Wellington Scoop

Titahi Bay freediver retains national title

Press Release – Freediving New Zealand
Freedivers from across the country gathered in Auckland over the weekend for the Splash Freediving New Zealand Pool Nationals hosted by the Auckland Freediving Club and held at the National Aquatic Centre. Guy Brew, 54, executive recruiter from Titahi Bay, Wellington and Kathryn Nevatt, 38, architect from Queenstown retained their National Titles with consistent performances across the three disciplines, with their strong static breath hold times of 7 minutes 25 seconds and 6 minutes 45 seconds respectively, again leaving the competition behind and giving them both an advantage from the first event that no one could come back from. Both Brew and Nevatt are former world champions in static apnea.

Men’s silver went to Chris Marshall, Wellington, and bronze Ant WiIliams a Kiwi from Melbourne. Women’s silver went to Danish National champion Anette Rafen Ottzen and bronze to Australian Lisa Borg.

The National title is decided by a combination of points from three swimming pool based events held daily Friday to Sunday. In Static apnea the diver lies face down in the water and holds their breath as long as possible. In Dynamics, a distance based event, divers swim lengths underwater in the 50m pool as far as possible on a single breath with using a monofin, a large fin that ressembles a mermaid’s tail. Brew achieved 200m and Nevatt 181m. Thirdly, in Dynamics without fins divers swim underwater breaststroke as far as they can on a single breath. Nevatt, a former world record holder in this event managed 143m and Brew 126m.

With 37 entrants, the Nationals were the largest ever, marking an increase in the popularity of the sport in New Zealand. There are now seven freediving clubs operating and Nevatt recommends anyone considering trying out freediving to participate in a formal course to learn safe practises and good technique, and to make contact with a local club for on-going training and learning.

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