Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ocean Hunter Deep Obsession 2011

Once again I’ve been a bit slack with my blog sorry! Another competition came and went – the Auckland Freediving Club hosted the “Ocean Hunter Deep Obsession” – surprising name for a an indoor event. I think they’re going to host part two in December where people will dive to the depths of Lake Pupuke. Yes, the lake does resemble its name, nestled on the North Shore of New Zealand’s largest city and home to many a duck, swan and eel. It does clear up a bit below 15m but is pitch black, great place to practise diving with eyes closed. They tend to limit the depth to 50m to avoid anyone getting stuck in the mud and having to swim back with additional weight.

Anyway, the competition was pretty average for me. We drove up to Auckland the night before, arriving quite late after an eight hour drive. Thankfully Mike, my Masterton buddy sponsored the drive. Tania from Wanganui came too – she’s my Palmy buddy.

I chose not to do a static. Statics fatigue me a lot these days. Anything over about 6:30 takes me a while to recover from. Besides, I set a new NZ record at the last competition and impressed myself enough with that. Statics were also in the afternoon after dynamics so I didn’t really have a hope of achieving anything fantastic. The new guys discovered this too with the largest struggle lasting just over 3 minutes. It was actually very refreshing to just have the new competitors in having a go without being “shown up” by the big boys. We’re pretty top heavy in NZ, so it’s good to give someone else a chance to “win” for a change.

I was quite proud of my buddies. Tania did a massive personal best of 126m dynamic without fins. We have been working hard on her technique and it is starting to come together. She just needs to keep practising the kick! It was Mike’s first competition and it took much convincing to get him there. He did very well with a dynamic of 65m. He’d only ever done one static session before and struggled through a bit, but I’m pleased he didn’t let that stop him. It was also great to see Gavin. He showed up to watch but ended up getting in for a static. He can still pull out 3 minutes without having done any training for what might be years now.

I managed a 158m DNF and 184m DYN. They weren’t quite the results I was after but I was happy enough. It’s always difficult when you have to travel. I was really just treating it as yet another training prior to the world champs and an opportunity to catch up with my old training buddies who I haven’t seen much of in the past couple of years.
Here are the competitors trying to sit on the bottom in exhale in wetsuits. Not sure that Wade understood the brief... Sorry everyone from Guy and I for blocking you! Tania is to the right of me and Mike is the one in the Orca suit looking like he should perhaps be at a different type of water recepticle... Photo by Phil Clayton:
A big thanks to Ocean Hunter for their continued support of competitive freediving in NZ. It's great to have some prizes! :) Here we all are at the prize giving (photo by Phil Clayton):

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