We are happy to welcome home Michael Board and Kate Middleton from their recent adventure to the prestigious Vertical Blue Freediving competition. The Freedive Gili team came out on top with silver and bronze medals and 5 National records between them! Vertical Blue is an elite Freediving competition that attracts the deepest in the sport. The competition is held at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, Bahamas, which is revered as one of the best deep diving locations in the world.
Mike and Kate, along with Freedive Gili Instructor and Freedive-Earth journalist, Chris Crawshaw, traveled from their island home and training base of Gili Trawangan, across the globe to an event that calls to the heart of Sport Freediving.
Team Freedive Gili thrived in a competition atmosphere that inspires, encourages and challenges the best in the sport. Chris consolidated strong performances in all three disciplines. He dove to 70 m in Free Immersion, 75 m in Constant Weight and gave an impressive Constant Weight No Fins performance to 68 meters which landed him in 4th place in the discipline at Vertical Blue and 8th place in this year’s World Ranking! Mike set his 12th British record (!!!) with a solid Constant Weight dive to 103 meters. Mike placed 4th both overall and in Constant Weight and Free Immersion, just behind world-record holders William Trubridge and Alexey Molchanov ,and Samo Jeranko.
Kate set 4 national records for New Zealand diving to 68 m, 71 m and then 73 meters in Free Immersion and 68 meters in Constant Weight. She won a silver medal in Free Immersion, just 1 meter behind the gold medal position and a bronze medal for 3rd overall!
As the competitive season of 2014 comes to a close we are proud to see that Mike is ranked in 4th place for this years world-ranking in Constant Weight. He is committed to the sport and continues to train, eagerly looking onward to the competition calendar of 2015. From her yoga mat to competition dives, Kate is moving into deep water for female Freedivers and sits in 4th place for this year’s world ranking in Free Immersion. Both Mike and Kate are inspired and excited to keep training, progressing and sharing what works for them. In May through June, the pair will run a deep training camp combining depth training, strength training sessions, yoga and meditation out of Freedive Gili and Gili Yoga.
But first, off-season cross training calls them to fuel another passion and snowboard the mountains of beautiful British Columbia.
Oh, and yes, that is World Record Holder, Matt Malina, sandwiched between Mike and Chris in the photo 😉