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October 2 , 2006

2006 US Freediving Team Announced

The United States Apnea Association (USAA) is pleased to announce the selection of the
United States Freediving Team for 2006.  The team consists of three male and four female athletes.  Selection was based on performances at the US National Championships in September and other international competitions.  The team will be representing the United States at the International Association for the Development of Apnea, AIDA, World Team Championships in Hurghada, Egypt beginning December 1, 2006.  Competition begins on December 6.

The Men’s team members are Michael Antinori, Craig Gentry and Deron Verbeck.  The Women’s Team members are Annabel Briseno, Juliana Howe, Julie “Jewels” Russell, and Jessica Wilson.  The team represents some of the finest freedivers in the United States. 

The team will face off against an international cast of teams from around the world.  The best men and women’s team will be crowned the World Champions.  The results of three performances for each team in Constant Weight with Fins, Dynamic Apnea with Fins, and Static Apnea are totaled for the competition.  The total points of three competitors for each country are added together then combined for the three events to determine each team’s point total.  The top three men and women’s teams will be awarded trophies with event metals awarded for the top teams in each event. 

The USAA is excited about fielding its team for the World Championships.  Grant W. Graves, president of the USAA commented, “This year’s team is very strong and both men and women should function very well together as a team.  The US can be proud of the freedivers that will represent them this year.  All are very accomplished and will represent the US well in this very large international competition.”

The AIDA World Team Championships is a biannual event that brings the world’s best freediving nations together to compete in three events: Constant Weight with Fins, Static Apnea, and Dynamic Apnea with Fins.  The top team will be known as the World Champion.

AIDA recognizes eight categories of freediving (for information of all of the categories take a look at the website).  Constant weight finds the athlete challenged to swim to depth and back to the surface on a single breath.  The athlete keeps all of their gear in place while they do this.  Static Apnea challenges the athlete to hold their breath for time.  The athlete lays face down on the surface of the pool and holds their breath for the longest time possible.  Dynamic Apnea challenges the diver to swim as far as they can on a single breath of air.  Both Static and Dynamic Apnea are conducted in a pool.  Constant weight is conducted in the ocean.

The US team is currently preparing for competition.  Official training days begin December 1, 2006.  The team wishes to thank the many sponsors and supporters that have lended assistance to the team.  Yamamoto has sponsored the team and made attaining team wetsuits possible.  Oceaner has managed to produce our team wetsuits on an impossible schedule, producing a great looking suit.  The greatest thanks must be made to the members of USAA. 

The USAA is a non-profit association founded on a democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally.  Founded in 2003, the USAA brought together a diverse group of 21 founding members, all interested in the development and growth of freediving.  In just six months, this highly dedicated group was able to create an association recognized as the voice of freediving in the United States by the international community.  The association has grown to one hundred members with continued growth expected.  USAA will have a full team at the World Championships in Hurghada, Egypt.  For more information about the World Championships please checkout  There will be daily video highlights and real time results posted there.

The International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) is the international sanctioning body for freediving, individual and team competition, and freediving world record attempts.  AIDA nationals are individual associations that represent freediving and AIDA in their country, similar to Olympic Organizing Committees.  AIDA World Team Championships will occur in Hurghada, Egypt from December 1 through December 12, 2006.  For more information about AIDA check out

Contact Information:

Grant W. Graves, President
United States Apnea Association, USAA

3642 Seahorn Dr.
Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: 310-560-6104

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Pictures provided by Rebecca Garrett, Deron Verbeck, Tec Clark and Jon Zeaman.