Deja Blue IV-Competitors

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About the Competition

from October 5-11, 2013 athletes will have 5 ocean days and 5 pool days during which they each get to decide which disciplines they want to do.  Some may focus on just one in order to target National or World Records while others will try their hand at all disciplines in order to try to win the competition.

Awards and prizes will be given out to the top three men and top three women.  This year we have over $5600 worth of prizes thanks to the following prize sponsors: GoProYamamoto/Oceaner, Suunto, C4, Moana Waterman, and Backscatter.

Here is the official “In List” for PFI’s Deja Blue IV Competition that runs October 5-11, 2013 in Curacao

Women

Ashleigh Baird (USA)

  1. What country are you from? USA
  2. Favorite discipline? STA and CWT.  I have a love-hate relationship with statics.  It can become quite painful, but the pain only elevates your sense of achievement once you’ve hit a new PB.  My PB is 6:00 (dry) and I’m so excited to see if I can get back to that time, and maybe even add to it at this year’s comp.
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself:  My childhood fantasy/super power wish was to be able to hold my breath for 10 minutes. When I was about 8 or 9 I used to break into my neighbors back yard when they were at work to use their pool, and then I’d zip-tie my feet together to practice my dolphin kick… it was super safe. My adult fantasy/super power wish is to be able to hold my breath for 10 minutes. I don’t like bananas.
  4. How long you have been Freediving? Since 2009 with PFI, but have been recklessly in and under the water since I was 6 or 7 :) This will be my third competition.

Jennifer Balfour (CAD)

  1. What country are you from? Canada
  2. Favorite discipline? FIM (PB is 56m, hoping to get even deeper this year)
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself:  I hate holding my breath but I love being underwater!
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been Freediving for 5.

Kerry Hollowell (USA)

  1. What country are you from? USA
  2. Favorite discipline? Constant Weight
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: I am the mother of a squirrel named Nutnut
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been Freediving for 3.

Francesca Koe (USA)

  1. What country are you from? USA
  2. Favorite discipline? I like all of the depth disciplines, and want to focus on CWT and FIM at the comp
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: I’m the VP of US Freediving, the editor-in-chief of DB, and an AIDA judge (I’m not exceptionally funny or anything like that – no double joints or acrobatic skills but am always game for any adventure!)
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been Freediving about 5 or 6 years.

Karla Mendez (VEN)

  1. What country are you from? Venezuela
  2. Favorite discipline? Dynamic No-Fins (personal best is the VEN national record of 120m)
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: I have done other water sports before such as swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming, and underwater rugby
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been Freediving for the past 12 years

Claire Paris (USA)

  1. What country are you from? From France but competing for USA (dual citizenship)
  2. Favorite discipline? Love the freedom of CNF/DNF
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: When I was growing up in France I used to do laps underwater in our pool in Bordeaux during winter!  My skin would get flushed and turn all red, but I loved the feeling.
  4. How long you have been Freediving? “Snorkeling” most of my life but took the PFI course in 2008 with Ricardo.

Carol Schrappe (BRA)

  • What country are you from? Brazil
  • Favorite discipline? I love the ocean, so my favorites disciplines are FI and CWT
  • Something interesting or funny about yourself: As
    I said before, I love the Ocean and so I prefer the disciplines in the sea. I
    always workout in the pool, but I really like being in the ocean. I feel free and at home when I’m Freediving.
  • How long you have been Freediving? I started practicing in 2001, but began to push limits in 2006.

Men

Steve Benson (USA)

  1. What country are you from (passport)? USA
  2. Favorite discipline (any records or personal bests you want to mention)?  Fave discipline is free immersion
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: We raised a baby squirrel and released her to the back yard.  She comes in to visit daily.  And I mean she stands at the back door or scratches the window until you let her in and then raids the pantry if you don’t give her some nuts.  My girlfriend is the Squirrel Whisperer.
  4. How long you have been Freediving?  I have been Freediving competitively for 2 years now.  I goofed around at less than 30 feet for 20 years.

Antonio Del Luca (VEN)

  1. What country are you from? Venezuela
  2. Favorite discipline? Dynamic with fins , dynamic no fins and constant weight no fins (Pan-American Record  Dynamic with fins 221m, Continental Record Dynamic no fins 156m , national record constant weight no fins 55m, personal static record 6′ 28” and Apnea Academy Instructor Since 2008)
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself:  I am Freediving instructor for the Venezuelan’s  navy seals (comandos de mar), I have made combat diving with machine guns ( AK47) , parachute jump and shooting trainings with them which have been really fun to me. I founded with some pupils a Freediving school named ” Freedive Gravedad Cero” since 2009.  I closed my business since last year and became a full time freediver and instructor.  And I am the first one in fabricate a platform  and a no limit sled for my courses in 2011.  I received last July an “Honor al merito deportivo ” condecoration from the very hands of the president of Venezuela, in recognition for my achievements as athlete. 
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I’ve been freediving since 2003 and entered the Venezuela’n national selection  since 2005.

John Hullverson (USA)

  1. What country are you from (passport)? USA
  2. Favorite discipline (any records or personal bests you want to mention)? Favorite discipline is CWT, but will be competing in all.  Personal bests: I once ate a golf ball-sized clump of wasabi for $100.
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: I have three lungs.
  4. How long you have been Freediving?  Since 2010 with PFI, but in the water my whole life.

Wes Lapp (USA)

Nick Mevoli (USA)

  1. What country are you from? USA
  2. Favorite discipline? Constant Weight (has the USA men’s National Record at 100m)
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: I am not carrying a “man purse” it is a brief case for my neck weights and lanyard. I like to be very organized with my gear so I don’t loose my focus on where what is and use that energy towards my dives.
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been free diving competitively for 2 seasons. DB will be my 9th comp in 2
    seasons.

Ricardo Paris (USA)

  1. What country are you from? From Venezuela but competing for USA (dual citizenship)
  2. Favorite discipline? I’ve only done bi-fin CWT but really like CNF
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: My first adventures Freediving and spearfishing where on some islands just East of Curaçao called Islas Los Roques. They are atoll islands like the Bahamas. One day we will sail back there on our sailboat Bellatrix
  4. How long you have been Freediving? “Snorkeling” most of my life but took the PFI course in 2008 with Claire.

Joseph Surma (USA)

  1. What country are you from and competing for? USA
  2. Favorite discipline? My favorite discipline is static apnea (or at least the first few minutes).  My PB (dry) is 7 minutes, and in competition 6:16.
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself: While working at my parent’s motel, I met several of the 9-11 hijackers.
  4. How long you have been Freediving? I have been snorkeling/Freediving for about 20 years, since I was 12, but my first Freediving course, which was with PFI, was about 2 years ago.  Deja Blue will be only my second Freediving competition.

Luis Arismendi (VEN)

  1. What country are you from and competing for? VEN
  2. Favorite discipline? My favorite discipline is static apnea (or at least the first few minutes).
  3. Something interesting or funny about yourself:This will be my second race of depth after so long, at first I could only lose 8m and everyone thought that was 80m;)
  4. How long you have been Freediving?
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