Vertical Blue 2010

Concentration prior to Winram's record dive | © Grant Graves

Winram on his way back to the surface from 96 meters | © Grant Graves

Vertical Blue 2010

Long Island, Bahamas | April 17- 27, 2010

Once again, William arrived in the Bahamas from South Africa, after a trip of 72 hours back from the Indian Ocean coast where he had spent 15 days out on the water for Shark expeditions along side Fred Buyle and the participants who had signed up for this Ocean Encounters adventure.

Vertical Blue is an invitational-only competition which gathers the cream of the crop of freedivers from around the world. It takes place yearly over 9 days. This year’s sensations amongst the women were (in alphabetical order): Carla-Sue Hansen (US), Mizusu Hirai (JAP), Niki Roderick (NZL) and Carolina Schrappe (BRA). In the men: Eric Fattah (CAN),Robert King (USA), Dave Mullins (NZL), Guillaume Nery (FRA), Herbert Nitsch (AUS), Frank Pernett (COL), Alfredo Romo (MEX), Jared Schmelzer (USA), Ryuzo Shinomiya (JAP), Walter Steyn (AUS) and last but not least William Trubridge (NZL), also the organizer of the event.

On April 21, national records for Canada started to fall with fellow Canadian Eric Fattah who took William’s constant weight record of 84 meters (set by William during the 2006 World Championships in Hurghada, Egypt). With another 6 meters, Eric’s new continental record in the monofin discipline was pushed to 90 meters.

The very next day, after just a handful of training dives, William Winram set a new continental record in the discipline of Free Immersion (FIM). In a time of 3’23”, William pulled down and up the competition line to 96 meters (315 feet) and back, thus claiming his 23rd national record.

That very day, he became the first individual to reach that depth on his own power and on a single breath, in North America.

Just to spice things up, Eric Fattah gave the constant weight discipline another go on the last day of the competition, April 27. His successful dive to 100 meters set a precedent by making him the deepest man in North America. No doubt Winram will want to challenge these new depths during his next competitive event: 3rd Mediterranean World Cup in Kalamata, Greece this coming June.

North American fellow freedivers Robert King (USA) and Alfredo Romo Hernandez (MEX) also outdid themselves, setting 3 new national records each. For Robert, it was 86 meters in Free Immersion (FIM) on April 18, 87 meters in Constant Weight (CWT) on April 21 and finally 90 meters in CWT on April 23. Robert later stated, “This dive was special: 90 meters is a depth I hadn’t expected to achieve”. For Alfredo, newcomer from Puerto Vallerta, it was 60 meters in CWT on April 19, 47 meters in Constant Weight without Fins (CNF) on April 23 and 58 meters in FIM on April 26.

2009 Vice World Champion, William Winram is not only an accomplished competitive freediver, he is also involved in ocean conservation projects, particularly shark preservation. Winram also provides breath-hold diving education with an environmental focus through Ocean Encounters, along with world-renowned underwater photographer: Frederic Buyle.