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April 5, 2009


Rob King Completes the Triple Crown of US Freediving.


The United States Apnea Association (USAA) is pleased to announce that Robert King, a USAA member, set a new national record for swimming to depth with a fin while holding his breath to a depth of 83 meters (272 feet) on April 5, 2009, at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas.  This area of competitive freediving is known as the discipline of Constant Weight (CWT). The two other self-powered disciplines are free immersion and constant weight without fins.  This performance surpasses the previous record of 82 meters set by Theo Ivanovic in June of 2007.  This performance secures all three self-powered depth discipline national records for Rob, the first time a US male athlete has done so.

Two AIDA International judges from the United States judged Rob’s performance.  Grant Graves , USAA president, and Linden Wolbert, AIDA Judges, validated the performance as following all AIDA and USAA rules and regulations for a record performance. 

Rob made the round trip in two minutes and forty-eight seconds.  Rob left the surface with powerful kicks of his mono fin and then began sinking to secure the bottom tag.  His return was quicker than his descent.  When he returned to the surface he provided the judges with a quick surface protocol and his tag.  The performance was ruled as valid and awarded a white card by the judges.

Rob stated, “I am honored to set this record, previously held by Brett LeMaster and Theo Ivanovic.  Having all three records is a great thrill and a real honor.  Thanks again to Will Winram, whose training program made this possible.  I am just happy to be able to excel at a sport I love so much.  A big Hello to my nephews Oscar and Henry, two pool monsters who will be setting records of their own soon.”

Rob is taking part in Vertical Blue, an annual freediving competition hosted by world record freediver William Trubridge.  The competition concludes on April 11, 2009.  The competition is seeing big results for many athletes from around the world.  It is likely there will be even deeper depths reached by Rob in the coming days.

Constant Weight (CWT) challenges the athlete to swim to depth and back with the use of fins or a mono fin under their own power while holding their breath.  The athlete is not allowed to contact the competition line other than to recover their tag at depth while turning.  Upon reaching the surface the athlete must perform a surface protocol within fifteen seconds of their return to the surface.  Constant Weight is one of the most respected and most contested disciplines in freediving.

Free Immersion (FIM) is the freediving discipline that requires the athlete to pull their way to depth and back using their hands to pull down and up the competition line.  The athlete recovers a bottom tag and returns it to the surface where they must complete a surface protocol for the judges.

Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) tests the freediver’s ability to swim to depth and return without the use of fins while holding their breath.  CNF is one of the most difficult disciplines in freediving.  Athletes use a modified breaststroke technique to propel themselves to depth and back. 

The USAA is a nonprofit association founded on the democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally.  Founded in 2003, the USAA consists of an active membership dedicated to furthering freediving in the United States and abroad. For more information about the USAA, the U.S. National Freediving Team, and membership please visit

The International Association for the Development of Freediving, AIDA, is the international sanctioning body for freediving, individual and team competition, and freediving world record attempts.  For more information about AIDA please visit



Freedivers are being filmed on location in the Bahamas by under water film production company BlueEyeFX. Based in Egypt and headed by British born Deborah Metcalfe, BlueEyeFX is documenting all attempts at Vertical Blue 2009 – the invitational freediving competition held at Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas.

Images and video footage of the world record attempt is available to download via FTP:
User ID: blueye
Password: B1u3y3fx
All credits BlueEyeFX Productions


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.