Another record for freedive great

By Corey Charlton

Former Havelock North man William Trubridge has added to his reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent freedivers.

He dove to a depth of 121m (constant weight) on the penultimate day of the Suunto Vertical Blue competition, held in the Bahamas recently, to set a New Zealand record. Each freediver accrued points for all of their dives during the 10-day competition, and Trubridge also finished top of the overall rankings.

There were 56 athletes from 21 countries participating in what is the largest freediving event of its kind.

However, Russian freediver Alexey Molchanov raised the bar to a new level with a new world record dive of 126m in a time of 3 minutes 46 seconds. Constant weight means diving with just a monofin for assistance.

Mr Trubridge was the first man to break the 100m depth barrier completely unassisted - without the use of fins, rope or weights - in 2010. He also holds the record for "free immersion" - 121m - where divers descend and ascend by pulling on a rope.

In 2011 and 2012 he received the World's Absolute Freediving Award, which ranked him as the world's top freediver.

Afterwards Trubidge, who also organised the event, said: "I'm a bit disappointed with my own performances but given the enormity of Suunto Vertical Blue I can't be too disgruntled. The results speak for themselves. We had the most performances of any depth competition ever and I have had more athletes tell me that this was the best comp they've ever attended."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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