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December 1, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

US and Continental Record in Freediving for Robert King.

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 84 meters (275 feet) on December 1, 2009 at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas during the AIDA Individual Depth Freediving World Championship.  He has broken his own record of 83 meters / 272 feet that was set earlier this year at the Vertical Blue Competition in April.  This dive ties the existing Continental Record held by William Winram of Canada. 

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.  Robert set a new US National Record in the no fins discipline just two days ago while competing at the Worlds. 

The World Championships features the best freediving athletes from around the world.  This year features Constant Weight with and without fins.  The Individual Depth event is a biannual competition to test who is the best individual freediver at specific disciplines both in depth and pool breath holding.  The pool event was held earlier this year in Denmark.  The alternate year features the team world championships, where three men and women compete as a team for country honors. 

Rob made the round trip in three minutes and five 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, “The Blue Hole was pristine today, which makes the depth more inviting.  The Constant Weight dives often seem the most challenging – due to the depth and dive times – but that makes finishing them all the more satisfying.  Thank you to William Winram for coaching me this year and to my niece Delphine who is a constant inspiration to me.”

William Trubridge’s Vertical Blue is hosting this year’s world championship.  Vertical Blue is William’s freediving school in the Bahamas.  William is also an athlete in this competition.  For updates checkout, http://www.verticalblue.net/events

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 http://www.usfreediving.org.

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 http://www.aida-international.org.

-END-

Images available upon request. 

Contact Information:

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

3642 Seahorn Dr.
Malibu, CA 90265
Email: makog@aol.com
Phone: 310-560-6104

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