AIDA Canada Indoor National Championships

A view of Old Montreal - photo courtesy of Association des croisières du Saint-Laurent

William on his way to 201 meters DYN - © Dominique Danvoye

Quite possibly the nicest medals ever produced at a competition

AIDA Canada Indoor Freediving Championships

Montreal, Quebec, April 25-26, 2009

You were not there? Well, you missed out. Why you ask?

Simply because Montreal is home to the only freediver’s brew pub in the world: “L’Amère à Boire”, nestled on the Saint-Denis Street. So conveniently located next to the competition site, Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.

The AIDA Canada Indoor Freediving Championships were the biggest national freediving event ever hosted in Canada. Not bad at all considering the size of this VAST country. Half the competitors flew in from the West, the USA and Europe, or put in the long drive from Toronto, and the rest hoped on the metro to attend this event.

Spread over two days, this competition offered all three indoor disciplines in the best of conditions, thanks to a convertible pool (understand 25 meters to 50 meters). Saturday morning, bright and early, the static apnea (STA) event took place followed by dynamic without fins (DNF) in the afternoon. Had you been there, you would have been witness to a lot of poutine*-worthy performances (see below).

The 1967 Expo city was generous with great food on the eve of the Sunday, so competitors arrived in good form (well, most of them) for the last event: dynamic apnea (DYN). And so more poutine-worthy performances ensued. Perhaps was it the highest point total ever realized in a national event, world-wide? With 263.7 points, Winram led the ranking of these Championships which were also the 5th Cup of Freediving of Montreal.

Results are visible here.

The party followed at the Midtown Sanctuaire where all participants got treated to a five-course dinner, after which two important events took place: the medals ceremony, and the chocolate contest, Swiss versus Belgian. The results of the latter will never be disclosed. No contest, however, were the medals which were offered at these championships. Without any doubt whatsoever, the nicest medals ever produced in this sport… see for yourself.

Kudos to all competitors. Many thanks to the judges present at this competition who volunteered their time: Grant Graves, Mathieu Guihard, Guillaume Latzko-Toth, Nathalie Hébert and Robert King and of course, all other volunteers who made this happen.

Too soon, it was time to leave the Olympic city. One thing remains a mystery: why so many stop signs in La Belle Province ?

* Poutine ‘pu-tsɪn’ – Diner staple sold mostly in Quebec and in areas of Ontario that border Quebec, such as Ottawa.