cu @ the bottom
- Nov 2, 2002
Thanks a lot to everyone!
Vielen Dank an Alle!
The idea behind those record attempts just before the “Heart of Europe” was to try to peak my performance at this one point and to reduce the costs. I was lucky of having the time to do more training as last years, so I had the best basis for successful world record attempts.
Equalization was always the limit for my deep dives. I thought many times before that I have reached my physical equalization limit, but I realized in Cyprus that 2 weeks of training increased that limit very well and even more when training for those WR.
Once the equalization was less of a factor the distance and time seemed to play the major roll. Trying to find the most efficient technique became more essential. What worked best for me is a very slow start of the descent and an early glide phase (~30m) without any movement, trying to be very relaxed, paying less attention to my streamline then on equalization in the beginning and vice versa as I get deeper.
Originally we were planning 3 days for the records before the competition and 1 backup day after the event. Well, then the first 1 ½ days were lost because of different troubles and for the backup day I was already scheduled for my biannual flight simulator test. So all was left was one and a half days for 5 WR attempts. We changed the plan to concentrate on the tough ones before - 100m in Constant Weight and Free Immersion, because we thought these are the most desirable WRs.
1st day: It was late afternoon till everything was ready to dive. First we had to wait for the doctor to arrive from work and then it took us quite some time to fix the bottom camera set-up, which was only built that same morning.
I decided to start with free immersion, having only one mark at 100m. On the descent, going feet first, at around 40m I felt an other line
touching my back, a little later my arm and finally my hand was stuck between them . I changed my grip and continued. I felt my safety line, which was attached to my weight belt and held by my toes getting more and more resistance. I could actually hear the rubbing of the carabiner getting stronger until I came to a complete stop. I let go of the safety line with my toes (still attached to my belt). I came loose and continued with my feet around the line just a bit till something stopped my feet again. At first I thought it might be the tangled rope again so I spread my legs to continue. I only realized this was the end of the line, when I saw the discus right in front of my eyes (since I am going feet first and having to touch the 100m with my hand I had the 100m mark 125cm above the discus). LMC on the surface. Since the depth gauges read even more, the rope was measured again for the next day. For a second attempt right after, we didn’t have any divers.
2. Day FI at noon one mark at 100m only again. I raised my hand, because I couldn't hear the depth alarm and missed the 100m mark by 15cm although my other hand was way below (but not on the rope) - not valid, not even 99m because there was no other mark on the rope. Martin, the safety deep diver (100m) suffered DCS after this dive and was flown to a decompression chamber. He joined the party after the event – so everything is ok with him!
In the afternoon I decided to play it safe and asked to put a mark at 95, 96 and one at 100m. (I made a prerequisite dive to 98m a few days before). The marks I wanted to use didn't work so the judges Luc and Bill fixed some small lights with tape in the last minute. Due to the fact that I was afraid that I might get stuck with my lanyard at those lights (no bottom diver), having 2 invalid attempts already, not having more than 1 or 2 attempts left, I decided to take the first mark. This was my 1st valid WR - CW 95m. We used the counter weight system which allows to pull the rope at more then 2m per second, instead of a bottom diver.
3. Day was actually the first day of the competition and not planned for my records, so we started earlier (not early enough). The first attempt was FI 100m with one additional mark at 99m so I couldn’t miss it again. Since we only had one fixed camera I had to make sure
that one can see my hand on the rope going below the mark even when I happen to face my back to the camera, so I spread my legs and went way down with my hand this time. The surfacing and the video was good this time – 100m FI.
For the afternoon we planned 100m CW with only a 100m tag (light), because I already had the 95m WR and anything in-between was not a desirable goal. All the divers and apneists were already at the pool, while we didn't have safety divers and scuba tanks. We were about to cancel the attempt, but in the very last minute after many phone calls, we could fulfill the requirements for the attempts. I was very stressed but still decided to give it a shot. I got the 100m tag (light) but had a short LMC.
The doctors took the speedboat to the static competition right after. Due to the number of athletes, I had enough time to join the static competition later.
4. CW competition: My top time was 13:00h, to 94m. I had not done one dive with a regular mask since Cyprus, so it was interesting to see how this would work out. For some reason I felt even better than on my 95m dive with my special mask.?!
At ~ 15:00 (including 30 min delay) I did 50m CW without fins - no time for a second dive to 60m+.
Some numbers – dive times:
For constant weight, it takes me between 2’10” and 2’25” for the descent and a total of 3’20” – 3’40” on a 95 – 100m dive.
For free immersion. I am a little faster on the descent, because of 1 kilo of weigh (and none for CW). 2’05” - 2’17” for the descent, but have a total dive time of 4’06” to 4’20” for a 100m dive.
I don’t have any exact numbers, because I had to borrow depth gauges for my dives from other freedivers, since my Stinger got “lost” in Hawaii and my other depth gauge first didn’t show more than 97m and then it died totally.
Many thanks to: Johannes our constructer, Swobsi the safety and cameramen, Martin the 100m man, the juges Luc and Bill, all the
safety divers, Mares, Immobilien Ertl, Marktgemeinde Millstatt, Region Millstätter See, Raiffeisenbank Millstättersee, Gasthof Brugger, Malerei Schneeweiss, Stefan Wiessmeyer, Harald, my father, Thomas the speedboat driver and all the helping hands. As I had to focus so hard on my attempts, I do not have all the names by hand and will ask Harald to complete the list. (http://www.freediving.at)