Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Event two – Dynamic with fins heats

Day four of competition is now over. We have had two more days of heats, this time the Dynamic (with fins) event. Again 23 men and women will proceed to the finals, leaving about 10-15 of each without a spot. A good clean dive is almost a sure entry ticket to the finals with just a few of the newer divers or those who made mistakes missing out, but many pleasantly surprising themselves with a place.

Many of the competition issues have now been sorted. Announcements are in a mix of Italian and English, the start buzzer has thankfully been discarded, there are a couple of start lists available to the people in the stands, we no longer have to remain in the cage after check in (however it does provide quite a good view of the divers and a place for people to lie down should they choose to) and the countdown is clearer and correct. In addition, they have started to spell my name right, however people are still a bit scared of using Nevatt (rather than McPhee).

Yesterday I coached Chris through a rather tough 165m dynamic. He is starting to feel a bit tired from all his travelling and recent lack of pool training. But the dive was clean and he managed 20th qualifier for the finals.

I also coached Romain through his dynamic. He did not bring his monofin and choose to go without fins. He did a nice 173m dive but received a red card for not wearing fins. We protested as there is no rule requiring the use of fins for dynamic but the judges did not budge, despite the ambiguity in the current rules and the fact that the benefit of the doubt must go to the athlete. In addition there is no advantage to not wear fins in this event. They felt it was not in keeping with the spirit of the rules and the competition. Chris tried to protest the decision a second time to no avail. Expect some changes to the wording of these rules in the near future.

I was proud of my students’ performances once again and am pleased to be competing with them in the finals.

Today I did a nice 165m dynamic dive. It was a very pleasant dive again and another nice introduction to the pool. My start was terrible, I kind of got stuck somewhere on the edge of the platform pushing away from the wall, but I always take the first two or three kicks slowly anyway to sort myself out and set the tone for the rest of the dive, so it was fine really. My new technique is finally becoming natural and feels so much more comfortable. My new kick has a much smaller amplitude but I’m still kicking about the same number of times as previously. I have yet to time it but believe the dive was about 3 minutes. I have recently slowed down to a more leisurely and comfortable pace, my dives take longer but they tend to be less kicks and the distances covered are about the same, plus I am much more relaxed and sleepy throughout. The first length was 10 kicks, which I’m happy with, and I can’t remember after that. I only remember that one because I thought I’d suddenly better pay attention and the T was already underneath me.

A common problem seems to be that people are becoming more buoyant, myself included. When I arrived in France I kept sinking as I’m weighted for a very shallow pool and I tend to lose a little of my lung capacity while travelling. Now I have to swim right at the bottom as I seem to be very buoyant. I am able to do at least 5 more packs than usual, plus we are eating two four-course meals every day, which is likely to be the main problem. I was getting a bit too skinny before I left home anyway…

My poor old monofin is starting to delaminate after the travel and years of abuse, so we have a date with SuperGlue tomorrow. It’s almost time to consider a replacement/upgrade. I’ll have to try to sell a few more Orca suits to try to pay for it though.

Fellow Kiwis Guy and William also made the Dynamic finals, so thus far we have all qualified for all events entered. Guy did not participate in Dynamic without fins.

The girls’ dynamic performances are pretty high so the finals should be quite exciting and we shouldn’t count anyone out. I believe there are probably between 3 and 6 men with their eyes on the world record. Possibly 3 guys are realistically capable and another 3 that might not be too far off, so that should be pretty exciting too. Natalia is not here due to illness in the family so it will be interesting to see if any of her records are advanced on. Make sure you tune in to the live stream of the finals at www.europeevolution cup.com or www.evolutiontv.com.

Tomorrow is a rest day and there is a trip to Venice organised. I’ll be completing the judge’s course and trying to avoid the great pleasure of strolling the streets of Venice. I still haven’t made it to the beach here and it’s only 5 minutes away! Static heats will be Wednesday evening in the 25m pool. This pool is very hot – about 29 degrees in water but the air surrounding it is a bit like a sauna so it could be interesting. I only have my Orca suit with me anyway, but I know others are intending to wear 5mm suits. Maybe we’ll see repeats of Timmo’s pants removal trick during static apnea. Hopefully the organisers will open the windows and get some ventilation going through the space. The depth is pretty nice at the shallow end (1.2m) but a bit too deep for me at the deep end (about 1.5m) and the pool edge is again level with the surface of the water, which should be nice.

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