3rd Mediterranean World Cup

Messinian Bay, Kalamata - 170 meters of depth in protected waters

Messinian Bay Hotel

Team Canada proudly bears the maple leaf flag (left to right: William, Nathalie, Michèle (team support), Jana, Kattie and Philippe)

Sunset yoga for Kattie, Philippe and William | © Michèle Monico

Philippe Beauchamp after his Variable Weight 75m NR | © Michèle Monico

Team Canada with a tan | © Marc Lenoir

Constant Weight without Fins podium | © Daan Verhoeven

3rd Mediterranean World Cup

Kalamata, Greece – June 7 – 21, 2010

What a fantastic event !

Both a team and individual competition, the 3rd Mediterranean World Cup brought together the best conditions for an international world-class event.

Format
This World Cup allowed all attending competitors representing 20 different countries to dive during this event, unlike the Team World Championships during which the fourth athlete of a team is benched and does not get to dive at all. In the 3rd Mediterranean World cup, team points were collected from three competitors selected prior to the start of the event and all athletes’ performances were tallied in an individual ranking.

Location
Nestled at the water’s edge, the athletes’ accommodation (Messinian Bay Hotel) provided sea-side rooms with stunning views of the Messinian Bay which offers over 170 meters of depth. The 4-star resort hotel has 2 pools which were available for use by the athletes, a private beach, pier, beach-side and pool-side restaurants, free high speed WiFi and all amenities needed to host the event.
It was a great hotel for mingling since all athletes were so close to any venue within the hotel. In fact, they generally suited up in their room and strolled
down to the pier to catch their shuttle boat. The 160-meter deep dive site was only about 1 mile away from shore. And so, for two weeks, the Messinian Bay became witness of the best performances of all athletes in attendance.

Organizer
The Freediving Club Greece, led by Stavros Kastrinakis, has been successfully organizing professionnally run competitions since 2008. Motorized counterballast systems capable of lifting divers at speeds of 2m/s or faster in case of emergency, traditional counter-ballast system for back-up, high resolution sonar giving detailed real time information on the diver’s progress, decompression oxygen, are only a few elements of the complete set up Stavros provides for his attending athletes. Plenty of warm up lines were available and training was offered between 9am and 2pm daily.

Safety team
The Freediving Club safety team was composed of a dozen (very friendly) experienced and specifically trained professional competition safety divers with an extensive background of safety diving in AIDA depth competitions. Their presence alone made all athletes relax and perform their dives in total trust.

Excursions
Greece is not only a beautiful place with bountiful tasty and healthy food, it is the cradle of Western civilization. Amongst available activities were day excursions, courtesy of the city of Kalamata. Nothing like turning back the clock to more ancient times with outings such the site of Ολμρια (Olympia) or Ancient Messini (the largest complete ancient city in the world). A more challenging excursion such as a hiking trip to the Rintomou gorge was organized by the Kalamata Mountaineering Club and for the more shopping-oriented, a guided visit through the old city of Kalamata and a stop in every authentic small shops, away from the main tourist district.

Events
The 3rd Mediterranean World Cup’s opening and closing ceremonies were colourful and animated, complete with traditional Greek music and food. An underwater photography exhibit was on display in the city of Kalamata, showing Fred Buyle‘s stunning work. Last but not least, the Mediterranean Underwater Expo / Diving Equipment Exhibit was held at the hotel on the last week-end of the World Cup.

World Cup
Let’s not forget the World Cup event itself ! With 5 days of competition spread over 7 days, athletes could choose to compete in any of the depth disciplines, Free Immersion (FIM), Constant Weight (CWT), Constant Weight without Fins (CNF).

A dozen national records were broken during the competitions days. In FIM, Adel Abu Haliqa (UAE) with 45m, Mark Harris (GBR) with 70m, Jakob Hansen (DEN) with 75m, Jure Daic (SLO) with 86m and William Winram (CAN) with 97m. In CNF, Adel Abu Haliqa (UAE) with 27m, Dave Tranfield (GBR) with 52 and 53m, Niki Roderick (NZL) with 60m, Johan Dahlström (SWE) with 68m. In CWT, Jure Daic (SLO) with 91m.

On the rest days, some athletes who had certified experience in sled diving had the opportunity to attempt records. With a variable weight dive to 100 meters Anna von Boetticher set a new German record. Then came Stavros Kastrinakis‘ no-limits dive to 151 meters, a new Greek record, Ben Noble‘s variable weight dive to 100 meters and no-limits dive to 105 meters, both new Australian records, Philippe Beauchamp‘s variable weight dive to 75 meters, a new Canadian record, and Natalia Molchanova from Russia with a new world record in variable weight to 125 meters.

Team Canada had a great time at the 3rd World Cup, being made of such a great and diverse group of people. Everyone on the Team was able to reach goals they had set for themselves prior to their arrival in Greece. They trained together and supported each other in their moments of doubt and success alike.

Here is a summary of Team Canada’s accomplishments:

Nathalie Hébert

Constant Weight without Fins (CNF): 20 meters – provincial record for Quebec
Constant Weight (CWT): 20 meters – personal best

Kattie Lussier

CNF: 30 meters – personal best
Free Immersion (FIM): 41 meters – personal best
CWT: 46 meters – personal best

Jana Strain

CNF: 49 meters, silver-medal performance
FIM: 60 meters, personal best, silver-medal performance
CWT: 64 meters, personal best, silver-medal performance
Overall World Cup champion

As a team, the women of Team Canada take the WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS title !

Philippe Beauchamp

CNF: 46 meters – provincial record for Quebec
FIM: 60 meters – provincial record for Quebec
Variable Weight (VWT): 75 meters – national record

William Winram

CNF: 72 meters, gold-medal performance, CNF World Cup Champion
FIM: 97 meters, national and continental record, gold-medal performance, FIM World Cup Champion

The 3rd Mediterranean World Cup podiums:

Women:

FIM: MT Solomons, gold; Jana Strain, silver; Liv Philipp, bronze
CWT: MT Solomons, gold; Jana Strain, silver; Liv Philipp, bronze
CNF: Niki Roderick, gold; Jana Strain, silver; Liv Philipp, bronze

Men:

FIM: William Winram, gold; Guillaume Néry, silver; Jure Daic, bronze
CWT: Guillaume Néry, gold; Jure Daic, silver; Kerian Hibbs, bronze
CNF: William Winram, gold; Guillaume Néry, silver; Kerian Hibbs, bronze (photo)

Overall World Cup Champions:

Women: Jana Strain, Canada
Men: Guillaume Néry, France

In total, Canada took 6 medals: 3 gold & 3 silver individually & 1 gold as a team !

Way to represent !