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Board of Directors - Ashley Chapman

North Carolina native, Ashley Futral Chapman, is undoubtedly leaving her mark on the world of competitive freediving. She took interest in the sport of freediving in 2008 as a means of spearfishing the North Carolina waters with her husband, Ren. After struggling with shallow fifty foot dives throughout the summer she decided to accompany Ren to the Cayman Islands for their first Performance Freediving International (PFI) Intermediate level freediving course. There in just four days, Ashley propelled herself from a meager fifty feet to over one hundred and twenty two feet. At the time, she did not realize that these kind of results are typical of a four day PFI freediving course. Impressed with her technique and attention to detail PFI instructor, Craig Gentry, approached Ashley about possibly competing in the upcoming Team World Championship in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. She trained for the summer and traveled with Ren to Egypt to compete for the first time, albeit as an alternate. While in Egypt, with the help of PFI founder, KIrk Krack, she managed to increase her depth from one hundred and twenty two feet to one hundred and eighty feet. The US women earned the silver medal. This is when the addiction started.

Ashley and Ren spent all of 2009 earning their PFI Freediver level instructor certifications and eventually their Intermediate level instructor certifications. In 2010 Ashley got back into the competitive circuit eager to test her limits in the sport. Since then she has competed in multiple competitions around the globe including PFI's Deja Blue II, III and IV in Grand Cayman where she has earned two world records and five national records, all in depth. In 2012 she entered the world stage again traveling to Nice, France to compete in the Team World Championship this time as a competitor and team co-captain. Here she earned another national record, this time in a pool discipline. 2012 also brought her to Suunto's Vertical Blue in Long Island, Bahamas. Here, in November of 2012 Ashley managed to clench four more depth national records making her the deepest woman across all three depth disciplines in the country. She also earned another world record in her favorite discipline, constant weight no fins (CNF). At the serene setting of Dean's Blue Hole, also home turf for world class athlete William Trubridge, she plunged down to two hundred and twenty feet in a dive that took three minutes and fifteen seconds. She surfaced confidently and got the white card and a new world record. Ashley is the last world record holder in this discipline.

" I knew I had the dive in me. I executed the dive twice before in practice with ease. I just needed to get beyond the pressure that comes with announcing a world record and it being the first day of the competition. My greatest strength in training has been my husband Ren who is my safety, my coach, my life partner — he takes care of everything else so I can simply just perform the dives I need to do."

Ashley has been teaching freediving with her husband, Ren, in NC and abroad from their sailboat Nila Girl. They spend most Summers back home in NC where freediving courses include tips on spearfishing in the local environment and even diving with sharks on some of NC's most interesting artifical reefs. Winter and Spring months are spent abroad, where it's warmer, focusing most of their freediving instruction from Dean's Blue Hole. Ashley is beginning a new and possibly the most challenging adventure of her life as she and Ren have just welcomed a new addition to their family, their newborn daughter, Ani.

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