Michael Board and Georgina Miller are the 2017 UK National Champions, the British Freediving Association has announced.
Board’s and Miller’s selections were based on UK and international competition results across all major pool and open-water disciplines.
“Georgina and Michael have a long history of competitive freediving for Great Britain in individual and team championship events,” said the BFA. “Each of these talented divers have broken multiple national records and have competed at some of the world’s most prestigious freediving championships.”
Miller is a six-times national record holder, with a personal best of just over seven minutes in the Static Apnea discipline. Board has set 16 British National records and is the current British record holder in two depth disciplines for Constant Weight at 108m and for Free Immersion at 100m.
Georgina Miller said: “I’m really pleased to get this award. It is pretty challenging to get competition points across all six disciplines, which were gained at just two events, one pool and one depth competition. Fitting in time to train around work teaching free diving is always a tricky balance, but it’s fun to try to practice all the disciplines! The cold waters of the UK are not always the easiest, but it does help to be able to dive as much as we can in the summer.
“We have a wonderful community of free divers to help motivate and support us and meet some incredible, inspirational people, so I feel very lucky to be able to do this. I would really like to thank Daan Verhoeven for all of his knowledge and endless support, Porthkerris Divers for the space to practice and teach, and my mum for the dog sitting while we are away.”
Miller and Daan Verhoeven run Aquacity Freediving at Porthkerris in Cornwall.
Michael Board said: “I am so happy to be named UK Champion for 2017, and to have got the final points needed at the Bristol Blue competition in October. Last season was a difficult one for me, after an injury early in the season, I failed to achieve any good results in the rest of that year, I really felt that my performances had plateaued and it left me with many doubts when starting to train for this 2017 season. However, I decided to make some big changes, took on a new coach, and started training at a level that I had not previously managed. It’s been hard work, with many early morning sessions but the results speak for themselves – it has probably been my most successful year since starting to compete eight years ago.
“The high point for me was coming third place at Vertical Blue earlier this year in the Monofin category, increasing the British depth record to 108m, and ranking 5th in the world for 2017, and then also setting another new British depth record of a 100m in Free Immersion. Being awarded UK champion is a great way to top off this great year. Thank you to all my training partners, especially Kate Middleton and the instructors at Freedive Gili in Gili Trawangan, and to coach Goran Colak for his training and advice.”
Michael Board runs Freedive Gili, a Freediving School in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.
Photo credits: © Daan Verhoeven