Report from Day 4 of Vertical Blue

Platfonn coordinator Arthur Trousdell writes:

Improving visibility made the presence of the resident Tarpon known when they ventured out from the ledge at around 15 meters while the crew were setting up early this morning. Heavy cloud cover seemed to be a factor on day one of act two of Vertical Blue 2010, with a number of divers getting cold, however it was still a successful day, with four new National Records.

Eric Fattah from Canada set a new national record today in He had to power down to 30 meters, having forgotten to put on his 1.7 kg neck weight before the dive. After overcoming the extra buoyancy he relaxed into the freefall and focussed on keeping his legs as streamlined as possible. At 90 meters he managed to find a tag without his torch, which was attached to the neck weight lying redundantly on the platform. After his dive Eric told me that when he realized his predicament a minute before official top, his first instinct was to abort the whole attempt, but then he decided that he would go ahead with it, as training dives without a neck weight had been difficult at depth but things had always been conversely unproblematic on the surface. Once he had the tag he was filled with a renewed confidence and ascended to the surface, completing a strong surface protocol with a dive time of 2:55 - only 5 seconds slower than the announced time.

Congratulations to Eric and his wife Maggie on the new Canadian CWT record!

Robert King is on an impressive roll and set another USA national record! 87 meters in CWT in 2 minutes 44 seconds. Congratulations to Rob whose convincing dive leaves us wondering how much further he might be able to extend this record!!

Carolina Schrappe’s dive to 69 meter was a new CWT national record, cementing her post as the top Brazilian freediver. She was lucid and strong on the surface afterwards and her record was loudly cheered on by the crowd and crew. With a flawless dive today, perhaps she will look to extend her record in the coming days. Today she only brought one tag up from the bottom plate (she retrieved two and three respectively on day two and three of act one). Congratulations to Carolina and her family for her national record!!

William Trubridge continues to impress, securing valuable points in CWT for the Suunto Dive-Off, and simultaneously reclaiming the national record from Dave Mullins (who broke Wills record of 110 meters, extending it to 114 on day two of Act one). Will was visibly shivering before his dive and said he had never been that cold in a competition dive before. Will kept it together once he surfaced, with audible support from Australian competitor Walter Steyn and force of habit prevailing to earn him the White Card.

There were two attempts in Free Immersion (where the diver uses the line to descend and ascend, pulling with their arms):

Ryuzo had another valiant attempt at the world record: he turned at 101 meters, making the decision on how he felt as opposed to an equalization problem. With ears not being the reason this time, it’s a good sign that Ryuzo could well extent his FIM performance in the coming days.

Jared Schmeltzer completed a solid FIM dive to 63 meters in Zminutes 30 seconds.

Guillaume was unlucky today, diving to 106 meters but failing to retrieve a tag from the bottom plate. He complained that there were none there, but it must have been narcosís, as when the plate was pulled to the surface there were still 6 tags attached, so his dive incurred a one point penalty. He still secures himself valuable points in the Suunto Dive-Off.

Mimi Hirai decided not to dive today due to encountering an ear block during her warm-up. Everyone is hoping that this will clear up and she will have another opportunity at the Japanese national record soon.

A number of divers turned early today:

Dave Mullins turned with an equalization issue due to the coldness but with 5 opportunities left and a determined “tomorrow” as he left the official perimeter Dave will be looking to have another go for the National Record. He also had a slight problem with vision during the dive, as Walter handed him my drink bottle to fill his fluid goggles, thinking it contained normal tap water, when there was actually the juice of half a lime inside!

William Wínram turned at 74m, in his 88m CNF attempt at the Canadian National Record and pulled up the line to save himself for the next dive.

Two minutes from his official top, Herbert Nitsch made a verbal adjustment to his world record announcement, telling AIDA judge Grant Graves “100 meters, 3:45, but he turned at 51, also due to problems with cold, and pulled his way back up the line.

Carla Sue-Hanson made another valiant attempt at 46 meters without fins. After completing the dive she stayed above the surface and removed her goggles and nose clip but didn't quite finish the surface protocol fast enough. Her determination is commendable and with a few adjustments there is a good chance she will come up trumps before the

competition is over.

Due to popular demand we have started a women's category in the Suunto Dive-Off. The current leader is Carla SueHanson, but that lead will be threatened if the other girls start making forays into CNF and FIM.

Wonderful reporting once again Arthur. by Fran Rose on 2010-04-Z1 20:03:52

Thank you for the report! Why is Niki Roderick not diving? Eric Fattah - is he packing? by Morten Villadsen on 2010-04-22 01:55: 18

With this point wstem the tension is gradually building up. Nice to athletes improving each other's record and getting close. A little bummer with all the equalisation difficulties, it's a delicate art at those depths! by Kars van Kouwen on Z010-04-22 07:10:07