Aida World Freediving Championships 2019 – Day One

Welcome to the not-so-secret freediving training diary of David Mellor

All of David’s training – his highs, his lows his personal bests, his travelling have all been leading to this event – The Aida World Freediving Championships!  So how did David feel? How did he perform? Find out in part 1 of his championship blog!

The Aida World Freediving Championships Have Arrived!

David:

The start of the Aida World Freediving Championships was just around the corner by now, most of the 140 athletes had arrived and things were in full flow.

David Mellor - Aida world freediving championships - teamgb1

David with Team GB

I had listened to a couple of audio books to help me stay relaxed and calm and also to help focus my thoughts to stay positive as performance anxiety can easily creep in after a long spell of training. These books worked great for me, I was looking forward to everything instead of being worried about anything.

David Mellor - Aida world freediving championships - teamgb2

The first day of the Aida World Freediving Championships official training had started. It was disorganised chaos! We were given time slots depending on the depths we were diving but these timings went straight out the window – the schedule was three hours behind from the start. Some of the top athletes decided not to dive as their preparation means their energy levels were too low to dive safely.

I was so glad that I had got most of my training in early with Chango!  Many of the athletes were very stressy about the situation but I was fine with it – my prep was done and I was just working out what I would announce for my dives.

The second and third day of official training was pretty much the same as the first and there was a real negative vibe around the athletes village regarding the organisation of the training.  As I was staying in an airbnb I didn’t get caught up in it. I was still upbeat and positive and looking forward to the start of the Aida World Freediving Championships.

On my last day’s training I did a lovely 63 metre CWT dive and this reinforced my confidence even more. I felt I was ready now. No doubts about anything. I couldn’t wait to get started!

Day One of Competing at the Aida World Freediving Championships

So, the first day of competing at the Aida World Freediving Championships for me, arrived. This was technically day two of the actual competition as ladies day had taken place yesterday. I decided not to listen or watch any of the dives before me.

On the ladies day there were a few blackouts and I didn’t want any negative thoughts entering my mind. It was hard to avoid all the talk once I got to the athletes area though as many of the top athletes had received red cards, and there were quite a few blackouts. I avoided most of the talk but I wondered if the conditions had changed so much that even they found it too hard!

I stayed positive and remembered how I felt in training and blanked out all the negative thoughts that were trying to get in my head.

I got on the boat and arrived on the platform in good time.

It was quite an experience, divers, safeties, judges, photographers, medics, press, people everywhere! There was lots of noise and the platform was unstable – even small waves made it jerk around! It was definitely not the calm place I was expecting! It was exciting though, I had to pinch myself that this was it! I was about to take part in the Aida World Freediving Championships!

It was exciting though, I had to pinch myself that this was it! I was about to take part in the Aida World Freediving Championships!

I did my usual warm up that I had been doing in training, a 20 metre hang for around 2 minutes followed by  a FIM dive to 35 metres. The thermocline had dropped deeper and I wanted to experience it before my dive. The warm ups were great, I felt great and now I couldn’t wait for my OT (Official Top)!  I timed my warm ups to give me around 20-25 mins before my main dive.

The moment finally came, all my months of training and hard work was about to be tested. I felt really calm as the countdown started, I felt confident, I took my big breath and off I went.

The moment finally came, all my months of training and hard work was about to be tested. I felt really calm as the countdown started, I felt confident, I took my big breath and off I went.

The duck dive felt good. I counted my 7 arm pulls and 7 leg kicks and went into freefall. I was still relaxed and took my mouthfill and just thought about keeping everything as relaxed as possible. Freefall was nice and balanced and equalisation was going ok.  I hit the thermocline and lost some equalisation,  but instead of trying to recharge I trusted that what I had left in my mouth was enough to get me there.

I was right but only just!  I got there, with a messy turn I grabbed the tag and was so happy as I started my ascent.

white card

David Kent had messaged me previously to wish me good luck and also gave me some great advice, thank you David!

“Count 15 arm pulls and your safeties will be there” he said.

This is exactly what I did. I shut my eyes, calmed my mind and counted my arm pulls. I remember hearing the scooter at around 12 arm pulls so I knew I was going to make it. I got to 15 and opened my eyes and saw the safeties and gave a little smile to myself. I kept pulling and kicking, the light was changing and by now I had entered the warmer  water, another sign I was getting closer to the surface. I felt the buoyancy coming back with every pull until at last I was about to surface. I had a quick look round before I surfaced to see where the judges were and that was it, two hook breaths and a big smile. I still felt fresh, I did my surface protocol and waited for my white card.

David Mellor - Aida world freediving championships - photo credit Lucille Saliou

photo credit: Lucille Saliou

The 30 second wait felt like ages but I was so happy when it came! All my months of training and hard work for that one moment. It was a very special moment for me! 50 metres no fins is a big milestone for any freediver and to do it at the Aida World Freediving Championships while representing team GB made it even more special. I was so proud of myself, most definitely the pinnacle of my diving so far!

The 30 second wait felt like ages but I was so happy when it came! All my months of training and hard work for that one moment. It was a very special moment for me!


After getting back to the camp I looked at my phone….so many messages of support, my family, friends from Go Freediving, former students, all getting excited about something I had done – it actually made me cry.

Thank you all so much for your support, it put the icing on the cake.

I didn’t sleep a wink that night, good job the next day was a rest day!

Missed David’s last blog? Catch up with everything, here:

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Results

2019

Mini Comp – Dahab – 52m BiFins
Dahab Championships – 2nd Place!
BFA Depth Championships – 1st Place!

2018

2nd Place: Double Dip: 48  with mts fim, 36mts cnf and 46mtrs cwt in Sept
3rd Place: Nationals: 124mtrs dyn, 100mtrs dnf and 5.19 static.
3rd Place: Bristol Blue (Team Event)  135mtrs dyn and 5.48 static
Vostok cup: 50mtrs cwt, 50mtrs fim and 41mtrs cnf in Oct
Redccup: 60mtrs fim and 57mtrs cwt

Personal Bests and Achievements

2019

134m DYNB
*New PB!! 9th Feb ’19*

118m DNF
*New PB!! 17th Feb ’19*

44m CNF
*New PB!! July ’19*

2018

Male UK Freediving Champion 2018

135 DYN MONO
100 DNF
5.48 STA
60m FIM
57m CWT
41m CNF

Competitions

2019

UK Nationals –  Bristol – 9th – 10th March
Mini Comp -Dahab – 5th April
Dahab Championships – Dahab – 25th – 29th April
Philippines Diving Champs – Panglao – 18th – 19th May
Double Dip 2019 – Chepstow – 18th July 2019
World Championships – Nice – Sept
Infinity Depth Games – Cyprus – 13th – 20th Oct

2018

UK Nationals – March 2018
Double Dip –  Chepstow – Sept 2018
Vostok Cup –  Kalamata – Oct 2018
RedCcup – Egypt –  Oct 2018
Bristol Blue – Bristol – Oct 2018

Video Library

2018

January 2019




February 2019






March 2019


April 2019

Abbreviations and Meanings

DYN – Dynamic

DNF – Dynamic No Fins

DYNB – Dynamic Bi-Fins

CWT – Constant Weight

CNF – Constant Weight No Fins

FIM – Free Immersion

STA – Static

CWTB – Constant Weight Bi-Fins

FRC – Functional Residual Capacity

Qualifications

RAID Advanced Freediving Instructor

2019-12-09T13:25:53+00:00

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