GoPro sponsors Vertical Blue 2011

This year at Vertical Blue 2011 we will be using GoPro cameras to record the action during the ascent and on the surface. A total of three GoPro Hero cameras will film in full HD (high definition) from the best seats in the house: two will be mounted with head straps to the A and B safety freedivers, who will follow each competitor up from 30 and 20 meters respectively. The third will be mounted to the diving platform to record the surfacing and reactions after the dive.

These cameras punch way above their weight, competing in side-by-side trials with cameras that are more than 10 times as expensive, and their light-weight housings are waterproof to 60 meters (though I've seen pressure chamber trials done to 76m without any leaking). Here is a sample of some footage taken by Alfredo Romo with a GoPro camera during training for Project Hector last year. Note the good contrast in low light levels, the smoothness of transition from underwater to above water filming, and the minimal lens flare when shooting into the sun.

We will do our best at posting as much footage as possible from these cameras both here and to the Vertical Blue Facebook page.

The complete kits that we will be using for filming are:

• Full HD Helmet Hero camera with rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery

• LCD BacPacTM

• Anti-Fog Inserts

• 32GB SD Memory Card

photo © Igor Liberti

VERTICAL BLUE 2011 - Inlist

photos © DeeDee Flores

A rope with a lot of history

Last year, when I attempted the hectometer dive (100 meters without fins), close to 100 generous supporters put their names to a meter of the dive line in order to help fund the attempt. In return they each received the actual meter of the rope used to measure the attempt, and this is no ordinary rope...

GloRope is 8mm dyneema core fluorescent rope from Genesis Light Line. We first used this particular stretch of rope in December 2009, when athletes from all over the world gathered to compete at the AIDA World Championship in Dean's Blue Hole. Some unseasonal bad weather meant that the flourescent glow was called on for the deeper divers during their training for the event. There Natalia Molchanova set a new world record without fins (CNF), and I did the same for the men, with 90m. Shortly after, Herbert Nitsch set world records in variable weight, constant weight and free immersion.

In April of 2010 no less than 6 world records were set using the same stretch of rope: 92 and 95 meters in CNF, as well as 114, 116 and 120 meters in Free Immersion (FIM). The dyneema core means the rope is less stretchy than wire cable, making it rock solid in FIM ascents.

It has been a while coming, but we can finally announce the in-list for Vertical Blue 2011. This will be the 4th edition of the world's premier freediving event (not our words!), and for the first time in its history (and possibly in the history of freediving competitions), we will have a balanced quota of male and female competitors!

The competition will take place between April 8-18, at Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas. The 11th and 15th will be rest days from diving.

14 nations will be represented by 18 athletes (9 male, 9 females) There are 8 new competitors to Vertical Blue. Almost everyone in the list is, or has been a national record holder, and there are 4 current or ex- world record holders.

We will be providing news about this event both here and (probably more frequently) on the Facebook Vertical Blue page

Stay tuned!

V E R T I C A L B L U E 2 0 1 1 A T H L E T E S I N - L I S T

M E N W O M E N 1. Simon Bennett CHI 1. Macarena Benitez CHI 2. Eric Fattah CAN 2. Carla-Sue Hanson USA 3. Igor Liberti SUI 3. Misuzu Hirai JAP 4. Dave Mullins NZL 4. Lena Jovanovic SRB 5. Alfredo Roen ESP 5. Junko Kitahama JAP 6. Alfredo Romo MEX 6. Megumi Matsumoto JAP 7. Walter Steyn AUS 7. Natalia Molchanova RUS 8. William Trubridge NZL 8. Niki Roderick NZL 9. Jyri Vehmaskoski FIN 9. Carolina Schrappe BRA

Then finally in December the rope was put into retirement with my CNF dive to 101 meters (331 feet). Since 2009 the rope has weathered months of agressive use, a suspected attack by a saw fish(!), and countless sliding carabiners, and has kept on glowing its little heart out for freedivers. Now it shines down from the wall in 100 different locations around the world.

The best thing about the rope is that it is really no more expensive than regular dyneema of this thickness. With usage once or twice-weekly this rope and its glowing properties will last for many many years. Anyone interested in using it for their training or freediving competition can see prices at their website