Staff during Asian Freediving Cup

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.

Jean-Pol Francois

With over 25 years of experience in Freediving Competition, JP is one of the world’s most seasoned Judges.

As a “A-Level” Judge JP makes this year’s AFC a World Record Status event.

Yang Jingyan (Air)

Originally from China, Air has made the Philippines her home and is one of our full time AIDA Master Instructors at Freedive Panglao.

Having judged numerous competitions here in Panglao she knows the set up and logistics of the event inside out which makes her an important member of the Judge Team.

Prudence Lau

Pru is an AIDA Instructor and Judge from HongKong and has been active in the Competitive Freediving scene both as athlete and judge for the past 2 years.

Jayden (Sangseob Kim)

Jayden is an AIDA Instructor and Judge from South Korea.

He has judged AIDA Competitions in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines!

Yanzi Yuan

Yanzi from China is one of the founders of “Freedive Superhome”, the amazing Freediving Center that will be our base during the Competition days.

She is a full time AIDA Instructor and as a Judge she has organized and judged Events for the past 2 years.

Jooyoung Chun

Young is from South Korea and the founder of “Freedive 101” in Mactan, Cebu.

Besides being an AIDA Instructor Trainer he is an experienced Judge, active at many Freediving Competitions around the Philippines.

Yen Wanyu

Yen comes from Taiwan and together with Wayne Tu she is running “Weirdo Freediving Club”, one of the busiest and well known Freediving Clubs in the country.

Usually an athlete or safety diver, this year Yen will stay at the surface as a valuable member of the Judge Team!

Rorka Lin

AIDA Judge and Instructor Rorka from Taiwan will join the AFC Judge Team this year.

She has not only gathered experience as a member of the Competition Jury at events in Taiwan, but has also organized competitions, so she knows about all the little details that need to be kept in mind when hosting an event.

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.

Stefan Randig

AIDA Instructor Trainer, Co-founder of Freedive Panglao, Head of Safety for the AFC and active Safety Diver in Competition for the past 9 years.

Stefan will provide Scooter Safety for the deepest divers of this years competition.

Dongha Kim

AIDA Instructor Trainer, Co-founder of Freedive Panglao and very experienced Scooter diver at all our Competitions in Panglao for the last 6 years.

Wayne Tu

AIDA Instructor Trainer, most active Instructor in Taiwan where he runs "Weirdo Freediving Club" together with Yen Wanyu.

He is a renowned Scooter Safety, last seen in action at the Sail Sabang Freediving Competition 2018 in Indonesia.

Myungkuk Lee

SSI Instructor Trainer, resident Instructor at Freedive Panglao since 7 years and Scooter Safety at all past Depth Competitions in Panglao.

Safety Divers

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.

Mariko Kaji

Freedive Panglao’s resident AIDA Instructor from Japan, National Record Holder and active athlete.

Mariko has provided safety at the AFC last year and is a valuable member of the team!

Rebecca Lo

Rebecca is also teaching fulltime at Freedive Panglao, holds National Records for HongKong and has been doing safety at numerous Competitions in Panglao!

Chen Yanhua (Mo)

Freedive Panglao Instructor from Taiwan who is enthusiastic to be part of the AFC Safety team this year for the first time!

Giorgio Mariotti

AIDA Instructor from Italy and experienced Safety Diver who has been part of the team last year and we are happy to have Giorgio on board again!

Kumiko Iijima

Kumiko from Japan is a former Long Distance Freestyle swimmer.

Her stamina combined with her safety skills make her another important member of the team!

Wayne Cheung

Wayne is an AIDA Instructor from Canada, currently teaching and training in Panglao.

Apart from his excellent safety skills he is fluent in many languages which helps us to gap the language barrier that arises sometimes when working with a multi-national team!

HyunGeun Koo (George)

George from Korea is an SSI Instructor Trainer and has been teaching at Freedive Panglao for the past 3 years. He was a Safety Diver at many of our previous comps.

Sieun Lee (Sunny)

Sunny is also from Korea and teaches full time at Freedive Panglao since 3 years.

Providing Safety at numerous competitions she has developed routine and skill as a member of the team.

Eho Kim (Leo)

Leo is the latest to join our Team of Korean Instructors at Freedive Panglao.

Having competed himself earlier this year, it will be his first round as a Safety Diver of the AFC.

Teagan Kane

Teagan is an AIDA Instructor from the U.S.A., teaching and training in Panglao.

This year’s AFC is his first time to join our Safety Team and we are excited to have him around!

Eric Wyss

Eric is an AIDA Instructor and brings some Swiss precision to the Team!

He used to manage "Freediving Dimension" in El Nido, Palawan and is now back in Panglao for some more teaching, training and of course being part of the AFC Safety Team!

Medic Team

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
Junichi Kawanami

Junichi is an AIDA and Apnea Total Instructor from Japan. He is an Emergency and Intensive Care Physician (especially for trauma).

From his past working experience in Japan he is also specialized in medical care in remote and rural areas .

JinKwang Yang (JK)

JK is a SSI and AIDA Instructor from South Korea. He is specialized in Korean Medicine and apart from being there for all athletes, we are looking forward to having JK around to treat those tired legs of the Safety Team!

Staff during Asian Freediving Cup 2019

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