Video #6: The conclusion of Breathless 2009 
Video #4: U/W Scooter Races

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And the winners are…

From left to right, back to front: Ben, Ted, David, Erin, Carol and Julie.

From left to right, back to front: Ben, Ted, David, Erin, Carol and Julie.

Well it’s all over now.  The 2009 PFI Breathless Competition in Grand Cayman came to a close on May 27 after 7 days of great performances.  This year we witnessed two Brasilian National Records, two Canadian National Records, one Pan-American record and countless numbers of  personal bests.  All in all a very good competition.  There were medals presented for the top three point scores for both men and women.  We took the best performance in each discipline and added those points for their grand total.
As you will see in video #5: The Research, we were joined by Neil Pollock from Divers Alert Network who was doing Doppler testing on all of us to help study DCS in Freedivers.  We are really looking forward to more research with Neil and DAN.
Video #5: Research with Divers Alert Network
We did find some time away from target dives and did some incredible u/w scooter racing!  Over the past six months PFI has been working with Dive Xtras to modify their Cuda Scooters for Freediving specific applications.  So we had them add, in additon to their already sleek and fast scooter, a front end saddle that the Freediver sits on.  They also have a cable that runs from their feet (where it plugs into the scooter) up to the Freedivers hand.  This has the speed control on it.  You simply use your thumb to increase (8 speeds up to about 500ft/min) or decrease your speed.  Then Kirk set up an underwater scooter course that consisted of 8 white diamond shaped gates that were suspended at different depths.  Two divers would start at the Black and White start gate and race each other through the gates.  This is addictive fun!
Seven divers/judges/safety left the day after the competition while another 8 remain.  Those of us that are still here are either on holiday and enjoying the scooters, are teaching a PFI Freediving course or taking their PFI Instructor course.  By June 8th all of us will be gone but only until next years event.
Mandy-Rae Cruickshank
Video of Mandy-Rae Cruickshank's 52m Canadian and Pan-American Constant No-Fins Record


Video of Carol Schrappe's 44m Constant No-Fins Brasilian Record

 Video of Julie Bisaillon's 6:53 Static Canadian National Record

 Video of Carol Schrappe's 68m Constant Weight Brasilian Record

Video #3: The Competition

Update #4 May 22, 2009

We’re all excited down here in Cayman after some wonderful performances from our athletes during these first two days of the 2009 “Breathless” competition! Everyone hit their targets with ease on the first day and will only keep going deeper. Mandy-Rae Cruickshank(Canada) broke the Canadian/Pan-American record with a constant ballast, no-fin dive to 52 meters. Carol Schrappe(Brazil) also reset the national Brazilian constant ballast, no-fin record with a dive to 44 meters. Ted Harty (USA) hit his constant ballast target of 50 meters, Erin Magee (USA) hit hers at 46 meters, Ben Weiss (USA) got his constant ballast target at 45 meters and DeeDeeFlores (USA) got to 25 meters with free immersion.

During the first day of statics Julie Bisaillon (Canada) set a new Canadian/Pan-American record with an incredible hold of 6 min 53 seconds! We’re all so proud! Ben also had an impressive performance with 6:19. David Sims (USA) performed a static of 4:10 and DeeDee did 2:42. Not too shabby guys, keep it up!

During the second competition day of open water diving, we reached some good depths and even had a few personal bests! Carol reached 65 meters in constant ballast, rapidly approaching the Brazilian record of 67 meters that she already set last year. Ted got to 54 meters with constant ballast, Ben got to 53 meters with free immersion, Erin got to 50 meters with constant ballast, Carla Hanson (USA) got to 33 meters in constant, no fins, and DeeDee got to 15 meters in constant, no fins. Whew!

All in all, we’ve had a very successful couple of days and the boat rides back to the dock have all been celebratory. We’ve only had a few setbacks. Mandy’s taking a day off tomorrow to rest her groin pull and David is out of commission for a couple of days with a double ear infection, but with five more days to go there’s plenty of time for them to come back and get some more tags! So bring on the depths! We’ve got Mandy’s Cream of Wheat breakfasts keeping us energized, Kirk Krack’s outstanding coaching keeping us motivated and Goh Iromoto’s amazing video skills keeping records of it all. That’s all for now, but keeping checking back every day for more updates!

Erin Magee

Video #2

Update #3 May 18: Count down to zero

We just finished our second last boat training day before the Breathless competition starts on May 21. We now have Ben Weiss and DeeDeeFlores (competitors) with us as well as Garo and Charles (safety Freedivers). Grant Graves, one of two judges has also arrived. Goh Iromoto has also joined us so make sure to check out the amazing video updates. For the most part people have been doing very well and improving every day. At least 2 national records have been bettered in training and now we just wait to see them fall in competition. We have had a couple of casualties these last couple of days. I, Mandy-Rae, pulled my groin a couple days ago and am doing all I can to recover in time to get back into the game. Erin just developed an ear infection but thanks to a house call she is on the mend and should be back in action for the start of the competition. Robert had a complete suit blow out today but the suits can be fixed 🙂 All in all not bad.

Kirk has also set up a scooter race course. We are using the new Dive Xtras Freediving scooters and go head to head with each other racing through PVC diamond shaped gates that are set up at different depths. You will see the races on a video soon. We have been timed going at about 400-600ft a minute. FAST and way to much FUN! Right now Carol is the scooter champ but there are many of us hoping to take the title from her.

Starting May 20 we will cover the Breathless competition with daily updates with videos. You can also join our groups on Twitter, FaceBook and MySpace for updates and videos.

Good Luck to everyone!

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank

Video # 1


Update #2 May 11: More people joining the group

Yesterday, May 10, we had two more divers arrive. Carla Hansen and Robert Lee. They arrived to late to join our training session for the day but in time for a special dinner at Yoshi’s to celebrate both mothers day for Carol and Carla and my birthday (this is Mandy writing again).

This morning we woke up bright and early for a boat training session. Everyone is doing really well and making the depths that they have set with ease. Many people already setting new personal bests. So far everyone has been concentrating on either constant ballast or constant no-fins. With Robert’s arrival also came the Dive Xtrasscooters that have been specially modified for Freediving. It is amazing how fast these things move! Tomorrow is a day off of depth training so we will be doing static/dynamic training and then doing some special scooter diving in the afternoon. Kirk will write about that in the next update as it is his baby.


Mandy-Rae Cruickshank


Update #1 May 8th: Arrival in Grand Cayman

We are a group of just five divers right now. The first ones here were PFI Instructors (and soon to be the PFI office crew) Erin magee and Ted Harty of the USA. Kirk and myself, Mandy-Rae, arrived one day after, on May 7, as we stopped off in Toronto to attend the Canadian premier of The Cove on our way here. Then the day after we got here Carol Schrappefrom Brasil arrived. Robert Lee (USA) and Carla Hanson (USA) are the next to arrive on Sunday. The group is slowly getting bigger as more athletes arrive to train before the May 21-27 competition. Even though we will have many new faces at this years competition I believe that we will still see many records fall. We will have the full list of competitors up on the website one week before the competition starts.

We have spent the last couple days doing some easy dives from shore, testing out our buoyancy and technique and playing on the scooters. Full on training starts tomorrow, Sat May 9th.

Wish you were here…

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank