We are a member club of Freediving New Zealand and as such have members that compete in regional, national and international freediving events under the AIDA standards, offering world rankings. There are two types of freediving competitions, Pool and Depth as explained below and when they are normally held. Freedivers also frequently compete in related competitions such as Underwater Rugby, Spearfishing, Pole spearing and Fin-Swimming.
- Static (Breath Hold- going for time)
- Dynamic (With fin’s – Bi-fin or Mono – distance traveled underwater)
- Dynamic no Fins (you guessed it – swimming with no fins – distance traveled underwater)
- Constant Weight (with fins going down and up under your own steam)
- Free Immersion (Pulling yourself up and down the line with your arms)
- Constant Weight No Fins (you guessed it – up and down with no fins)
Taniwha Challenge 2020 (TBC) Planned as a fun bi-annual pool competition event run by our club and open to other clubs as a warm-up competition prior to Nationals.
NZ National Pool Championships 2020 (TBC) – Our club is currently considering the possibility of hosting this years event although much is dependent on Covid-19 risk management and support of other clubs and our local Pool.
NZ National Depth Championships 2021 – Usually held in March in lake Taupo, with most people basing themselves out of Turangi for the week. For more info please check out the Freediving New Zealand Event Page
AIDA Pan-Pacific Freediving Championships NZ – 2021 – A bi-annual International freediving competition, the biggest in the southern hemisphere is a big event in our club calendar and we will be aiming to send a big team to represent Northland. Originally planned for 2020, postponed due to Covid-19 this event relies on international travel from overseas competitors details to be confirmed, and will endeavor to keep members informed of developments.
Freediving Depth Nationals 2019:
Gemma O’Brien and Jacob Kennedy both volunteered as Safety Divers for the competition and relished to opportunity to dive in fresh water, gaining valuable experience in the diver safety/recovery department. It was a great experience to support all the competitors from other clubs while having a chance to make some new friends and explore Taupo, even fitting in a small drift dive down the Waikato river. The Depth Nationals are a fantastic social event and chance to grow regardless of being a competitor or a volunteer.
Freediving Pool Nationals 2019:
We saw the Auckland Freediving Club host the 2019 Freediving New Zealand Pool Nationals at the Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, AUT Millennium in Auckland. The Northland Freediving Club based in Kawakawa and Whangarei sent five of their top divers to compete in the Competitive AIDA and Recreational grades.
The Club’s more experienced divers Gemma O’Brien (4th Overall Women’s Comp Grade), and Cam Clarkson (19th Overall Men’s Comp Grade) both received Red Cards for minor mistakes early on day one in the Static competition, unfortunately counting them out of medal contention in the competitive grade with Gemma unable to defend her title from last year.
For Northland in the Recreation Grade and proudly representing Whangarei Boys High School, Jacob Kennedy (18) placed 2nd Overall Men’s, Max Middlemass (17) placed 4th Overall Men’s and Vincent von Mulert-Carvell (16) placed 6th Overall Men’s. Whangarei Boys High school is the first Secondary School in New Zealand to send a team to the National Championships and all the judges and international athletes were impressed with the quality of their dives and the maturity in which they conducted themselves.
“The boys were only signing up to the club initially to learn about safe freediving practices for spearfishing and can’t believe how far they have come” Comment from Jacob’s Mother Jo Kennedy.
They started the competition strong all receiving white cards (clean dives) and personal best times with Jacob getting an early lead placing him second with a 4min 30sec Static. Their white cards and personal best times kept on rolling as the competition progressed with a standout performance from Max Middlemass completing a solid 108m in the Bi Fins Dynamic swim on day 2 of the competition.
Nick Rhodes the competition Organizer commented “It is very exciting to see the next generation of freedivers starting to come through, and them seeking the safe diving practices and development our local freediving clubs can provide”
Overall winners of the competition: Kathryn Nevatt from the Queenstown Freediving Club in the women’s Category with 6min 42second Static Breath Hold, 192m DYN dive (with fins) and a 150m DNF dive (with no fins). Guy Brew took out Men’s Competition with a 7min 30 second Static Breath Hold, 223m DYN dive and a 128m DNF dive.
Freediving can be dangerous if practiced alone and without proper instruction due to the risk of hypoxic blackout. A recognised course or introductory session with a freediving club is highly recommended. Clubs offer intro evenings for anyone who snorkels, likes the water or just wants to see how long they can hold their breath in a safe environment. Start with an online search to find a freediving club or course near you.
More information about the event can be found on the Freediving New Zealand Website : http://freediving.co.nz/
Link to YouTube video footage of Dynamic swims & photo’s:
Guest Speaker @ Social : Brad Smeele https://www.facebook.com/bradsmovement/
Athletes Representing the Northland Freediving Club :
Gemma O’Brien (4th Overall Women’s Comp Grade)
Cam Clarkson (19th Overall Men’s Comp Grade)
Jacob Kennedy 18yo (2nd Overall Men’s Rec Grade)
Max Middlemass 17yo (4th Overall Men’s Rec Grade)
Vincent von Mulert-Carvell 16yo (6th Overall Men’s Rec Grade)