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Western Canada Regionals

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Hi people, I'm training for the above competition, which is Sept 8-9. I've never competed before, and I have a hard time getting anyone to train with me in the pool and lake, but I'm going to do what I can. I thought maybe I would keep updating anything important over the next few weeks. This will give me more incentive and a competitive feel to my training, ok?
In constant ballast, my PB is -42 metres, and that was last month in the ocean, 1200 kms away. Up here, the deepest I can train is a lake that hits 30 metres, so I'll go there a couple of times before the competition and let you know how that goes.
In dynamic, I pretty much stink the place out at a PB of 75 metres in a 25 metre pool. I'm working on a flip-turn to help get the number up.
In static, my PB (dry) was 6:03 up till yesterday, when I hit 6:10, with 40 contractions (1st contraction at 4:10). This was on my 4th hold.

In competition, I'm going to try for -50 metres constant ballast. -42 metres was not that difficult, and I know I will be surrounded by safety divers. I'd like to go for -55 metres, but one step at a time. Today I trained in the local -5 metre dive tank, working on my cruddy entry and doing negative reverse-pack dives to simulate extreme depth to train my lungs, heart, and diaphragm.
Every day I will do yoga, pack-stretches, full packs (I'm at 50), and at least 2 breath holds. I will run 5 km 3 times a week, plus lift heavy weights 3 times a week (this is my normal regimen).
Ok, I'm getting tired just writing this, so wish me luck!
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
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Duuuude!!!!

umm can I say - you are gonna kick A$$!

I and the rest of the Deeperblue staff wish you the best of luck in your attempts and please keep us updated on your progress and final results...
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Up late Cliff?

Muchas Gracias, I will do my best. Now I'm off to watch "Gladiator" for the 10th time!
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
549
34
118
58
hehe - yeah - up late tonight... oh well - someone has to do it...

:D
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,803
667
268
42
Good luck

Eric,

Good Luck and....


"At my command, unleash hell!"

Great line, we go around saying it at my office all the time (admittedly it's a bit juvenile but a hell of a great line).

Hehehehehe

:D :mute
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Hell yeah!

OK, now you guys are making me laugh. Ah, but for a simpler life; fighting, eating, farming, and slaying Emperors......MAXIMUS!!
;)
Erik Y.
 

Thom

New Member
Jul 8, 2001
12
1
0
38
Good luck with your training Erik... and good luck with the competition. I look forward to reading about your progress ;)
 

aqua"NOT"

New Member
Aug 27, 2001
1
0
0
training

Be careful there buddy, we dont want to lose any more divers. Find someone to dive with you no matter what. I know that you can do what you set out to do! Good luck. Siempre!
 

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
206
168
Erik,

Good luck at Regionals. Also, a buddy for deep pool negatives is an absolute must.

See you soon!

Pete
Vancouver, BC
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Aug 27

Saturday I hit the 5 metre deep tank to practice my entry and do some simulated depth training, since I don't have access to depth.
I started by breathing up a little bit at the edge, then exhaling completely, then descending feet first. I stayed at the bottom only for about 15 seconds, this is not a time exercise, it's for stretching ny lungs and teaching me how to pull air out of my lungs at depth.
Then I did it with 5, 10, and 15 reverse-packs. No problems equalizing, but a substantial stretch on the last one, and heart rate drop to about 30 bpm.
Next I did 4 dives head first with 10 reverse packs. This is the real test, as you have to be able to pull the air out of your lungs to equalize, and quickly. Only on the last one did I get some sinus squeeze, but no ear squeeze.
I am also testing out a modification to my garb; I've got the Picasso 5mm top with a pair of biker shorts underneath, and I just bought a pair of 3mm neoprene shorts from the paddling section of Mountain Equipment Co-op (similar to REI in the States). I easily dove with 4lbs, so I think that's what I'll wear at the competition in the sea.
Off to my first day back at College for second year. Yippee. Really.
Cheers,
Erik Young
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
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More today

Today I did 1/2 hour yoga, pack stretches, negative pack stretches, and that ecercise where you exhale completely and suck your diaphragm up into your chest; I'm not sure what to call it, I don't know the yogic name. I did 4 breath-holds over a 30 minute period. I had eaten a light lunch, and didn't feel quite right; I usually try to have at least a 2 hour window, preferably 3 or 4 before an attempt. I reminded myself that I have to post these results; this gives me a bit of a competitive frame of mind. I put on a mixed tape of harder rock to help cause some distraction; I don't want to have to count on a quiet and serene pool with my favorite eastern music playing at the competition, so I have been trying to get used to noise and distractions. Today I experimented with a 4:4:12 breathing pattern.
1st breath hold to 10 contractions- 2:15, not good
2nd hold to 20 contractions after 2 minute breathup: 3:20, not good either
3rd hold to 25 contractions after 5 minute breathup: 4:20, yuck
4th hold to 45 contractions after 5 minute breathup: 5:25- first contraction at 3:15, not inline with what I have done in the past. Usually at this point, I don't get my first contraction until 4:00 or so.

Either the eating or the breathing pattern did not help. I know that eating too close affects my holds, so that might be it, but unfortunately I threw in the new breathing pattern, so there's a variable there that I'm not sure of. I'll know better for next time, in a couple of days.
By the way, now all these awesome west coast divers are reading this, and I'm going to have to able to "walk the walk" when I get to the competition...sheesh! Go easy on me people. ;)
Cheers,
Erik Y.

ps, I got my new buddy very interested in diving the other day, where he managed a 50 metre dynamic with Cressi's and a 3:25 static. Now he's pumped, so I can count on him to come out to train, including negative training.
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
August 30

I had to go 4 hours North on Tuesday night to do a dive job at a pulpmill on Wednesday, so that threw a wrench into my regimen. I got back at 8:00 pm and had time to hit the weights at the gym at 9:30. I had not run or lifted for a few days, and was feeling very strong.
This morning was school at 8:00 am, and I came home pretty tired; not enough energy to run, but a good reason to do some yoga. This helped energize me a bit, and I did some pack-stretches, but I feel like I need to rest until Friday. Every day I have done some meditation and visualisition of what I want to accomplish at the competition, and I believe that that is as important as actual physical training, but Friday I'll be running and static training as well.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Last day

Hi people, yesterday I did my final day of training before the competition. I've been in the pool, lifting, running, biking and breath-holding since the last post(not all at the same time of course). School is on, and i'm flooded with assignments and reading, which I've basically ignored. I told my profs what was going on, and they said no problem, good luck.
Yesterday I went out to a lake 1.5 hours from here to do some deep dives, and try out a new suit combo. The water was 15C at the surface, decent temp in a full 5mm Picasso, but I wanted to try wearing just the hooded top and a pair of 3mm shorts, so that I could take someweight off the belt. Within half an hour I was shivering and my dives went to hell. But the beginning was good! I swam out to the deepest part of the lake, and dropped the 10lb weight attached to the cave-reel line attached to my float. By the way, I use one of those collapsible plastic water containers for a float....it works great, and i bought this one at a second-hand store for 50 cents.
I did two negative dives to 8 metres for 30 seconds. I decided that I would dive all the way to the bottom of the lake(30 metres), even though in the past I would have to "warm up" to that, because it's dark, cold, and I'm usually scared at first. However, I did 42 metres last month at the coast, so the fear of that depth is gone. I did 6 dives, and then I started to get cold, so I wrapped up my reel and got changed into my clothes.
I had been diving with 4lbs of neck-weights, and did 2 dives with 2lbs of weight. 4 lbs was a good weight for what I was doing, and if Vancouver had warmer water, then that is the setup I would wear.....but it's not, so I've decided that I'm better off wearing the full 5mm Picasso with 8lbs of weight. This will make me neutral around 17 to 20 metres, which is ok. I would prefer to dive with less weight, but that just takes too much energy to sink the first 10 metres.
I am done training now; I want my body to heal up from all the lifting and cardio. I want to be fresh for the games!
I am looking forward to making some new friends, especially LAMINAR, who is letting me sleep in a pile of monofins in his basement.
Thanks to those of you who sent me good wishes and advice; i will email with everyone's results as soon as I can.
Thanks,
Erik Y.
 

jero

New Member
Jul 20, 2001
114
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0
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good luck!

Erik!

I wish you best of luck!
I know how you must feel right now since I'm off to Croatian tryouts in two weeks.

Let us know about the results...
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
Thanks, and good luck to you jero. Let us know!
Warmly,
Erik Y.
 

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
206
168
Western Canadian Regionals

Erik will be back in Edmonton in an hour or two. He has a lot to tell and I'll let him tell the story of an eventful weekend for everyone.

Erik, once again, it was nice to have you stay in my pile o' monofins and hang out with the Freedive Vancouver clan. Glad to meet you. I look forward to icediving in Banff come winter!

Pete
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
5,4,3,2,1.....!!

Hi people, I just got home from the airport and wrote to my wife who is in Bahrain(Persian Gulf)first, because I had no computer access in Vancouver, and I know she was worried about me.
First, I warn you that this going to be a long post, so if you're interested, then get a cup of coffee.
I showed up on Pete's (Laminar) doorstep not even knowing what he looked like, having only talked on the internet. He graciously welcomed me into his home, which I was very happy to see was full of wetsuits and monofins. I felt right at home.
Saturday we drove out to Ansell Point in Dan's van. Dan is an Aussie who lives in Britain, but is in Canada to do a TV show. He is an Animatronics Engineer, and a keen freediver. Steph was there too, she will be competing for the German team in Ibiza next month. Lucas, a local guy, was not competing, but like Steph, was going to be a safety diver at this competition.
When we got to the sight, the rest of the competitors showed up. Pete, Dan, Tom Lightfoot, Marie, Mike, Brent, Eric Fattah and myself. Needless to say, I was both happy to be around these awesome and seasoned competitors as well as nervous as hell. Everyone was very friendly, laughing and sharing techniques and stories.
We got into the water each in turn with the 45 minute warning, swimming about 75 metres out to the Medic Boat and the 4 floats; 3 for warm ups and 1 competition line. Eric Fattah was to go first as he had announced 65 metres, a depth that no-one doubted he could do; he'd done it many times, plus he set the world record of -82 metres last month! I did my negative dives to 8 metres, free immeresion dives, and 2 regular dives to 35 metres. They did not feel good, and I was wishing that I had been able to do more than one day of constant ballast training to 30 metres in the lake back home, but that had been all that was feasible, so that was that....too late to complain now. Lucas came to me and told me to move to the competitor line; I was close to my 5 minute countdown. The countdown had been explained to us...5 minutes, 2 minutes,1:30,1,30 seconds, 10 seconds, 5,4,3,2,1,+1,+2..etc up to+30 seconds. We had to dive in that 30 second window or be disqualified. "5 minutes", I heard the judge Helen announce to me. I gave an ok sign, and continued my slow deep breathe up. At 2 minutes, I would ditch my snorkel, gently turn on my back, then change my breathing at the 1 minute mark. I would start packing just after T-20, then dive in my window easily.
I breathed away in deep trance, despite the seasickness I was starting to feel....the next thing I heard was "30 seconds"....."What...30 seconds?", I said as I lifted my head out of the water and my heart jumped. "Yes!", said Helen. Without turning on my back, I floated vertically as I started VERY fast purge breathing and ditched my snorkel. Just as I started packing, I heard "10 seconds". I packed 30 shallow breaths and dived, knowing that I needed at least 50 solid packs but did not want to be DQ'd for diving late. My entry was good, and I slowed my kicks as I descended past 15 metres. Something was wrong....my heart rate was not slowing, and I did not get relaxed. My Apneist announced 30 metres, reminding me to fill my mouth with air. I did so, but it was not a good mouthfull. At 40 metres I could see the scubadivers' lights below, but I could not see my tag at 50 metres. I tried to reverse-pack more air out of my lungs, and got nothing. At 46 metres my ears hurt, and I still could not see my tag that was meant to be only 4 metres away.
I grabbed the line and turned up. The seasickness hit me hard there, I thought I was going to vomit 150' underwater with no scubadiver in sight. I did not puke. I swam up in good form with my hands pointed up together, biceps behind my ears. I remember thinking that it was taking a long time for my Apneist to shut up, which would happen as soon as I passed 30 metres. Finally it stopped beeping, but I knew that I was not going to make it. I wasn't scared,so I relaxed my kicks as I got bouyant, but I was dissapointed that I was not going to do what I worked so hard to do. At 20 metres, I remember thinking "Where are the safety freedivers?".
As I came out of the void, I heard Kirk Krack's soothing voice "Breathe, breathe". The darkness faded, and I slowly realised what I was, who I was, and where I was in that order. "How are you doing?" Kirk said. "Better now!", I said with a grin. I asked who had brought me up, and thanked them. Stephanie was my safety diver, and Kirk was filming the ascent. Apparently I was still kicking at 10 metres; Kirk said that my arms began to fall and he grabbed me at 6 metres.
There had been some confusion with the tags, but my performance anxiety and missing my breathe up were the cause of the blackout. I had easily done 42 metres in training a month and a half ago; I know that I can do 50, and probably 60. But, I had not been diving deep for all that time, and that was the main problem. I couldn't, because of lack of proximity to deep water, so I know that for the next competition I will come to the coast 4 days early to train up (down) to my depth.
I had never been seasick before, but Eric Fattah told me that it had happened to him in his beginnings. He said it was the performance anxiety setting the stomach off, making it ultra-sensitive to the waves. That made perfect sense to me. He also said not to worry, that this was my first competition.
I was very dissapointed in myself, but Pete and I talked philisophically about competition and freediving, plus stuffed our faces at a good restaurant. We knew that Sunday was static day, and we should really be fasting, but we had just spent all day in the water and couldn't resist.

Sunday morning we didn't eat. After the briefing at the pool, we got our 45 minute warnings for the static competition. Marie was first, then the line moved up to me. I was second last; I had announced 5:30 and Eric Fattah announced something longer. I had done all my warm ups, and felt not bad, actually. I was concerned that since I had coughed up a little blood after yesterday's dive, it might affect the O2 transfer in my lungs, but I really didn't feel bad.
I got my 5 minute warning notice, and made sure I could hear the judges countdown today. I took my final breath, packed 15 times, and relaxed. I managed to get very relaxed, smiling and enjoying myself. I delayed my first contraction as long as I could, then it came. Quite strong, but I'm quite good at letting the diaphragm do all the work; not letting any other muscles get involved. Shortly after my second contraction, my spotter tapped me at the 4:30 mark and I responded with a small "ok" sign with my finger and thumb. The first 10 contractions were pleasant, and I was glad that they had come after 4 minutes, but the last 10 were not pleasant. I got another few taps from the spotter, but I lost track of what time the taps indicated. The second was 5 minutes, the 3rd 5:30, and then one tap every 15 seconds after that, but I had lost track, and I was a little puzzled, because I was thinking that I'm about ready to stop now, and usually I have had 40 contractions by the time I hit 5:30. I did not want to black out TWICE in one competition, so I came up, took off my mask and flashed "OK" to the judges, looking them all in the eyes to show them I was clear-headed. ""Not today!", I said with a smile on my face. I had done 5:41, my first static ever at a competition, and my first static ever in the water. I was happy that I would get my points for this round.
Kirk said, "If only you had stayed down 1 more second!". "What?", I said. Kirk explained that I had tied Eric's Canadian record of 5:41. I was shocked, also realising that I am a British Citizen, and maybe that would be a record in the U.K. as well.
Then I watched as Eric entered the water, and thought of the scene in the Big Blue where Enzo says "He's a 1 day champion; It gives me something to beat tommorrow", about the Tahitian who had just beaten him that day. I suspected that I would not be a champion for very long, not even 10 minutes, as Eric took his last breath.
I believe Eric did 5:35, or something very close. I was just happy that I had tied a contest with someone I admire very much, especially after meeting him.
Next came the dynamic contest, something I have little practise with, and no training. I did 69.5 metres, which was around what I thought I could do. The real story here was about our friend Peter, who you know as Laminar on Deeper Blue. Peter descended at the shallow end of the 30 metre long pool without a ripple. Dan and I watched as he moved ever so slowly through the water, turning at the deep end and then returning. We were all watching out for the huge monofin to come spinning around at the turn, splashing and slashing since the shallow end was REALLY shallow. Not so.....Peter slowly finned up to the wall, turned in slow motion, his fin gently and silently coming out of the water as he turned to face the opposite direction. With no trace the fin slid back into the water and Peter continued on in his unhurried manner. Dan and I looked at each other in awe..."Beautiful!", said Dan. Pete came up at 106 metres, a new Canadian record, looking non-plussed and happy. HOOYAHH!!!we all yelled and clapped.

I am planning my strategies for the next competition, and feel good about getting one under my belt. I thank all the safety freedivers and scubadivers, judges and volunteers. Mostly to Kirk Krack for the days and days of work he does for free to promote the sport he loves.
My thanks to all who sent me good wishes and advice, and most of all Peter, who took a stranger under his wing, and became a friend.
Warmly,
Erik Young
 

clogz

New Member
Aug 30, 2001
88
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Failed breath-up

First, congratulations Erik :) And happy to hear you're OK.

What kind of breath-up technique you normally use? (for static/constant)
 

Patrik

New Member
Oct 24, 2000
1
0
0
Hello Eric "Y!" I was astonished at your post--so thankful that you're ok and that it is obvious you ended up with a fantastic experience out west. I'm sorry for not making it out, most of all because of the missed opportunity to see you again.

I'll catch up with you later. Thanks for your post; it was a moving read!

Patrik Dvoracek
Victoria, BC
 

jero

New Member
Jul 20, 2001
114
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congratulations on your first competition

Erik,

It sounds like quite an expirience!
I am glad that you're OK after a BO which is, I guess, often on competitions due to a stress that competition brings. Hope that it will not turn you off freediving. Also hope that you'll learn the best from it.
As far as the static, you kick a$$!!! It is incredible when you say that you never did static in a water before! Congratulation!
I just wanted to ask something about your BO. Hope you don't mind.
How did you know that you're not going to make to the surface?
Where you afraid when you realized that?

Regards
 
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