The Easter weekend saw a flurry of freediving activity in the northwest, culminating in the Great Northern competition and the BFA UK National pool championship. Steve Millard reports.

 

The Great Northern freediving competition and the BFA UK National pool championship results are now in. There were two days of competition. Day one was Apneists UK Dynamic No Fins day (DNF) and was a small national competition with guests and a great way of involving a few new volunteers and newbie athletes into a very relaxed and easy session at Wright Robinson Pool in Manchester. Day two was the BFA UK National pool competition and the 8th Great Northern International pool competition. Winners for these competitions were combined point score for Static Apnea added to a choice of Dynamic with fins, or Dynamic with no fins (DNF multiplied by 1.3).

The Easter weekend gained a few people who may not have made it, and lost a few who were taken up, so next year it will be on a neutral weekend with no significant calendar event. I was very happy to see a few new faces – we had nine new divers out of the 31 entered over the two days and many of them put in PB or close-to PB performances, which was excellent. It was good to see Lucy Hannell podium, as she has been out for a while, and Lucelle Simms was solid all weekend, despite having a very short warm up just before her static.

There was a lovely DNF swim by Borys Bajorek to beat the current Hungarian National record holder Mike Benke. Mike had his arm bent to enter as he was out of form, and after he podiumed he asked then if he could enter the second day as all of a sudden his motivation had come back. Eoin Clarke did a massive swim, but he woke up in the arms of friends after singing ‘keep on swimming, keep on swimming’ until the safety decided he had swam far enough – 34 metres longer than planned – but I’m definite we will see another Irish National record very soon.

The Static event saw lots of white card performances, but it seems the best dives were left for the Dynamic with fins/Dynamic no fins event. Alice Hickson came back into the room and put a very solid and very clean 161-metre DNF in, which immediately put her out of reach of any mortal that had entered. Great swim also by Lucelle at 150 metres, who was there really to put numbers on the board, but the numbers were good. In the men’s event, Phil Fennell put in a big 169-metre swim, and only missed first spot because of Adam Drzazga having a bigger Static earlier.

Below is a run down of the now-official podium places. The two days results in full can be found here: http://www.freedivingcompetition.com/results-2017.html

 

Apneists UK Dynamic no fins competition

 

Male

1st place Borys Bajorek
2nd place Mike Benke
3rd place Phil Fennell

 

Female

1st place Lucelle Simms
2nd place Lucy Hannell
3rd place Claire Elwood

 

The second day on 16 April was a joint competition, the 8th Great Northern Freediving competition and the BFA UK National pool championships running alongside it. We saw some great performances, even though many of the athletes were out of full pool training this time of the year.

 

BFA UK National pool competition

 

Male

1st Place Adam Drzazga
2nd place Phil Fennell
3rd place Tom Elliot

 

Female

1st place Alice Hickson
2nd place Lucelle Simms
3rd place Nancy Gibson

 

8th Great Northern International 

 

Male

1st Place Adam Drzazga
2nd place Phil Fennell
3rd place Tom Elliot

 

Female

1st place Alice Hickson
2nd place Lucelle Simms
3rd place Nancy Gibson

 

Best newbie overall

Male

Mika Meskanen

 

Female

Alexandra Mikheeva

 

Thank you to the sponsors:

www.learn2freedive.com

www.padi.com

www.britishfreediving.org

www.freexperience.com

www.omersub.com

 

Photo credit: Daniel Smith

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