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CAFA Western Regional Competition

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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With or without fins?
...that's the remaining question...

I've heard that the most competitors dove without fins. Could you please clarify this?

I am sure you had a lot of fun ;)
Last edited:
My congrats too. Sorry I missed it; it was too short of notice for me to join in the fun.
Erik Y.
There was a 50m depth limit at this competition. The current was about 1 m/s (ripcurrent), which made diving with the lanyard incredibly difficult, because the lanyard would tug and pull as it kept you from drifting away. The water was 8C at the surface, colder down deep, the visibility was better than the mediterranean (in Vancouver!). Only Mandy did no-fins in constant ballast, but many athletes did no-fins in dynamic.

I was going to do my dive without a wetsuit, but it sounded like the rig was going to drift offshore, and it actually drifted more than a mile -- tough luck to the later competitors who had a 20min+ swim which ate half their warm up time!

I accidentally brought my 3mm Elios instead of my 5mm -- seems strange but either I dive with no suit or a 5mm -- I get too cold in a 3mm in 8C! Anyway, I was in luck because Laminar had an extra 3mm top, so I used a 3/6mm config (two 3mm tops). I had never used that config before and I greatly miscalculated my ballast, so much so that I had to kick down to 40m (whereas in my standard 5mm config with proper weight, I kick down to 12m). On my dive, I kept stopping on the descent, waiting to sink. The lanyard was tugging as the current pushed me, and then I would eventually realize I was too buoyant to sink. It took me 1'25 just to get DOWN to 50m! Laminar had turned early on his dive, so I got to the plate and both his tag & my tag were there. Holding onto the line I tried to 'flip through' the tags and find mine, however they seemed upside down (or maybe I was narked), so I grabbed one, then decided to grab the other one as well, and surfaced with both tags.

However, CAFA used the new standards & procedures for competitions, and the organization was excellent & safe, the only issue was the huge current & drifting of the rig. The locals are afraid of the dark and so decided not to aim for slack (3pm), because it would have been dusk by the end. Personally I think that darkness is better than a ripcurrent, but it's my opinion.

Laminar and I then had the most difficult swim of our lives, against a 1m/s++ current -- and in cold water to prevent my (foot)tendonitis from flaring I must swim with only my arms. Making any progress at all (with my arms only) proved impossible at some places and I was forced to go near shore and pull myself against the rocks. It must have taken us 45 minutes to get back, and we didn't realize how dehydrated we had become until the next morning for dynamic -- hence the poor distances -- our BP's were so low and we felt so off we couldn't push the distance.

We were the only competitors to swim back -- the boat gave a ride back to everyone else! We, however, being the first two competitors, were too cold to wait for the boat to give us a ride back.

Mandy was going for the 42m no-fins record for women, which the CTV camera crew was eagerly filming (they paid for the whole competition to see a depth WR attempt). Poor Mandy, with the current so strong (and wearing her buoyant 5mm), every no-fins stroke she made had to be made at a 30 degree angle towards the line to fight the current. She turned at 27m, and came up totally blue with a borderline recovery. She had cold water in her hood on one ear only and as a result was experiencing severe vertigo (she isn't really a winter diver).

I could go on and on about other stuff that happened.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
The competition went really well and I think that everyone had a good time. Diving at 3pm for the constant ballast would not have been a very good idea (in my mind) as it would make safetying nearly impossible. The saftey divers need to be able to see the competitors and diving at night would have made that impossible.

Actually Eric, my surfacing was just fine other then the fact that I had my eyes closed and relaxed on my back because everything was spinning due to the cold water induced vertigo. I have seen the close up video a few times and I wasn't blue (but was very cold). You are right on one point though, I am not a winter "record" diver nor do I want to be. I think that weather like this is best left to recreational dives.

Hopefully we will see Erik Young out diving in Vancouver soon.
Originally posted by Mandy-Rae
Hopefully we will see Erik Young out diving in Vancouver soon.

It's good to be loved! I hope to come out in March.
Erik Y. (-15C and snow)

Congratulations too all of the competitors top work !! Sounds like the open water dives were almost impossible with current like that.

Eric that was a nice static especially for a comp I bet you were happy with that :) Also did you use a mono for your dynamic

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