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Should we still have organised record attempts ?

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.

Should we still have organised record attempts ?

  • Yes, this is the best way to promote the sport

    Votes: 7 29.2%
  • No, sponsor money should go into organising competitions, with record attempt posibilities.

    Votes: 14 58.3%
  • Other, please specify

    Votes: 3 12.5%

  • Total voters


hybrid lifeform
Nov 28, 2002
Because of the latest trend of having very few competitions and lots of organised individual world record attempts, i have been wondering lately. Would it not be better for the developement of the sport in general if the sponsor money invested in all those world record attempts would go into organised competitions instead, at which record attempts would be still possible (e.g. Cyprus but can even be on a smaller scale) ? This would give more people the chance to go for world records and at the same time some of the money would then be invested in all the lesser soles that attend these competition. Result would be more competitions (and people doing record attempts in similar circumstances).
For the sponsors involved it would not change much.

I was trying to come up with an other sport that has organised record attempts outside of the competition environment , but could not come up with any. Would be strange to see a 100 meter sprinter organise a record attempt , where he would be pampered , has the best conditions , no distractions , no stress and sets a new world record.
How did this come to be normal in our sport ??? I think it has something to do with the way freediving was practised before it was a sport (Mayol , Umberto , Pipin and the likes just having single man competitions). Now our sport has grown above this , maybe it is time to reconsider. Or not?
If organized records are eliminated, then the rules for competitions would have to be more similar to the FREE rules, in other words, 7 minute countdown, freedom of equipment (neck weights, wrist weights, pipe mask, nose clip, goggles, lenses) etc...

AIDA discourages records in competitions by the short countdowns and equipment restrictions. This encourages people to organize individual record attempts.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I foresee a decline in the number of world-record attemps as they reach a certain plateau in a few years. Only acchiveble by a very limited number of divers. Only a few will be able to train for it, have the safety in place and have the body for it.

For instance real depth is very hard to train in the Netherlands, our deepest sweetwater spot is only 48m. Our deepest saltwater spot is about the same, but the current and the traffic makes it pretty impossible.

We have to resolve to exhale dives, and other tricks. But for instance a long glide is hard to practice. Nothing is really equal to doing the real depths. So I quess I've to move to abbrought.

For National records it's the same, but the Plateau will be hit much later, due to the smaller number of athletes.

Coming back to the competitions,
I would like to see a bit more of them, (about one a month) but formost I like to see more fellow freedivers.

Carlos, aka Kars.
Seeing as I have first hand knowledge of this topic I will give my opinion. We have carried out many successful world record attempts, and I say successful in as much as we have managed to find good sponsors who got a return for there investment via the media. I for one have not seen a fraction of the international media interest generated from a competition that compares with one of our world records attempts. While we are luckier than some others in the media attention Tanya gets, that is the only thing that any sponsor is interested in. Bang for there buck!At the moment I do not beleive that major international sponsors and brand names are interested in the sport until we (and I say we as the sport ) learn to embrace the media and feed them information they need. The sport needs angles, drama, good competition and heroes. If we have those and feed the media the information with images and video then sponsors will take a bigger interest. More media, more sponsors!Its a s simple as that. At this moment it is the individual record attempts that brings in the interest from the media and therefore the competition has a long way to go.

As for the last comment I think its time you got involved with a record attempt as Tanya is never pampered, conditions vary from day to day more bad than good, there are many distractions (much more than in a competition ) and trust me, there is a lot of stress................and with all that a new world record.

Some comments:

- Personally I found it much easier to set a record in 'record conditions' rather than in competitions; however, I refuse to set up a 'high-stress' record with lots of sponsors etc., because I like to 'dive for me', rather than dive for the sponsors. So, when setting up a low stress record attempt, it is definitely the easiest way to set a record in my opinion. Most of Tanya's record events strike me as high stress due to the big scale of everything

- However, let's keep in mind that although Tanya has set many records, she has never managed to set a record in a competition

- Although media attention on record attempts is big, if record attempts didn't happen, then people like Tanya would attend many more competitions and get their sponsors to hype up the event; this, in the end, could create just as much publicity and would probably be better in the long run (in my opinion)

Let's look at a list of records in competition:

Women Static:
Karoline Dal Toe 6'02"
Lotta Ericson 6'31"

Women CW:
None (deepest is Mandy-Rae at 68m)

Men's Static:
None (longest is 7'48" by Sietas and Mifsud; Mifsud's famed 8'02" was actually after the French nationals; Kinnunen did 7'55" at a non-ranked Finnish competition)

Men's CW:
Herbert 86m
Martin 93m
Carlos 102m

So, interestingly, we see a reverse trend, where no man has ever set the static record in competition, and no woman has set a constant weight record in competition.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I do understand the stress of a record attemp as i have witnessed several and even organised one National record attempt (although not comparable in scale to th WR events). With pampering i ment that everything and everybody is there to facilitate the record of this one athlete instead of beeing equaly spread over all competitor in an event , which DOES make a difference.
Also you can not deny the fact that having ONE attempt at a predefined time in a competition environment compared to having multiple attempts at a location you can choose yourself is a BIG difference especialy in stress level .

I have to agree with Erik.
One of the main reasons i started this poll is that the trend is that more and more of the top athletes choose for an organised attempt instead of doing the trick at a competition (sometimes even in the same month). So the competitions lose the opportunity of attracting big sponsors since the big names are having there own event. Even in Cyprus which i attended and featured some of the big shots, some top divers choose not to compete (while on the start list) and do a world record attempt elsewhere almost at the same time. Tanya was also there but to most peoples disappointment she did not dive... Would have been a big sponsor magnet for sure.

If AIDA would for example stop allowing record attempt outside competition (as in all other sports i know of), people like Tanya can still do there dives and still attract sponsors but now the sponsor money will flow into the competition as a whole therefore be better for the sport as a whole instead of for the single athlete.

It does have a drawback for the athletes who try to make money from the sport though.
The exception is of course for the more demonstration type of events like no limits (which to me has nothing to do with freeDiving, but that is a whole different discussion )
Actually I think its the categories such as No Limits and Variable that draw in the media and as such sponsors. The categories we have are likely to stay and record attempts outside of competition are here to stay. So we have what we have, so the question is how to get a larger amount of media and thereby sponsors into the sport and competitions. I have attended a number of competitions (although never competed ) but had the luxury of being allowed probably where I should not have been, and privy to information I should not have known about. The point is that we need to make the comps more media attractive, and accessible. I have seen first hand how organsers make the medias life a nightmare, which is not the way they need to be treated. THEY need to be pampered, provide them with images, information, easy access and then stories will be run around the globe. The second thing, and remember these are just my opinions! Appoint a person, who has some media experience to invite media to the competitions. For me getting media to cover or attend an event is probably the hardest part. Its something that starts 6 months prior, takes months of work but pays off in the end. It also continues for many weeks after an event as if you feed the media, they will eat.

As for the comment about stress, imagine being on the back of a boat ready to go to 160m, having a BETA video camera in front of you, to the side of you and behind you all within 4 feet of your face. A sound boom is just over your head, Director, producer etc just feet away, plus members of the press watching, which have flown in specifically for the event. Your sponsors are 20 feet away in another boat along with hundreds of spectators, all clicking there cameras to get a good shot. 6 months work all for one dive and tell me thats not a lot of stress! Tanya has dived in comps before, but they are team events and as such she has not needed to attain record depths. The events are about good solid performances and what it takes to win, for the team. Could she do a record depth, probably, and the future will tell. As for Cyprus, Tanya was committed to making a documentary for the Discovery Channel which did not allow her to compete. The doco will be shown in 130 countries to 750 million viewers. Its a doco about a relationship and what it takes an ordinary guy to go through a comp. It is not death defying, but will show the sport in a different light and will do more for the sport than any other media.
Sounds like a good documentary to me . FINALLY a freediving documentary not one about no limit dives to extreme depths , which 0.000000001% of the freediving community is doing. Exellent (only 750 million viewers sounds a tad bit optimistic to me for a discovery channel doc, almost more then viewers of the olympic games, but hey you never know).

To me Freediving as a sport has nothing to gain from promoting no limit depths other then beeing a promo for no limit depts. Sure it draws media attention. We all know why unfortunately :-( Same easons they attend formula one races
Not a lot of sponsors will be eager to join a freedive event where mere mortals dive to only 70 meters , where on the other side of the globe someone is risking there life to go to 170 meters.

But like you said , these are here to stay , so you are very right . Media needs to be pampered and pampered and pampered. But i am convinced that if big shots are attending these events and bring with them there sponsors (which is sure a heck of a lot easier then to get sponsors for John Doe 35 meters) announcing they will try and break world records there, it will be several factors easier.
Just compare it with the party scene (something completely different of course). How do you get lots of people in your club where you have some local non famous DJ's playing. : Invite a big famous DJ . He will bring with him the media attention and the c rowds, which means more money for the organisation allowing them to organise more events etc etc etc.....
The figures were given to me by Discovery so who am I to argue, and when ithey actually explained it makes sense. Anyway its still going to be plenty of viewers. As for No Limits, I think that this discipline can be done as safely as any other. Sure there are some logistical issues but that can be overcome and maybe that should be a topic of another conversation. If NL is carried out correctly its as safe as any other. No not many people do NL but I bet they would love to try given an opportunity. AS for sponsors I would have to say that if there was no NL or Variable I beleive that the sport would have a small fraction of the interest that it now gets. Without NL the media are not interested and there is a place where an athlete pushes the limits of human endeavour. Without media sponsors are not interested so we need NL & Var to get sponsors to get media to get sponsors etc etc.
Poor Glennv! It continues to speak about sport while the others speak about the circus. Hello Glennv you have all my understanding.

Hmm, so to get the media more interested into your sport (lets say just to pick one randomly for the sake of it) running the 400 meters, you have to promote something very media ready like running as far as possible over burning gasoline. This in the hope that it will draw more media to our 400 meter running events.

I believe more in promoting the sport for what it is. If nobody is interested that is a pitty. So my statements stays unchanged. Sponsor money should go directly into organising interesting competitions which ,with the help of top athletes attending and doing there best there and there only , will get more sponsors interested ,leading to more competitions etc etc.
I'm with Glen,
No-limits footage is about as exciting to watch as static or watching paint dry, give me constant or no-fins any day. I don't understand how no-limits would have more apeal in the media then constant apart from the fact that it sounds deep. To most comp freedivers constant is it, and no-limits divers aren't really anybody to be aspired to. I have noticed though that to someone that knows nothing about diving a 7,8 or whatever static sounds impressive. So I guess they can't really understand the difference between constant and no-limits. In that case 160m sounds really deep, although to us freedivers 3-4 minutes without excerting energy isn't nearly as impressive as a 100m+ constant dive taking the same time but where you are actually swimming for more then half of it.

I agree with almost every poster’s comments. Since there are no competitions in no-limits and variable it would not be reasonable to not allow organized record attempts. For the three standard disciplines (constant, static, & dynamic) I see a lot of benefit to making them meet only records. Since these disciplines don’t have the built in media attention No Limits does, I think Mr. Streeter is right on with what we need to feed the media (angles, drama, good competition and heroes). These are things that get us excited about freediving competition and even if it never becomes a sport for the masses, as long as fellow freedivers are interested, the sport will prosper. No one should ever forget that we (freedivers) are the most important fans. We are the ones who spend our money on freediving equipment, etc.

I am also for freedom of equipment. I understand AIDA current position of having the equipment familiar to the average snorkeler, but I believe that some advances in the equipment would eventfully filter down to the recreational market, which would help make the average snorkeling experience more enjoyable. This could only help to increase interest in freediving.

A good analogy is the auto industry and auto racing. Most of the advances in ease of driving and safety, such as automatic transmissions, power steering, power brakes, ABS brakes, etc., have all come as by-products of auto racing. Equalization is probably the most difficult thing about freediving and undoubtedly stops more people from enjoying the sport than any other difficulty. Fluid goggles and pipe masks may be rough and not suitable for the masses now, but given time these and other products may evolve to benefit the average snorkeler. There is no telling what kind of equipment advances can happen if it’s not restricted. Advances in equipment also means more things for manufactures to sell which means more advertisement and promotion.
Some of, well actually most of the problem is that the media do not understand the difference between the disciplines. THey hear that someone is freediving to 100+m and then wonder why thats such a big deal when Tanya Streeter has done 160m. The fact that its 2 completely different parts of the sport does not occur to them. Even when it is explained the majority of the time all they are concerned about is the depth so its a never ending battle. There has also been some comment about sponsors in competitions. At this point we have minimal sponsors for competitions and it has been said that if we did not have record attempts then the "big names" would bring there sponsors to competitions. I do not beleive this to be the case! Ask yourself why the big names have sponsors and there are not many that have cash sponsors. Most of the names you see freedivers advertising on there suits are "product only" deals. Anyway, the reason they have cash sponsors it they have drawn a great deal of media ( international media ) attention to there endeavours and the reason for that is generally they have broken records in either NL or Variable. I do not take away the huge accomplishments of freedivers breaking records in Constant with or without fins, I think it is incredible what the currewnt divers are doing. And I say again the reason most of the sponsors andthereby media have an interest in freediving is because of NL or Variable.

My next point is from my perspective only and no one elses opinion. But, I gave up my career ( good salary and benefits )for 3 years to concentrate on Tanya's freediving. I bust my ass getting TV, magazine, news coverage along with TV jobs which all leads to having good sponsors and allows us to survive whilst doing what we want to do. ITs not great money, its survival! So why would I want to bring my hard earnt sponsors, to put there money into a competition where most of the competitors have brought nothing to the table. A somewhat selfish view I know but thats the way it is.
Mr Streeter, I respect your job and Tanya, but let me tell you that this last post leaves me speechless.

What you say sounds really really bad to me, I hope this is the consequence of my poor understanding of your language.

Giorgio Volpe
Mr Streeter,

Thanks for proving "MY" point with your last statements. I couldn't have done it better.
This is the natural developement if people are given the choise to invest in making money outside the normal realm of the sport, or to join the options all other non fortunate athletes have and therefore sharing your success/benefits with the sport as a whole. Sure is goes slower and you probably wont get rich. But i though freediving was about something else......
What you do (with good right and success) is designed to benefit you and does very little to help the sport as a whole other then enforcing the misconceptions that it is all about no limits and variable weight.

(hopefully your initiative to make this documentary proves me wrong on at least some points of this discussion. We will have to see.....)

We clearly see things in a different light, which is not likely to change. No problem. Thats is why i set up this poll to discuss these issues and see how others think about this.
If AIDA stopped recognizing no limits and variable, then eventually (many years), the media would forget that someone had ever dove 160m.

Besides, it is conceivable that in perhaps 15 years someone might do a 165m dive in constant weight (special high tech monofin etc..)

But, if we continue with no limits and variable, then those records will be 200m+, always ahead of constant.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I don't agree with you, Eric.

The deepest dive will always attract media, it doesn't matter if an organization ratifies it. Common people will never get the difference between NL and CB, and will never get the difference between a recognized dive and a not recognized one, so what's important is to be the deepest freediver, the record holder. The interest towards recormen is the same as the one for World Guinness.

Think about some Italians like Genoni, Alessandro Rignani Lolli or Davide Carrera: they know that media can ratify records better than any organization :)

Feeding media with what they need (as Mr Streeter says) means to set up a weird show which produces "world champions" who never attended a competition....

Let's face it: freediving records outside comps (particularly VB and NL ) have nothing to deal with sport, and promote only those who set the record. I have no problem with that, but I hate who wants to tell me that records promote frediving: they don't.
Would you sent your son to a course so he can learn how to dive deep and do the things that Tanya, Umberto, Pipin etc... do?????
I would not!

Anyway, IMHO AIDA has no way to change things.

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