Monday, 10 October 2011

First event – Dynamic without fins heats

I was lucky to be able to dive on the second day of heats. I was still feeling the effects of the travel on day one, plus we had the opening ceremony, the event committee meeting and the competition briefing prior to any dives. It was a big day. Plus I like to get a feel for how things are going to be run before plunging in. The initial countdowns were pretty terrible, incorrect counting, unnecessary announcements during the countdown, the use of a token start buzzer that sounds like microphone feedback and will help to draw even the most focussed divers out of their zone and high speed counting after official top (arrived at 10s in only 8s). By about the 4th start they seemed to have improved but the buzzer remains. All commentary is in Italian and so loud that all you can hear is an echoing noise as opposed to any concise words. Divers even need their coach to assist with relaying the countdowns as they can not hear the numbers poorly enunciated by an Italian speaker in a pool of echoes.

 Kiwi team: Chris Marshall, me, Guy Brew.

 I coached Anna from the UK who had travelled from Dahab, been delayed 32 hrs at Cairo Airport during a strike and lost her luggage before arriving at 2am the night before. Needless to say she was rather fatigued and stressed and was borrowing other people’s gear. She almost did quite well before blacking out momentarily on the surface after a few breaths at about 92m.

I also coached Chris who did a nice controlled 130m giving him a spot in the final.

German Barabara did a very nice controlled dive to 90 (ish) meters securing herself a place in the finals.

Day two, I coached Romain Doris, the Frenchman I’ve been training with in NZ. He has come a long way but still hasn’t taken on board all the minor technical things that can cost you dearly in competition. His dive was a bit of a mess with a couple of penalties and he mucked up his surface protocol when his new noseclip stuck to his face and did not come off before he signalled, so was awarded a red card (disqualification) and needless to say we were both very disappointed after how well he has been going in training. He will try again without fins in the dynamic with fins category, essentially to prove to himself that he can do the dive, and to gain some further experience.

My dive was one of the last at 7:40pm on day two. I knew I just needed to do about 100m to head through to the women’s finals. It was a lovely dive, very relaxed and sleepy. I breezed past my nomination of 113m and came up for an easy 128m placing me as second qualifier for the finals. It’s almost disappointing to not push a dive in competition but it’s all part of the strategy

There are a lot of quite new divers here. It is great to have them here participating and learning more about the sport, but at the same time you can see in the results that there are lots of technical errors that you really should not see at a World Champs event. I re-iterate that I offer a remote coaching programme which irons out a lot of these errors and perfects technique to help divers become stronger, gain confidence and get white cards!

Supporting divers is difficult. Lane A is adjacent to the stands and is fully visible but Lane B is on the other side of the pool. It is impossible to watch the dives in Lane B apart from their entries and exits unless you are the one coach allowed in the competition zone by the side of the pool. We don’t know who is diving as the start list is not posted in the stands and no one can understand the Italian who is commentating. Hopefully these little issues will be ironed out shortly.

1 comment:

Kars said...

Thanks, very nice to read!
I'm looking forward to your next report and success at the WC!


Love, Courage and Water!