A Freediving Competition is always only as good as the staff that are building the event. What we as athletes often don’t see is the amount of effort an army of Safety Divers, Judges, Doctors and other helping hands are putting into making a competition a successful event.
For today’s article we would like to introduce some of those important members of the AFC Team. To provide some transparency and assurance that we can guarantee that every diver will receive the most professional treatment.
Unfortunately we are still not able to introduce everyone, but we can give you some info on the Judge Team, Medic Team and key members of the Safety Team.
AIDA International Judges
The Set Up of the Competition this year consists of two official lines with two sets of diving each. Each set sees a start of 15-20 athletes. As there need to be always a minimum of two AIDA Judges present to judge a performance, we will have four pairs, so a total of eight Judges working together.
Their job doesn’t stop with the last diver of the day… They also review the bottom camera footage, create start- and result lists, handle protests from athletes and upload over 200 official dives to the AIDA International Ranking Database after the competition.
DPV (underwater scooter) Safety
In addition to the Counterweight Ballast system that we are using in competition, another safety mechanism that we have in place is the use of an underwater scooter for the first / deepest safety diver. The scooter safety will accompany athletes from around half of their announced depth on the way up, for the deepest dives that will be at 50m depth. Being able to dive double their safety depth in CWT paired with many years of experience with the scooter gives us the confidence to say that our Scooter Safety Divers are some of the best around the world.
Apart from the Scooter Safety Divers, the rest of the Safety Team is rotating on three positions:
- 2nd Safety: Will descend after the Scooter Safety and meet athletes between 20-30m, depending on the target depth
- 3rd Safety: Will descend after the 2nd safety for athletes diving deeper than 60m. For shallower dives the 3rd safety will supervise on standby at the surface. The 3rd safety will stay at around 10-15m.
- Warm Up Safety. There will be 3 warm up lines on each official set up and each buoy will be supervised by a safety diver. Warm Up safety will watch from the surface unless athletes request safety at depth.
All our Safety Divers need to be comfortable diving at least twice the depth at which they safety in CWT. What makes our Safety team work so well together is that the majority of them are teaching with us at Freedive Panglao.
Finally we would like to introduce the Medic Team. Apart from being on standby for every athlete in case professional help is needed, they will also:
- Issue AIDA Medical Statements (valid for one year) against a fee of 20 USD during the event meeting on June 8th afternoon
- Perform a post-dive check on every competing athlete to make sure everyone is OK to dive the next day
- In case of pressure related injuries or blackout the Medics will perform follow up checks and in conjunction with the Jury decide whether an athlete can compete again during any remaining days of the event (following the new “AIDA Rules & Regulations – section 5.2.4 / 5.2.5”, document is available for download on http://www.aidainternational.org)