CEO, President/Founder of PFI
Level: Advanced Freediver Instructor Trainer
Phone: 1-866-388-6595 ext. 701
A pioneer in the freediving world, Kirk Krack has been on a quest to make the sport as safe as possible for over two decades. In 1996, he was working as a trimix Instructor Trainer in Grand Cayman when he was first introduced to the competitive freediving world. Pipin Ferreras and his wife Audrey Mestre were on the island attempting world record dives, and they asked Kirk to set up scuba safety. Although he had a lifelong affinity for freediving (or what he thought was called skindiving), Kirk was further intrigued by the physiology of the sport and began to learn how freedivers were able to reach such extreme depths on a single breath.
Kirk developed the educational philosophy, standards and procedures, and wrote the manuals for PFI that, to this day, continue to be improved and perfected with the newest techniques. After training more than 10,000 students, coaching seven athletes to 23 different world records, and setting up world class events, Kirk shares everything he learns with his students in his never-ending journey for more knowledge. The PFI educational system was the first in North America to offer a complete course that included not only ways to improve in depth and time, but also (and most importantly) the safety aspects of the sport. In Kirk's program, you learn the theory behind breath-hold diving, practice the techniques in the pool, and finally perfect the skills in the open water. The PFI system of freediver education is one of the most comprehensive freediving educational systems worldwide.
For Kirk's complete bio, click the button below.
With seven world records and 13 Canadian national records, Mandy-Rae has been a freediving force to be reckoned with since 2000. During her first year year in the sport, she placed third in an AIDA international team competition and hit 136 meters in the No Limits discipline. A highly motivated and determined athlete with a great sense of humor, she also scored two first place titles with Team Canada in the AIDA World Championships. After 22 years of working in the diving industry (both as a PFI Instructor and a PADI Course Director, the highest level in recreational diving), Mandy-Rae has a comprehensive understanding of the industry which informs her role as PFI's Operations Manager.
Onscreen, she and her husband and trainer, Kirk Krack, worked with New York Magician David Blaine on his ABC special Drowned Alive and then trained and assisted him in a World Record Oxygen Breath-Hold live on the Oprah show in 2008. Mandy-Rae was part of the OPS Team that helped expose the slaughter of dolphins in Japan in the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, and was a mermaid in the film The Mermaid Chair. She has worked with GoPro for the Hero3 camera launch and is one of the female divers in their Whale Fantasia video. The former competitive synchronized swimmer is also a proud member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
Level: Lead Staff Instructor, Training and Education Manager
Phone: 1-866-388-6595 ext. 703
Born and raised in Washington state, Chris has lived on both sides of the mountains. After high school, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served both as an Electrician’s Mate and as a Cutter Rescue Swimmer. In 2004, Chris became a certified scuba diver and went on to become a Divemaster.
In 2006, he attended the Diver’s Institute of Technology in Seattle where he was class president and graduated at the top of his class. Chris worked for three years as a commercial diver and then decided to spend more time at home. While working at a local dive shop, and in search of a personal challenge to add to his life, he found freediving. After freediving with buddies and researching the sport, Chris knew he needed formal training. After reviewing every freediving agency, he knew PFI fit his philosophy and style the best.
In the fall of 2012, Chris took PFI’s Intermediate Freediver Course, and the following June, he took it as a refresher. Thoroughly impressed by all of the instructors, Chris knew he wanted to be a part of the PFI family. Kirk Krack invited him to Hawaii for the Advanced, Safety Supervisor, Assistant Instructor, and Instructor Exam. Chris signed up immediately.
Katie grew up in and around water. If she wasn't playing in the surf, she was swimming competitively in a pool. Over the years, she's received certifications in disciplines including indoor cycling, Hot Power Fusion Yoga, Lifeguarding (including AED,02, blood born pathogens, infant and child rescue), and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, specifically for combat and military training. She also holds Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver certifications in scuba. Her lifelong passion for the water and her vast professional experience were the ideal preparation for freediving.
The PFI Instructor course (which is aligned with the DAN DEMP/NAUI programs) matched her vision of what an excellent education both in and out of the water would be. Katie's strong belief in the PFI system grew even more when she competed in Deja Blue 8. Diving with the highest quality of care and safety surrounding her, Katie felt comfortable reaching outside her limits. Even though it was her first freediving competition, she placed third overall. After more than doubling all of her PRs, she was hooked by competition. Providing safety and comfort is a constant in Katie's own teaching--it encourages students to love being in the water while they confidently go after new PRs.
For the past nine years, Katie has worked with Special Olympics in various events and tournaments as both a personal aid and team leader. She hopes to obtain her Adaptive Freediver teaching certification so she can reach a wider group of divers. When she isn't diving, Katie can be found training, in the pool or ocean, spearfishing in Baja, or enjoying the outdoors in the company of family and friends. Katie is currently working on the set of James Cameron's Avatar 2 (2020).
Vice President for Special Programs
Level: Intermediate Freediver, Breath-Hold Survival/ Special Operations Instructor
Company: Hawaii Freedivers (Founder)
Location: Oahu, HI, USA
Born in Michigan and raised in Oregon, Craig has spent the majority of his adult life in Italy, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Craig now resides in the Hawaiian Islands where he founded Hawaii Freedivers, High Performance Training, a freedive training agency offering a variety of PFI’s training courses and specialized coaching sessions.
A U.S. National Champion in 2006, Craig captained two U.S. National Teams in the World Championships (2006, 2008) and coached a Hawaii-based athlete in breaking two U.S. National freediving records in Dynamic Apnea. An active member of the U.S. Freediving Association, Craig served on the Executive Board of Directors from 2007-2011 and was President from 2012-2014. He is also an International Judge for AIDA competitions, performance and record attempts.
In his free time, Craig enjoys underwater photography and is an advocate for ocean conservation.