Recordsetting by FREE
Yasemin and David breaking records under the FREE flag.
Text: Sebastian Naslund (webmaster) 2001 Photos by: Gido Braase, Ali Atauz, Corinne Bultel and Sebastian.
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Rudi Castineyra

Three more meters. There are many good arguments not to break an existing world record with more than three more meters, claims Rudi Castineyra, president of F.R.E.E. A freediving organization conducting recordsettings in a slightly different way than for instance A.I.D.A

A loud mouthed bunch of less people than could fit into a bus, claims other people. Freediving doesn´t lack strong wills and pesronalities and this we see more than once when words are thrown at each other on the discussion forums on the internet.

Rudi runs a tight ship and wants to take freediving into the future in a more responsible way. " we are still exploring our limits - breaking records step by step, meter by meter, is safer". And what does the public, media and our sponsors think when one record is set only to be crushed a few weeks later.
We shoot ourselves in the foot this way.

As for now FREE comes across as a organisation for elite performance freedivers wishing to set records without beeing disqualified for having a little shake on their teneefinger when delivering the tag.

FREE is letting SAMBA into the sport and pushing the whole field of freediving activities closer to blaclkouts, others would say. But it is clear, the sport needs an objective way of judging freediving performances and delivering the tag is one thing that is very precise.

This opens up for so called controlled sambas. Rudi and others compare this with the marathon runner falling down AFTER his performance. Rather this than a subjective jury á la icescating Rudi says.
I must say though, after spending ten days as an invited observer with a FREE team breaking records in Greece, that I never saw even a finger shaking during those days.

Yasemin Dalkilic and David Lee are two strong and very impressive athletes and this I say after spending the previous weeks as an underwater videographer in the official television team at the world championships on Ibiza. There I saw the best freedivers of the world pass in front of my lens. And somewhat a pity that I didn´t see Yasemin, David and Eric Fattah there. Since whatever ones opinion on samba and safety, in acompetition all compete under the same rules. Should one really have to choose between FREE, AIDA and IAFD?

At Ibiza we saw that records could be broken in competitions and with normal equipment as a standard mask.

Rudi , claims this to be irresponsible, to let athletes dive as deep as they wanted at a big competition with hundreds of athletes and not having safety scuba divers at training and at every ten meters at the competition as is the procedure with FREE (constant weight).

But nearly 140 athletes from more than 30 nations seemed to find security good enough at the world championships. And though the forming of FREE points out alot of problems with AIDA, it still is the major organization.

After beeing present at both occasions only feet away from the line I can say that the FREE record attempt I witnessed took safety more serious than at the somewhat confused competition at Ibiza.
But in all honesty, organizing a competition for hundreds of athletes is something else than a record for two. And FREE has yet to organize a competition. And they will no doubt do that. And when it happens it will be a competition were athletes are free to choose their eqipment and will be able to show their strength in more than one dive and in more than one deepdiving category.

Let´s hope that the existing freediving organisations can complete and inspire each other rather than fractionalize the freediving comunity.

Read more Page 2

FREE - the official site.
David Lee and his record.
Unassisted 47 meters
Yasemin Dalkilic and her records.
Unassisted 40 meters e t c


Photos by: Gido Braase, Ali Atauz, Corinne Bultel and Sebastian.

David Lee

Yasemin Dalkilic

Yasemin Dalkilic in trouble in the meditteranean.

The bottom plate at the free record.

The boat Arian, from where the record was conducted