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Pelizzari's record attempt

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
Umberto did it:


This was the 19th record in 11 years, the best way to retire from competition.

I was watching it on a television but due to a techical problem or something there was a delay so the TV show didn't have time to wait for it. So I missed it. Are they going to show a footage of the dive later, maybe next saturday, on the same TV show?
The attempt was delayed by the conditions of the sea, but it was on TV anyway.

I was spearfishing and didn't watch it...

But you can donload the video from


Last Record?

I've been reading some posts about Umberto's record attempt and there seems to be some issues arising out of it.

Here is what Umberto sent to Freediver UK's Howard Jones:
Dear Howard,
Thanks for your e-mail, and thanks for your kindness.
I know that there is a lot of noise about my last world record: some friends of mine told me.
I had no time to read these messages. On Tuesday the 6th I saw very very quickly the page of Guest Book on Freediver web-site.I red only eight or ten messages because i'm really very busy and I've no time.

Anyway, you invite me to tell my opinion and here it is.
I'm really sorry that on Saturday the 3th I've not been able to come out from 131mt. as I did in the days before, during the training. That was surely the worst coming out of my career.
When somebody says that I was very close to samba I could agree. But when I read that somebody write that it's a black-out, inventing inexisting motivations, I think that there is the real goal of trying to hide the reality (somebody writes that I had my eyes behind, somebody else that I looked at my assistants but I didn't recognize them, somebody else that I had my eyes closed and this is the reason why it's a black-out) But did you see the movie? And it's very sad that many of these people have not the courage to put their name at the end of the message. If I came out in a good way, I'm sure that these people could have written :"...was not 131 because the descent time was too short, ...is not omologued...who made the measurement of the cable...".
A black-out is a black-out. When you have a black-out you cannot hide nothing, you cannot pretend anything, when you have a black-out you loose your senses.
When you have a black-out there is no discussion, but in this forum there are also people that asserts that they don't see neither the samba!
I don't think that my opinion is important. Anyway I can tell that I've never been so tired after one dive, but I've been perfectly conscious in any moment.
This is my opinion, but I also respect the opinion of divers saying that it was a samba. I absolutely don't respect the opinion of ones who say that it's a black-out.
Anyway I would like to remember that I DIDN'T ASK FOR ANY OMOLGATION. Aida was not there so, for Aida the record is still 117mt.
Five years ago, 131 was world record in No Limits, and last saturday I came out of the same depth in the way you have seen in the movie.
To finish, just a message for Guillaume from Nice and Eric Fatah, authors of two of the ten messages I read (at least they had the courage to sign their message!!)
Guillaume, member of the French team in Ibiza, wrote that "I had to close my career before, this way was a real shame". I think it's absolutely not a shame to come out from 131 this way: try to do better! Then, dear Guillaume, if I had to close my career before, I couldn't participate to Ibiza 2001: don't forget that also thanks to my participation, the Italian team won for the third time the World Championship, and for the third time France was after us! Don't worry, next time we don't participate and you with your team probably will win! And besides, when you will have done only 5% of what I did in freediving (record, competition...) and for freediving (films, documentaries..) let me know that I'll start listening to you.
Dear Eric, I don't understand how you can consider my coming out a black-out (...with all your strange explanations) and you consider "CLEAN" Ravelo's coming out from 76 constant weight. You wrote this in your e-mail, sent to all the community of freedivers, two weeks ago.I'll answer to you in a few days with Alejandro Ravelo's film. Ah, I was forgetting: why don't you take a sledge and you show me how You are able to come out from 131 variable!

It seems Umberto says he didn't black out, and several witnesses there say he didn't, however others say he did have a Samba...anybody here no any more detail?

Also, I've also seen that Umberto has said this will be his last World Record attempt...can anyone verify that?
1) This was Umberto's last record, that's what he said right after he came out .

2) Davide Carrera DID reach -91 meters the day after Umberto's "record".

3) Umberto was really tired when he came out, but surely he didn't back-out . IMHO he hadn't a samba, too.
I was really surprised to read Eric Fattah' message: "From Umberto's video, it surely looks like he blacks out".
Eric, are you blind or what ? :rcard

4) The day Umberto attempted the record the sea was pretty rough. It was windy, there were waves and current. Umberto had to wait 5 minutes, then other five, then again......
As you can easily imagine this is not the best situation before a deep dive and I'm not surprised Umberto lost his concentration.
But he did it. :t

11 years - 19 Records: does he still have to show something to anyone or it's enough ? :head

Congratulations Umberto

My opinion is that FREE has the right idea: read their position on judging: on this website if you haven't already. If the diver makes it to the surface and makes it to the judge then it is a record....remove the "judgement" aspect, and there is no question. Of course Umberto was tired after that, so at what point does "tired" translate into "samba" for a judge? It's too close to judging figure skating etc, as Eric Fattah has pointed out in the past.
FREE's analogy to a marathon winner collapsing after the race is perfect....of course the guy's tired! The fact that he finished the race is what is important, not how many laps he can run after the race is over. Elite athletes are expected to push the limits, and are usually admired if they push them to the point that they use 100% of their capacity (how could it be any other way?).
I think the samba issue should be thrown out.
Congratulations Umberto.
Erik Y.
Umberto Again

I said that from Umberto's video, it looks like he blacks out. There is a reason why I think that.

The first time I went to -75m, I got to the surface, took 3 breaths, then 'layed on back and closed my eyes' as if exhausted. Three or four seconds later I got up and everything seemed fine. Of the people watching, most people thought I was just 'tired' and layed back for a few seconds after catching my breath. However, given that I can't remember doing that, I must have blacked out. Kirk Krack who was spotting me knows I blacked out, and so did a few other people close by, but my black out looked almost exactly like Umberto looked when he surfaced from his -131m. And in my case it was not obvious that I blacked out.

I still say that we can never be sure about Umberto's recovery from such a low-quality video anyway. That's why I said 'from the video' it looks like a black out.

Eric Fattah

with respect:
have you asked Umberto what was the story before writing on the walls that he had blacked out ?

If he really had, would he get so mad at you ?

I guess the point is: if you aren't sure of what happened to yourself ( you say "I must have blacked out"), how can you judge what happened to Umberto and tell the world your opinion without getting as much info as possible ?

-------- Everyone:

Do you have an idea why Umberto wanted to end his carrier
with -131 in variable weight ?

A bit of history:

1959 => the first man reaches -131 scuba-diving

16/09/1996 => Pelizzari's record No Limits -131 mt

Today => Umberto goes back to -131 in variable weight.

That's incredible, isn't it ?

One last thing: Umberto said that he might attemp to break another record only if it's set by Pipin.

To have idols is good, but to be uncritical is not good

Hi everybody,
at first I want to say that Umberto and Erik are great freedivers.
Pelizzari do 80m, Erik do 82m in constant weight. And now Nitsch do 86m ( with a mask ). All this record´s are AIDA records, with the same rules, and with the same judgeing. AIDA is the bigerst freediving organisation, help our sport grow up.
In the AIDA rules the record is just recognized when the diver need no help on the surface. When the diver have no samba and
blackout, and when he dont take drugs, ( so he have to do a drugtest ). If you do freediving without friends ( alone ) and you have a samba or a blackout maybe you will die. I lost one friend on this way. This is the reason AIDA decided a samba is not ok.
Umberto know this situation and dont want AIDA to judge his record.
Now on his video you can see his friends help him, I do just -117m, but
nobody touch me, I dont need help on the surface, I dont have a samba, I make the drugtest after the record, and I get the AIDA record. Some people say the problem is nobody knows how is the real campion. But please tell me how make this problem. If Umberto do his record on the same AIDA way ( without samba )
I will be proud and can say a big freediving idol get my record.
And now? I get a e-mail from Umberto he say dont worry you are the campion. But this is not the spirit of competition. We dont have to love our rivals, but we have to respect them.

Every time a big name like Umberto do a record without AIDA,
but with a big media show, ( do you think medias know anything about freediving ) we go a step back. I saw the record of Mayol in
the oceanmen, he is blacked out and his friends pull him out of the water. But the medias say this is a succsessful record.

Do You want see pictures like this in the future of our sport?

Benjamin Franz
Re: To have idols is good, but to be uncritical is not good

Benjamin, first of all I'd like to express my admiration for a great champion like you. I'd really like to publish an interview on my web-zine, if it's ok for you - in italian, Stephan :)

I think that the credibility of freedivings depends on the rules, that must be clear and valid all over the world and agree with you when you say that every time a big name of this sport sets a record out of worldwide rules we take a step back.

But I don't think that this situation means that we have to dogmatially accept AIDA "as it is" and I'm sure Umberto didn't mean to show you a lack of respect.
Italian freedivers have their good reasons if they don't want to deal with AIDA FRANCE anymore. You can agree or not with these reasons, but I guess you should at least try to understand them, also because Italy has won all of the 3 editions of AIDA world cup with AIDA rules and AIDA judges ( even "in learning" ) - so they don't refuse AIDA "just" because they aren't able to compete and win with their rules.

I guess the problem is that AIDA has to improve its ability to handle top events of this sport , otherwise I'm afraid we will face many steps back !
When a freediver prepare a competition or a record, he does it professionally. It's inconceivable that all his efforts can be spoiled by a lack of professionality.
I don't want to bore you, but if you want I can quote more than one episode that has clearly demonstrated that AIDA is not reliable 100%.
I want to make clear that I appreciate what AIDA is doing for this sport, but I'd like them to do better.

We should work in order to solve this situation and give our sport the credibility it deserves.

Go for it


I don't mind...you feel free to interview.

However, we also run a profile section and would like to profile you Benjamin.

These are painful times for the sport of "competitive freediving" - there is a shake up going on. However, remember that Freediving is more than just "competitive", most freedivers do it because they want to - not just to set new world records.
Re: Umberto Again

Originally posted by efattah

Of the people watching, most people thought I was just 'tired' and layed back for a few seconds after catching my breath. However, given that I can't remember doing that, I must have blacked out.

Apart from needing to catch my breath, Eric F. accurately describes what happens to me most evenings: I feel exhausted, lay my head back for a few seconds . . . hours later I can't recall what happened.

Medically, there is a difference between losing consciousness, being asleep (even for a few seconds), being anesthetized, etc., but it can be difficult for an observer to distinguish these states in just a few seconds without the ability to conduct some sort of physical examination of the person.

If the rules as written call for a subjective determination between very similar states, then perhaps the rules need to be amended to state that a person may not lose consciousness AND may not fall asleep for some specified period of time after a dive. Alternatively, the rules could institute some objective measure of determining consciousness.

Of course, an examination would take time and could physically arouse a competitor, thus allowing a competitor to lose consciousness for a split second and regain it on examination without being detected.

It seems to me that Eric Y.'s analogy to finishing a marathon is a good one. The question is what to define as the 'finish line', but the more objective that line and the less subjective the measure of whether it has been crossed, the less likely the controversies.
Piccies 1

Hi everyone,

We've been given the following photo's from Umberto's dive...

Piccie 1 :D


  • con cartellino-1.jpg
    con cartellino-1.jpg
    43.7 KB · Views: 594
Whoooohaaaaaaa! :D

Umberto is da man! :cool:

I thought he was out of competition (except the world championship), was upset about that... good to have him setting up world records again.
Wonder if he`s going to break the constant weight again.
And as a biologue I can`t wait to see the first 100m constant... someone is going to make it some day.
100m constant

I would put my money on either Herbert or Stepanek! The first one already did -92m on the training and the second one is what I believe the greatest freediving potential on the planet. He just needs a little more time. But, my guess is that year 2002. will be the year of breaking the -100m barrier.
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