Wednesday, 30 July 2008

fundraising and donations

We (the Lazy Seals) held a fundraiser on Sunday evening to try to raise a little cash to cover some of the costs of the upcoming Wellington Winter Champs and to take a little of the burden of making up the shortfall of flying in judges from abroad off Dave and I personally. We held a screening of the new Batman film: The Dark Knight at the Empire Cinema in Island Bay - it's one of those boutique cinemas that has couches and you can take your wine or coffee in with you. We rallied amongst our friends and families and encouraged (or guilt tripped) them into supporting us by coming along. The evening was a sucess and we made about $500 towards the competition costs. I'd just like to thank everyone who did venture out on an atrociously stormy night to support us. Thank you for your generousity and I hope you enjoyed the film and the birthday cake!

I'd also like to thank the family and friends who have offered me donations towards this competition. The support has been quite overwhelming! I hope to make you all proud. Can't wait!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

DYN from under water

As you can probably see from these two videos there is still much work to do. Here's what I'm working on:

  • consistant number of kicks per length, which means keeping the power up, more kicks seems to add a lot of time per length time too.
  • not arching through my back (the fin that's on it's way is meant to be more neutral in the water as I'm so buoyant I don't need a floating fin).
  • not moving my hands up and down so much - this should also be resolved by a more neutral fin
  • trying to get more out of my abs and less from my legs - however I do seem to resolve this once the lactic builds up in my legs
  • consistantly achieving more with a fin than without (sadly I've only done 2 dives with a mono that are longer than my DNF PB)
  • positive outlook on wearing a fin

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Saturday, 19 July 2008


Three weeks until the competition. Today I did another PB. They seem to be coming every one to two weeks at the moment, which is nice. The jumps in DNF are not as large as they have been in the past but it's nice to see that I'm still gently progressing and that I still have not reached any kind of limit. As for DYN, I expect/hope to make some big jumps in that over the next few months as I sort out technique and equipment woes.

The removal of any warms up (except stretching) has meant that I am incredibly alert throughout the entire dive. I've been really focussing on ensuring that my technique is not altered as the dive progresses - I actually coach myself through the entire dive reminding myself that the difficult patch early on is just before the dive reflex has really kicked in, that I don't need to have contractions, that I do need to do good turns and push-offs, and to keep a nice easy relaxed pace with full power strokes so nothing is wasted. I still lose a little power during the dive but in DNF now I'm starting with 2.5 strokes per length and ending with 3, which seems to be much more acceptible than the 5 or so strokes per length that I used to do after 100m. I'm also much more relaxed throughout the entire dive due to doing so many max attempts as I trust myself more and am more consistant.

I may have brought this up before but the evening before most of my best dives I eat a good meal of steak (or other red meat), lots of veges and a glass or two of red wine. It doesn't seem to be quite as good without the red wine. I'd quite like to see if anyone else has tried this and whether or not it works for them. I know Phil is eating a lot of red meat these days and it's helping him reduce fatigue, etc. It's a fabulous excuse to eat meat and have a wine, especially after a few years of not drinking at all in the three weeks prior to competing. I'm not entirely sure that the wine has to be red either but a nice Kiwi Pinot Noir would be my wine of choice, especially next to a beef steak or some venison. I also drink huge amounts of water.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Monofin saga fin four or five

Well, after much agony over fins Leaderfins decided to offer me a refund so now after nine months of waiting I'm back to square one with no fin, or just the old black one. Kerian has kindly offered to loan me his constant weight fin to use for the moment so I hopefully can keep on progressing. I've ordered a hyperfin from Triton. The service was great and Max reckons he can have it in NZ within three weeks, which means I'll have it before the competition. I did have to spend a bit more to get it couriered, but I think it's worth it if only for my general sanity. He's promised to package it very well. I'll keep you updated as to how it all goes.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Dolphin diving

Today I had my first attempt at a long dynamic in the monofin on since the last competition. I'm pleased to say that I did not surface due to the discomfort in my abdominals, which is the first noticable improvement. My technique has improved a lot however there is still alot of work to do. My turns were good, but I lost focus on keeping myself nicely level in the water as I was thinking too much about the dive and the overall technique is still not natural. I ended up adding about one extra kick per length. I set a new personal best of 186m in the 25m pool, and feel there is more to come. It's school holidays and we'd attracted quite a crowd of children due to the monofins and my safety was filming me so I didn't want to overdo anything. I was quite tired (work, endless freediving admin and dealing with the fin saga is getting to me a bit), a little dyhydrated and did not quite feel like I was at the end yet. I finally got some good lactic in my legs, but it wasn't so much that I couldn't go on, it was probably more becuase I was kicking with my legs too much and not enough with my abs. I should also mention that Chris had just done PB of 180m and I couldn't let him hold a PB bigger than mine for too long! Sorry Chris, beaten by a girl again... :) I'm also feeling a bit disheartened by the fin saga which I really notice when I put it on. I'd still much rather dive without fins. I'll try to sort out a video soon.

Film fundraiser

On 27 July we're doing a film fundraiser of the new Batman film in Wellington to try to raise money for the Wellington Winter Champs. The competition is fairly expensive as we've had to fly Grant over from the USA for it. Please click on the image above for more details. Hope you can make it!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Wellington Winter Champs

The competition is sorted. Info and entry forms should be up on LSFC website under notices tomorrow:

The on-going monfin saga

In October 2007 I ordered a Leaderfins hyper pro to replace my old Specialfins dolphin carbon, that had never really worked for me as it was really too hard despite being a soft blade. In early December they promised it was in the post and I was hoping to receive it before Christmas. In early February it arrived but the date on the postal reciept was just days before Christmas. The corner was broken off. I asked for a replacement as it was poorly packaged. It also had a fingerprint on it that looked like a blood stain. In early April the replacement arrived but nothing was done to remedy the packaging problem and fin #2 was worse off than fin #1 with a good 2cm crack perpendicular to the blade end in the centre. We sent the fin back with the expectation of a replacement. They said that they had someone else to take this fin and were making me a replacement. On Thursday fin #3 arrived. It was sent air frieght to avoid sitting in transit too long. It was packaged better, although I don't think they get the concept of bubble wrap and the fact that cling film really has no impact resistance whatsoever. It was not broken but was fin #2 in disguise. They did a few things to try to make it look different. They removed the sticker and replaced it with a different one. I estimate that they cut about 5cm off the bottom of the fin. It looks absolutely miniscule. They stuck rails on the edges, top and bottom (they needed to put them on the bottom too as they extend well past the end of the fin blade). The cut goes halfway through the wave pattern of the fibreglass so I'm not convinced that the laminations will stay together. The footpockets are longer than the fin blade. They also waited the usual three months to send it. I've heard that shorter fins might be good if you're someone who swims fast with hard kicks - doesn't sound like me at all. My advice would be to boycott leaderfins. Maybe try these new Triton guys - they seem to be giving good service and have figured out how to package them safely. If I'm really lucky a year after ordering I might get a complete monofin - then I can start the search for a constant weight fin... I just want to be able to dive in equipment I can trust and by being sent fins like this it shows that the manufacturer really doesn't care too much about quality.