The 2009 Grand Cayman "Breathless" Event May 21-27, 2009
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 Schrappe from 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.
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Wish you were all here!
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 Xtras scooters 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.
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Goodnight for now!
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 DeeDee Flores (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 (see top of page links). 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 hopign 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! Let the games begin!