Why the women’s competitive freediving is so much more exciting than the men’s

In this year’s Vertical Blue competition it became very clear that if you want excitement, unpredictability and fierce competition it’s the women that will provide it.

Going into the competition the women’s world record tally looked like this.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 105m

FIM Jeanine Grasmeijer – 92m

CNF Sayuri Kinoshita – 72m

In the 4th day of the competition things started to happen and by the end of the day it looked like this, with Alessia now holding two AIDA world records for the first time.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 105m

FIM Alessia Zecchini – 93m

CNF Sayuri Kinoshita – 72m

After 5 days we had 4 world record holders with Alenka Artnik getting into the action with a 105m CWT dive.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 105m

Alenka Artnik – 105m

FIM Alessia Zecchini – 93m

CNF Sayuri Kinoshita – 72m

This day Hanako Hirose also initially got a white card for her 105m CWT dive, making her the third shared world record holder in CWT, but was later disqualified for pulling on the rope.

In the 6th competition day Alessia decided to make a statement with an impressive 73m CNF dive.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 105m

Alenka Artnik – 105m

FIM Alessia Zecchini – 93m

CNF Alessia Zecchini – 73m

At this point Alessia holds all the three depth world records in her hand and is officially the most dominant freediver in the world since the late Natalia Molchanova.

In day 7 though Sayuri decided to come back as a world record holder, but this time in a new discipline, and claimed the world record in FIM with a 94m dive. And Alessia’s dominance only lasted a day.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 105m

Alenka Artnik – 105m

FIM Sayuri Kinoshita – 94m

CNF Alessia Zecchini – 73m

In 8th day of the competition Alessia stroke back to reclaim the FIM world record. Unfortunately for her, Hanako Hirose also had a good day and walked away as the sole holder of the world record in CWT with a clean 106m dive. So the tally now looked like this.

CWT Hanako Hirose – 106m

FIM Alessia Zecchini – 96m

CNF Alessia Zecchini – 73m

And if this wasn’t drama enough, in the last day of the competition the tables turned again with Alessia stealing back the CWT record from poor Hanako, who at least got to keep it for a full day this time, compared to about 24 minutes in last year’s competition. And Sayuri reclaiming her FIM world record with a 107m dive.

So the list of world record holders has finally (for now, just for now ) settled like this.

CWT Alessia Zecchini – 107m

FIM Sayuri Kinoshita – 97m

CNF Alessia Zecchini – 73m

That my friends is proper freediving entertainment!

In the men’s competition Alekey Molchanov improved on his own world record in CWT with a 130m dive, while a bunch of other guys turned radically closer to the surface as usual.

The only real excitement in the men’s competition was that Alexey also claimed the FIM world record from William Trubridge with a 125m dive, making him the Alessia Zecchini of the men.

The men’s world record list now looks like this

CWT Alexey Molchanov – 130m

FIM Alexey Molchanov – 125m

CNF William Trubridge – 102m

Photo credit: Vertical Blue