The Vertical Blue Annual Invitational

by Owen James Burke

William Trubridge of New Zealand, 30, descends nearly 400 feet (121 meters) on one single breath

The world’s top freedivers lined up at Dean’s Blue Hole off Long Island in the Bahamas last week for the annual invitational competition, Vertical Blue.  Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest in the world–660-foot, but it is surrounded by ankle-deep sand flats, from which spectators are able to watch.

To reach his record depth of nearly 400 feet, Trubridge held his breath for an astounding 4 minutes and 13 seconds.

Contest protocol requires that for a diver to claim their achievement they must remove their goggles, nose clip, give an okay sign with their fingers and say ‘I’m Okay’ upon surfacing, as to announce that they haven’t blacked out or succumbed to narcosis.

“Your body thinks you’re still diving and doesn’t breathe; you have to be reminded,” said Simon Bennett, 43, a freediver who…has broken the Chilean national record several times during competition, which is held over 10 days.

After a certain point of holding your breath, oxygen and carbon dioxide are compressed into the blood system and divers can become severely impaired.  Resurfacing too fast can bring about a similar effect on the body when the reverse happens, if the oxygen in the blood is released too fast.  This is where yoga comes in handy for Trubridge:

‘“I try not to think,” Trubridge said of his technique…”I concentrate on the spaces between the thoughts.”’

*via nyt*

Facebook Comments