him on to greater goals. Watch this name at the World Championships in November...

Medic Joy Hibbs (above) takes another dousing as a diver goes under. Joy has also been platform supervisor, reading out top times and countdowns and monitoring divers' descents and ascents on the sonar. On the right Ugo Giordano, a celebrated Italian skipper and newly graduated Apnea Academy Instructor, is filming the official surface video so that all dives can be regulated by AIDA.

The beauty of Dean's Blue Hole: while a child plays in the shallow water freedívers are preparing to attempt feats that will extend the idea of human acquaticity. In this case it's Japanese couple Ryuzo Shinomiya and Tomoko Yamanouchi, who have demonstrated eastern-world qualities of discipline and agility to net new national records in Constant Weight.

how about to spread out some videos of the competition spread the word apnea is alive!! by Márcio F. on 2009-04- 10 18:39:04

Very nice write up, with very nice photo's Thanks! by Kars on 2009-04- 11 02:35:46