34 freedivers from all over New Zealand and a good number of Australian visitors came to Auckland to compete at the pool championship in September 2019. Held by Freediving New Zealand and hosted by The Auckland Freediving Club, the competition took place at the beautiful National Aquatic Center AUT Millennium pools. Athletes challenged themselves during a long weekend of apnea in 3 disciplines: Statics, Dynamics With Fins in the 50m pool and Dynamics No Fins in the 25m pool.
In addition to Kiwis and Aussies, divers from many different countries like Taiwan, Germany, Argentina, the UK, Saudi Arabia and even Mauritius participated at the Pool Nationals 2019. We were joined by athletes of all performance levels and several divers with physical disadvantages. The age of competitors ranging from 16 to 65 years showed that being young or getting older was not stopping anyone, either.
“I am pleased to see a small team from Whangarei Boys'; High School, part of the Northland Freediving Club, competing in the recreational grade. It's great to see them getting involved in our sport at a younger age in a safe, educated way,” commented principal organiser Nick Rhodes.
Freediving New Zealand had kind words of praise for the event: "Congratulations to AFC for organising such a great competition, the largest AIDA comp ever held in New Zealand. It was fantastic to see the great comradery that is always evident at Freediving competitions being extended to athletes new to the sport, and of course, our Australian counterparts who made the journey across the ditch, some with camera crews in tow.
Competitions like this are only possible with the hard work of volunteers, and Nick Rhodes and his team certainly put in the hard yards to pull together an event that will be remembered for quite some time."
In addition to his 7:30 min in Statics, Guy Brew also did a 223m dive with a monofin and swam 128m without fins in the underwater, which earned him first place and the title of National Champion (again!) He was flanked on the podium by Australian divers Matthew Chew in second place and Benjamin Eckert in third place.
In the women’s, Kathryn Nevatt regained the National Champion trophy with a Statics dive of 6:42min, a stunning 192m in Dynamics With Fins and 150m in Dynamics No Fins. Amber Bourke from Australia came second, and I managed to sneak into third place.
You can see and download all the photos taken by Ben Cook, including results sheets in the Google Drive.
Watch most of the Saturday DYN dives recorded by Kat Mager on AFC YouTube.
Watch most of the Sunday DNF dives recorded by Kat Mager on AFC YouTube.