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Swedish Dahab event - Update

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Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
A daily update from the Swedish record attempts taking place these days in Dahab, Egypt:

Today Lotta and the lot goes to Sharm El Sheikh in a publicity event on the behalf of the Governor of South Sinai, H. E. Mustafa Afifi. There's a big golf turnament taking place in Sharm, and for some reason this has been deemed a good occasion to promote freediving at the same time. Therefore Lotta Ericson and Sebastian Näslund are going to check in briefly at Hotal Mövenpick in Sharm and hold a dubble static attempt while the press is watching, all while being timed by the judges (myself and Mikael Hurtig). Why not, it promotes freediving.
This means that today is a day without deep water training. The first day of official deep attempts is the 25th, with daily attempts untill the 28th.

As a side note, we have been given OK from Freediving South Africa to judge (by myself and Sebastian who are both international AIDA judges) an official attempt in constant weight by South African Bevan Dewar who lives and work here in Dahab. Bevan has so far accomplished 79 meters in training in the Blue Hole and his attempt is set to the last day of attempts, the 28th.

We'll try to keep you daily updated in this thread.

Best regards,
Chris Engelbrecht,
Residing judge for AIDA Sweden
Dahab pics

I'll just post a couple of pics for yur convinience. The first one is stragith after Lotta's exit from her 6'11 record yesterday, a very clean dive.


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The second one is a very beautiful pic by Sebastian taken during the sled training.


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The third is the entire team from the succesful static attempt in La Reine Hotel in Dahab.


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Good luck to all of you down there. I'll be on my way to Dahab soon also, I don't know the date yet, but I hope I'll be able to catch some of the events.

Do any of you plan to stay there afterwards?

My good luck is to Bevan too, he is an amazing diver. And from what I understand, he's going deeper by the day... and the 79meter mark is behind him already. :)
Most of us will be leaving on the 28th, except Lotta and her husband Peter who works at the Diver Down Under dive center (at the Seven Heaven Hotel in the middle of town), Lotta has her own 'Freedive Dahab' corner there. Do stop by and say hi.

Chris E.
Update - Egyptian politics

Gripes, where to start...

Yesterday was somewhat a weird day for, well everybody in the Swedish Dahab group. We all went to Sharm as planned and first Lotta and Sebastian performed static in the pool of the beautiful Sharm Mövenpick Hotel before the Governor of South Sinai (very important guy) and several TV cameras. Lotta and Sebastian dived simultaneously for the show of the cameras. Lotta cleared the water after 5:58 in perfect style, whereas Sebastian was already being revived by the safety diver due to a very aesthetic blackout after some 5:50. No dark minds from that one, however, the governor shook hands with everybody afterwards and all were smiles and what ever.
Then all went down to the beach in front of Mövenpick, where Lotta, Sebastian and Mikael went into the water to perform some deep water skills...at some 25 meters. The thing is that we were to pretend it was a competition and not some national record attempts, just for the sake of the TV cameras. The cameras were all taping the plunges and exits of all three athletes, me timing the whole thing like in a proper competition ("1 minute 30 seconds to top"). Allah knows what ever the Egyptian Channel 2 broadcasted about this 'big international freediving competition'. What ever, you don't say no to the Goernor down here.
I'll never forget the words of the Egyptian 'journalist' asking Lotta questions afterwards to find out what depths to make up in the broadcast. "What depths should we say, what have you done, 40? 50?" "Well, I did 60 in training once." "Ok, we'll make it 60, then." Serious journalism right there.
I'm much impressed by the organisation's technical diver, Tarek Omar (oh yeah, THAT Tarek Omar!), who wore his entire outfit of 180kg of technical gear, 7 big tanks, only to go to 25 meters depth and play patty-cake with Lotta for 2 minutes to make it look like something. All for the Governor's 'moderated' TV broadcast.

Just to point out, neither of us didn't really feel too proud about the whole thing, but at least now we have one hell of a story to tell people back home. What ever, insha'allah. As they say "When in Rome, do the Bart thing".

Anyway, will try to keep you updated. Today is last day of training in the Blue Hole before everything takes off tomorrow. Cheerio.

Chris Engelbrecht,
Residing judge in Dahab for AIDA Sweden

Thats sound more like circus!!!
But if this help to promote Freediving thats O.K.

I my country (Greece) they say:

"The aim sanctify the means"
Day of silly mishaps

Saturday was last day of training before the first day of official attempts. Lotta took the day off, while Sebastian, Mikael and Bevan trained on the pyramid in Blue Hole.

First mishap: Sebastian asked for 65 meters for a free immersion attempt, but two markers on the rope were confused (by yours truly) so that Sebastian only got 60 meters on the rope. He did the depth with no problems, but surprise surprise, the depth was too small. It's ok as for his announcement tomorrow, but still a silly mistake.

Mikael's training went much better; he was going deeper than he had ever been before, which made him a bit nervous and he took a lot of time on land to focus. He came out on the platform, did a couple of free immersion warmups, and then plunged clear down to 84 meters. Not a single twitch, he's definently ready for the next coming days.
Bevan did a constant dive on the rope as well, aiming for the same depth as Mikael, 84m, a depth he managed a few days ago. He turned at 80m and exited with no problems.

Second mishap: Today we were going to fit the buttom plate, so we had to pull up the rope after the training. This went ok, the disc is in place and is bright and white. Also a good time to test the counter ballast system for emergency (which worked a bit more slowly than anticipated, and two people had to pull quite much to get the rope up or down, which was rather tiring). However, this caused a small situation. The setup is so that the sled is running loose on the rope when the rope is taken up or down, while the sled is tied to a second line. The break on the sled works so that it only breaks the sled going down, but you can push the heavy thing upwards, if you want. Now, the break was off for a second, while the rope was being pulled up and now was being taken down again. Now we had to adjust the position of the sled to monitor the line at the surface...aaaand we forget to turn the break on. Which means that when a guy (read: me) goes under to push up the sled a bit, the second cord holding the sled loose on the main rope accidently jumps loose, I let go of the sled for a second...and the sled plunges to the buttom. No other way to get it back up than to pull all of the rope up again. And we're already tired from doing it the first time, and then it took a long time and the day is already over.

I don't know if you guys can picture the situation, but two of us (me and Ben, the event's all hand man) are really smashed now. Sebastian isn't, who we didn't allow to use his arms before any Free Immersion attempt tomorrow. And Mikael isn't, cause he had left the water before then.

Remember, there's a heck of a lot of details to have in order when you're working with sled diving.

Anyway, a little cock and bull story from the Red Sea. I tell it more or less to get the irritation out of my body.

Chris Engelbrecht, residing in Dahab
Chris !

I have read that you are littesick this days. Take it easy and take care
We are waiting for news.
Good luck to all of you, and may you all go much deeper the next two days : ).

Lotta, now is the time to really show what you are capable of : ). Both in free immersion and no limits. Good luck and safe diving without any mishaps to all the athletes.

Off to Rome doing the Bart thing ; )
Few more pics

Might as well post some fresh pics for your guys' pleasure. First one is from the 'competition' yesterday where H.E. Govenor Afifi is handing the trophee to the 'winner' Lota Ericson (Tarek Omar is on the far right).


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And the third is of the judge taking a break. (Thanks for the pic, Seb, but it won't influence my verdict...)


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And lastly one of Sebastian training free immersion


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