Jonathan Sunnex

Freediver - Instructor - Creator - Producer

Jonathan Sunnex


Jonathan's affinity with water started at an early age. He swam competitively during his childhood and in later years took up surfing and surf life saving.

Jonathan grew up in New Zealand but it was whilst traveling through Australia that he discovered the sport of freediving. It was also during this time in Australia that he became a diving professional, working as both underwater photographer and PADI Scuba Instructor on North Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

Freediving remained his true passion though and in 2011 Jonathan made a decision to commit his life to breath hold diving. Within the year he was achieving depths greater than 70 meters, less than a year after that he had broken the magical 100 m barrier in the constant weight discipline. In 2012 and 2013, in only his second and third years of freediving he finished the competitive seasons with top 5 world rankings in both free immersion and constant weight. Jonathan has represented New Zealand at the 2011 and 2013 depth World championships and in 2013 was the winner of the bronze medal for mens free immersion. He was the winner of the prestigious Triple depth and Deep Dahab competitions in 2011 and continues to compete on a regular basis.

Jonathan is a world renowned safety diver. Member of the Vertical Blue safety Team in 2012, in 2014 he returned as Chief of Safety and Event manager for the competition referred to as 'The Wimbledon of freediving' by The New York Times.  His team of expert safety divers raised the bar and brought a new level of professionalism to safety at high level freediving events. Since then he has featured prominently on the competition circuit as an organiser and chief of safety. Jonathan assumed the role of AIDA safety officer in 2017 and together with an expert panel they strive to improve the safety of freediving for all.

Jonathan has a strong background in teaching. As a coach/instructor Jonathan has had much success. So far he has helped athletes achieve five world records, more than 70 national and continental records, world number one rankings and world championship medals. He is an AIDA and PADI Instructor trainer, SSI Master instructor and EFR instructor.  

He teaches and trains in various locations worldwide including Dominica, Egypt, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Achievements:

110m Constant weight (unofficial)
105m Constant weight (official)
101m Free immersion (official)
105m Variable weight (unofficial)
65m Constant weight no fins (official)

Bronze medal Mens Free immersion World depth championships Kalamata Greece 2013
World number three Free immersion 2013
World number five Constant weight 2013
World depth number three combined depth disciplines 2013
Nominee for AIDA awards in three categories- Best male new comer, Best coach, Best Instructor

Winner Triple Depth Championship Dahab Egypt 2012
Winner Deep Dahab 2012
Winner FDD June mini-comp 2012

World number four Constant weight 2012
World number three Free immersion 2012
World depth number three combined depth disciplines 2012

New Zealand representative World depth championships 2011
Third place Static Danish Masters 2011

Event Organiser/Co-ordinator:

CMAS WR attempt Sofia Gomez, Blue Element 2017
Blue Element 2016
Steinlager Return to the Deep 2016, William Trubridge 102m record attempt
Vertical Blue 2016
Vertical Blue 2015
Vertical Blue 2014
​Deep Dahab 2012

Safety diving:

AIDA Safety Officer 2017- current
Chief of Safety, Event Co-ordinator, Locations Manager Suunto Vertical Blue 2014
Chief of Safety 'Big Blue' Freediving competition, La Paz, Mexico 2015
​New Zealand Depth Champs 2014
New Zealand Depth Champs 2013
Suunto Vertical Blue 2012
Freedive Dahab minicomps 2011

Coach/Instructor for five World Record performances:

2017 Sofia Gomez Uribe CMAS CWT bi-fins 84m
2017 Sofia Gomez Uribe CMAS CWT bi-fins 83m
2014 Sahika Ercumen CMAS Variable weight no-fins 91m
2014 Sahika Ercumen CMAS Free immersion 72m
2013 Jeanine Grasmeijer AIDA Free imersion 90m
Coach/Instructor for 50+ National and Continental Records

Qualifications:

AIDA Safety Officer
AIDA Instructor Trainer
PADI Instructor Trainer(freediving)
SSI Master Instructor
PADI scuba Instructor
Emergency First Response Instructor

See Jonathan's AIDA Rankings.


Thibault Guignés

Freediver - Instructor

Thibault Guignés


Thibault Guignes is 37 years old French freediving athlete specialized in depth disciplines. He holds 8 National Records for France in the Free Immersion discipline, with a personal best in competition of 117m. That makes it the 5th performance ever achieved in this discipline worldwide. His unique approach of training depth all year round and repeating dives over and over again led him to achieve more than 200 dives past 100m depth in his freediving career so far. 

Thibault grew up in the countryside in France, not far from the sea and decided to study Ocean engineering. After brilliant studies in this field, he was destined for a PhD in Oceanography but during a research trip in French Polynesia, Thibault realized that he needed a life in the open and in beautiful islands and came up with this project to open a scuba diving shop somewhere in the tropical seas. After working 5 years in an office to fund his project, Thibault went on a trip around the world to find a suitable place for his scuba shop and on the way discovered freediving, beginning of 2014. That was the real turning point in his life.

From this moment Thibault decided to dedicate all his time and resources to Freediving. He started to train intensively and became quickly one of the rising stars of Freediving being selected in the French Team for the 2015 World Championships after only one year of practice. Thibault also developed his own Freediving school in the Philippines to share his passion and knowledge about freediving while training and competing. Thibault is now one of the deepest Freediver in the world, not only in Free Immersion discipline but also in Constant weight Bi-fins discipline with an astounding personal best of 110m in training.

Achievements:

117 m Free Immersion National Record, Curacao, October 2019
2nd best performance worldwide in Free Immersion in 2019
5th best performance worldwide in CWT Bi-fins in 2019
Winner of OceanQuest Curacao challenge 2019, Curacao
2nd of the Blue Element competition 2019, Dominica
Winner of the Japanese Cup 2019, Panglao
Winner of the Singapore Depth Championships 2018, Bali
Bronze medal in FIM in Vertical Blue 2018, Bahamas

See Thibault's AIDA rankings.


Sofía Gómez Uribe

Freediver - Instructor - Producer - Influencer

Sofía Gómez Uribe


Sofía Gómez Uribe was born in Pereira, Colombia on April 15th 1992. She studied in the Inmaculado Corazón de María school where she graduated with honors in the year 2008. Since she was 10 years old, she has been practising underwater sports. She started as a Synchronized swimmer, which she practiced for a year and in 2002, started her life as a Finswimmer, sport that she would practice until 2014. After graduating highschool, she moved to Bogotá and then to Medellín, where she continues living,  to study Civil Engineering and to continue finswimming.

Since 2009 she competes for Antioquia and even though she wasn't born there, she feels she is an antioqueña de corazón.
Sofía started training and competing freediving in 2011, when, almost by accident she descovered her passion for the sport. 

Since then she has had outstanding performances in both national and international freediving competitions, reaching first places and obtaining more than 6 national récords. She now holds 3 Pan American and 1 South American records, in pool and depht freediving. 

Apart from being a sucsessful freediver, Sofía is also a Civil Engineer, degree she achived last year, graduating from the Universidad de Medellín. 

Achievements:

2016, First place in the Caribbean Cup Competition, in Roatán Honduras
89m CWT
82m FIM
60m CNF (Southamerican Record)

2016, First Place Vertical Blue, in Long Island, Bahamas
93mCWT Third Place and Pan American Record
82m FIM Pan American Record 
84m FIM First place and Pan American Record 
58m CNF Third place and South American Record  

2015, Fourth place in the World Ranking

2015, Second Place in the competition Big Blue in La Paz, Mexico
55m CNF First Place and South American Record
78m FIM Second place and South American Record 
75m CWT South american Record
81m CWT Second Place and South American Record

2015, Fourth place in Vertical Blue
51m CNF SOuth American Record
70m FIM South American Record
72m CWT 

2014, Fourth Place Caribbean Cup: 3 National Records                           

45m CNF
60m CWT
56m FIM

2014, First Place and Pan American Record in the Pan American CMAS Pool Competition: 195.76m DYN  
2014, First Place in the II Juegos Bolivarianos de Playa of Huanchaco, Perú

2013, Second Place in the Caribbean Cup, 3 National Records
-35m CNF
-50m CWT
-55m FIM

2012, Second place in the Panamerican Freediving competition in Cali, Colombia 156m DYN 
2012, Juegos deportivos nacionales, First Place 4x3000 Finswimming
2011, International Competition in Cuba, First Place 162m DYN
2010, I Juegos FEDECAS, National Record 89m DNF
2010, I Juegos FEDECAS 150m DYN2008, Junior World Championship, Third Place 4x200 Finswimming
2008, Juegos Deportivos Nacionales Third Place 4x200 , 4x100. Fourth Place 400m  Finswimming

See Sofia's AIDA rankings.


Ryuzo Shinomiya

Freediver - Instructor - Creator

Ryuzo Shinomiya


Ryuzo is a living legend in Japan as he is the first man who reached -100m throughout the Asian continent. He is still an active freediver, although not a competing one, owner of Apneaworks, AIDA Judge & instructor.

Achievements:

CWT - 115m National & Asia Record (27/04/2010)
FIM - 104m National & Asia Record (25/04/2010)
CNF - 56m National & Asia Record (23/05/2013)

World Cup 2000 Swiss Round - 3rd Place
Pacific Cup of Hawaii 2002 - 3rd Place
1st Japan Championship 2003 - 1st Place
4th Team World Freediving Championship 2004 in Canada - 5th Place
Cyprus 2004 Freediver Open Classic Static - 1st Place
2nd Japan Chamipionship 2004 - 1st Place
Kona Freedive Invitational 2005 Static - 1st Place
Dahab Triple Depth 2005 Egypt - 1st Place
Coupe Des Calanques 2006 France - 1st Place
Aida Hellas Summer Games 2006 Dynamic with Fin - 1st Place
Aida Hellas Summer Games 2006 Static - 2nd Place
5th Team World Freediving Championship 2006 in Egypt - 4th Place
3rd Individual World Freediving Championship 2007 in Slovenia - 5th Place
Dahab Triple Depth 2007 Egypt - 1st Place
Egypt Prechallenge 2008 Static - 1st Place
Egypt Prechallenge 2008 Constant with fin - 2nd Place
Vertical Blue Suunto Dive Off 2010 - 3rd Place
7th Team World Freediving Championship 2010 in Okinawa - 2nd Place
Indoor Cup Tateyama 2012 Static - 1st Place
Deep Water CupOkinawa 2012 - 1st Place
Caribbean Cup 2013 Free Immersion - 2nd Place
Caribbean Cup 2013 Constant no fin - 3rd Place
One Breath Jamboree 2013 Bali Constant - 1st Place
Vertical Blue 2015 in over all - 2nd place

See Ryuzo's AIDA rankings.


Helena Bourdillon

Freediver - Instructor - Speaker

Helena Bourdillon


Helena grew up in London and was a water baby from the start.  She learned to scuba dive aged 12 and enjoyed it for many years but always found it to be a bit noisy and cumbersome. While travelling in Thailand in 2013, she discovered freediving and it was love at first dive!  She found a deep level of  peace and tranquility that wasn’t able to access whilst scuba diving.

Shortly after starting to freedive, she had to take a year away from depth for personal reasons but returned and in 2015, she was selected to attend the biennial Individual Depth World Championships in Cyprus on the British Team where she placed overall 10th out of 30 women. In 2017 she attended the same event, this time in Roatan, Honduras where she placed overall 5th out of 31 women.

In August 2019, she competed in the Caribbean Cup in Roatan Honduras, gaining her first 2 national records in CWBF followed by the CMAS World Championships where she took all 4 depth national records.  Then onto Villefrance-sur-Mer, France for the AIDA World Championships where she secured 3 white cards for successful dives and came 4th overall out of 46 women.

Her passion is for the depth disciplines, but she uses the pool for training when she is London based and unable to access deep water.

She is an SSI Level 2 Freediving Instructor and has a healthy passion for Yoga.  She relishes both the physical and mental side of free diving and looks forward to consistently increasing her depths over the coming years.

Achievements:

3 x AIDA National Records for CWTB
4 x CMAS National Records (each discipline)

See Helena's AIDA rankings.


Enchante Gallardo

Freediver - Instructor

Enchante Gallardo


Enchante Gallardo was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii and has grown up in and around the water since she was a young girl. She spent most of her time in the water on the surface and in the waves. She spent most of her high school years body boarding at Sandy’s a local beach break or surfing before or after school with friends. Surfing and being in the ocean was her form of therapy allowing her to be present and connected with nature. These humbling experiences taught her to respect the ocean, its soothing and calm effects, yet knowing how powerful and dangerous it can be. Discovering free diving allowed her to deepen her connection with the ocean, the world that lies beneath the surface and most importantly herself.

She took her first free diving course in September 2017 when she immediately fell in love the sport, fascinated by the underwater world and the idea of challenging her personal limits. She followed the path to becoming an instructor almost immediately. She was captivated by the idea of competing, in part to meet other like minded people who shared her same newfound passion and for the experience of becoming a better free diver and instructor. Since then she has never looked back.

In 2018, she competed in her first free diving depth competition, The Kona Depth Challenge, where she came in 2nd place. She also competed at the inaugural 2018 Hawaii Cup of Freediving and is active in the Hawaii Freediving scene. In 2019 she competed in her first international competition in Mexico at Xibalba 2019 where she achieved 4 US national records in the Constant weight Bi-fins discipline. Her success in Mexico pushed her to compete in Roatan for Caribbean Cup 2019 and CMAS World Championships as part of the US freediving team.

She currently holds the U.S. national record for Constant Weight Bi-Fins discipline, diving to a depth of 81m. Constantly inspired by the freediving community around the world, she continues to train, striving to enhance her free diving abilities and loves sharing her passion for free diving with others.

Achievements:

First free diving competition, Kona Depth Challenge
Inaugural CMAS sanctioned 2018 Hawaii Cup of Freediving
First International Competition, Xibalba 2019, Mexico, 4 National Records for AIDA 75m CWTB
Carribean Cup 2019, Roatan, AIDA US National Record 81m CWTB
CMAS sanctioned World Championships, Roatan, US team, 2 CMAS National records, 74m FIM, 80m CWTB

See Enchante's AIDA rankings


Alena Konecna

Freediver

Alena Konecna


Alena Konecna was born in Czech Republic. Being a water-loving child, she took swimming lessons and later on she swam competitively for 10 years. She had her first freediving course in Croatia and the rest is history, as she developed to be one of the most awarded female freedivers and is currently #3 in CWTB.

See Alena's AIDA Rankings.

 


Cristian Castaño Villa

Freediver - Instructor

Cristian Castaño Villa


Cristian, although born in the mountains of the Colombian Andes, far from the sea, has always had a love for the ocean. He began his freediving career in Koh Tao, Thailand in 2014 and has since been teaching in some of the most recognized freediving spots around the world including Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Honduras and now Colombia. Cristian holds a wealth of experience as an instructor in both AIDA (instructor trainer) and Apnea Total (master instructor), having certified and coached over 300 freedivers of all levels around the globe. His passion for freediving extends to regular training and competitions. He started competing in 2016 and has participated in over 20 international events. Highlights were the CMAS World Championship 2019 in Roatán, Honduras where he was part of the Colombian national team, which participated for the first time in such an event; as well as the CMAS World Cup 2019 in Kaş, Turkey where he won two silver and one bronze medal in CWT, CWTB and FIM respectively. Cristian has broken national records, 21 times for his country in all depth disciplines and static apnea. He is the current Colombian record holder in Free Immersion, Constant Weight and Constant Weight bi-fins for both CMAS and AIDA organizations. He’s also the deepest South American Freediver in Constant Weight bi-fins with an official record of 82 meters which he achieved in Dahab, Egypt using our V3 Alchemy fins.  

Achievements:

Bronze overall, Egyptian National Championship 2019
Bronze FIM, World Cup Kas Baska 2019
Silver CWTB, World Cup Kas Baska 2019
Silver CWT, World Cup Kas Baska 2019
Gold overall, Vostok Europe Cup 2018
Gold CWT, Authentic Big Blue 2018
Gold FIM, Authentic Big Blue 2018
Bronze CNF, Russian National Championship 2018
Gold overall, Red C Cup 10th Edition 2018
Gold overall, Fusion Breathold Hero Challenge, 2016

CWT: 92m (AIDA national record)
FIM: 90m (AIDA national record)

CWTB:82m (AIDA national record)

CNF:59m (AIDA)

STA: 5:27 Seg (AIDA)

FIM:85m (CMAS national record)

CWTB: 77m (CMAS national record)

CWT:75m (CMAS national record)

CNF:40m (CMAS)

See Cristian's AIDA rankings


Fatima Korok

Freediver - Instructor

Fatima Korok


Fatima is the first Hungarian world champion in freediving. She won a gold medal in FIM discipline on the AIDA Depth World Championship in 2019 and did 8 NRs for Hungary during the 11 months being in the sport.

Since the age of 16 Fatima was working in the tourism industry in Budapest, first as a sales person and then as a cultural project manager and tour guide. In 2016 she decided to change her life and travel, ever since she lost 40kgs, worked in Spain with kids in hotels and she was traveling in Central America to be a scuba professional. In Honduras she decided to sign up for a freediving beginner course at Freedive Utila and she fell in love with deep diving. Fatima decided to dedicate herself to breath hold diving and moved to Dahab in October 2018. During the 8 months training in Egyt she did a quick progression to 80m, participated 4 competitions in the Blue Hole and became an AIDA instructor.

Fatima is competing in all depth disciplines, but her favorite is CWNF, she is planning to be based in Dahab and Croatia and doing workshops all over the world. In the future Fatima wants to continue to compete in depth and make freediving more popular especially for younger generations.

Achievements:

November 2018 - Dahab FIM 47m NR
April 2019 - Dahab FIM 71m NR
April 2019 - Dahab CNF 53m & 58 m NR
May 2019 - Dahab CWT-BI 66m NR
May 2019 - Dahab CWT 71m NR
September 2019 - AIDA WCH FIM 81m Gold medal
September 2019 - AIDA WCH CWT 78m NR

See Fatima's AIDA rankings.


Sheena McNally

Freediver - Instructor

Sheena McNally


Although she hails from a part of Canada over 1,000 km from the ocean, Sheena has always loved being in the water. Growing up, she spent summers on the lake and winters in the pool, becoming certified in lifesaving, rescue, and swimming instruction. As an adult, Sheena dabbled in many activities, including martial arts, circus, and running, but none of them stuck. She eventually took up scuba diving and fell in love with the sea, which led her to leave the chilly prairies and a career in design and communications behind. Her search for sunny weather and good diving brought her to Utila, Honduras, where she enrolled in a beginner freediving course—and got completely hooked!

A few years (and a couple of skipped flights) later, Sheena is an Apnea Total Master Instructor and AIDA Instructor who has helped hundreds of students of all levels discover their aquatic potential. Strong and tireless in the water, she has also served as a primary safety diver during the 2017 AIDA World Depth Championships.

The 2018 Caribbean Cup International Freediving Competition was Sheena’s first foray into competitive freediving. During the Cup, she broke the long-standing Canadian national record in Free Immersion—twice! With big smiles and a lot of laughter, Sheena became the Female Overall Winner of the Cup.

This experience motivated Sheena to continue competing. To date, she has set five national records and one continental record in Free Immersion (FIM), two continental records in Constant Weight with a monofin (CWT), and one national record in Constant Weight with bi-fins (CWTB).

While she loves the challenge of diving deep, Sheena believes that freediving is firstly about enjoying your time underwater, be it on the line, in the pool, or on the reef, and she strives to share this mindset—and plenty of smiles—with fellow divers.

When not in the Caribbean Sea, you can probably find Sheena in the kitchen, baking brownies and brewing coffee in her beloved AeroPress.

See Sheena's AIDA rankings.


Lidija Lijic

Freediver - Instructor

Lidija Lijic


Lidija was born in Split, a small town on Croatian coast. From her early age she was enchanted  by the sea and found her peace and tranquillity on its shores. Her bond with endless blue water grew stronger with age and with activities like scuba and spearfishing bringing her back to her safe place regularly.  Freediving is a sport that was naturally the extension of her thoughts. And here she has been setting standards and moving barriers from the beginning of her career until this day, and continuing to perform on a highest level.

Now, decorated with multiple world championship titles and records from pool and sea disciplines she is globally recognised as one of the legends of the sport and continues to enjoy her blue playground on every occasion she finds. When not in dive mode, you will find her soaring the skies, exploring mountain peaks and designing ships as a leading designer or walking by the sea shore.

Lidija has always been environmentally and socially responsible, volunteering through numerous NGO’s on human rights, Ocean clean ups, drawing attention to rising issues in the Adriatic sea and beyond. Nowadays she is country director of Sea Shepherd Croatia and Sea Shepherd Global ambassador.

As the world gets smaller, the need for serenity overflows, and with that the consciousness about preserving and protecting her first love on a new level. In the future, the plan is to focus even more on Ocean protection, making concrete changes in her own back yard. Opening Sea Shepherd Croatia as a platform to influence and   engage in action is her first step.

Accomplishments:

5x World record holder
2x World champion
2x European champion
4x World vice champion
2x European vice champion
Croatian Olympic committee elite athlete 1st category
5x Croatian Olympic committee best Croatian athlete of the year nominee
Best athlete, city of Zagreb
2020 best female outdoor athlete
Guinness under ice world record freedive (Austria)
Highest altitude freedive World record (Nepal)

See Lidija's AIDA rankings.


Asaki Okada

Freediver - Instructor

Asaki Okada


Growing up in the middle of Japan, Asaki first developed skills in different sports like snowboarding, tennis and skiing besides other artistic skills like violin and piano lessons, quickly learning and moving on to the next challenge. Seasonally Asaki would spend time at Gifu, where she would help her family’s beekeeping activities.

After University, she moved to Okinawa and eventually left Japan to travel for several years, going in deep into Balinese, Indian, Thai, Malaysian and all kinds of Asian cultures and traditions, eventually discovering Freediving in one of her travels in the Philippines, she felt a big call from the Sea. Asaki developed advanced Underwater skills soon, and dedicated her life to guide people around Okinawa’s pristine Islands.

Eventually Asaki became a Freediving Instructor and decided to spent her life training and teaching in Irabujima (Irabu Island), Okinawa, where she founded her freediving school Freedive Irabu.

Asaki is well known for her graceful way of flowing through water, for her is just the way of connecting with the Sea, but under the eye of most Underwater Photographers, capturing her underwater is a whole spectacle. Some of her favorite spots for training and exploring are Okinawa, Philippines, Egypt and Mexican Cenotes.

Accomplishments:

AIDA Freediving Instructor

Founder of Freedive Irabu

Collaborations with Award Winning UW Photographers


Neza Cec

Freediver - Instructor

Neza Cec


Neža is a Slovenian freediver, who started freediving in 2016. She is currently sharing a national record with Alenka Artnik in free-immersion discipline and she broke a national static apnea record in 2019. Even though the majority of her year is spent training in the pool, she genuinely loves depth diving. She is working full time as a product manager for Celtra and together with her husband Samo Jeranko, she is building an ever-growing community of freedivers in Slovenia in the scope of their freediving club Apnea.si.

Neža grew up doing a lot of different sports, but the main one was alpine skiing which she trained for more than a decade. She spent a lot of time each summer on a motorboat with her family, where she fell in love with snorkeling and exploring the sea. Naturally, whenever something was dropped in the water, she was called in for a rescue, so she dove for cutlery,  her brother’s fins, paddles, and an occasional detangling of anchor chains. Needless to say, she loved every one of those challenges. 

Later on, during her college years, Neža followed her high school friend Samo Jeranko on Facebook, who was already breaking Slovenian national records. Intrigued, she invited him for a coffee, which turned into a relationship and a joined love for freediving. In her first year, she enjoyed some major successes, when she managed to dive to a depth of 65m with a monofin after just a couple of months of training and doing a 60m free-immersion dive on her only second dive in free-immersion discipline ever. 

That same year, in 2016, Samo decided to quit his regular job and turn his attention to his Apnea.si freediving club. With her broad knowledge of building websites, content writing, and online advertising, Neža built a new website and showed him how to grow his business online. In the meantime, she kept training and ran into her first obstacles: lack of proper swimming technique for the pool freediving and lack of time to break her plateau with equalization for depth freediving. She kept training relentlessly and among other achievements, she broke Slovenian national record in static apnea with a time of 5:48 and equaled Alenka Artnik’s national record in free immersion with a dive of 75m.

There is still a lot she plans to work on in the years to come. The freediving business still has a lot of room to grow and the sea is calling her to spend more time on depth training. All in all, there is a lot left to explore in this amazing world of freediving!

Achievements:

STA NR 5:48 (2019) 
FIM: -75m (2019)
CWTB: -70m (2019)
DYNB: 138m (2020)

See Neza's AIDA rankings.


Sofia Tapani

Freediver

Sofia Tapani


Sofia has been freediving since 2009, after 3 months she entered her first freediving competition and was hooked. Coming from competitive swimming and owning no fins, diving with no fins became her game and she has since set several national records in both dynamic and constant weight no fins. Sofia lives at the Swedish West Coast close to the beautiful, dark, deep Gullmaren. A Swedish threshold fiord with marine life such as seals, fish, crabs and jellyfish. In the fiord, she teaches freediving and does most of her training for the deep dives. This place offers thermoclines, caves and cliffs and is Sofia’s favorite place for freediving. In the winter time she enjoys ice diving and warm drinks afterwards. Training in these, for some, rough conditions gave her the perfect set up for competing in tropical waters. Train hard-Compete easy. In 2019, she became the deepest Swede with bifins (counting both men and women). The national record was set at the Caribbean Cup in Roatan diving to 74m.

Having set 16 national records across multiple freediving disciplines, Sofia is now looking forward to seeing how deep she can go with two fins. The Roatan diving competition was her first trying out bifins deep diving and the journey has just begun.

Achievements:

16 national records in freediving, current national record holder in CWTB, DNF
First Swedish woman at 200m in DYN
Deepest Swede with 74m in CWTB(this is also a Scandinavian/Nordic record)
AIDA instructor and co-founder of Sweden's only AIDA freediving school Fridykare
AIDA D Judge
4th place at AIDA World Championships in 2011
Ranked #3 in the world, all disciplines in 2017

See Sofia's AIDA rankings.


Tomoka Fukuda

Freediver

Tomoka Fukuda


Tomoka was born in 1978 and raised in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. She learned swimming from an early age and in 2007, she moved to Okinawa, focusing on freediving from 2011. It's been one hell of a ride since then, as she progressed to be one of Japan's most awarded freedivers.

See Tomoka's AIDA rankings.


Linda Paganelli

Freediver - Instructor

Linda Paganelli


Linda started freediving in 2002 but only got into competitive freediving in 2005 when she set her first italian records in all 3 depth disciplines, Constant Weight, Free Immersion and Constant No Fins. She held most of the depth records (cwt, fim, cnf, variable weight) for Italy for over 1 decade from 2005 until 2016, and set a Continental Record in Variable Weight in 2007. 

She has been teaching freediving since 2004 and became an Instructor Trainer in 2007, taught hundreds of instructor courses for a decade. She coached hundreds of competitive freedivers and continues to do so to this day. When she stopped training and competing she became passionate about underwater photography and she always has her camera in the water with her. 

She lived in Dahab, Egypt from 2002 to 2015, where she could train all year round while running her school, Freedive Dahab. In 2016 she moved to Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) where she started another freediving center, Atlantis Freediving.

See Linda's AIDA rankings.


Carlos Coste

Freediver - Instructor

Carlos Coste


Legendary world class freediver and multiple world record-holder. Carlos discover apnea diving in 1997. His first years learning freediving were in Venezuela, where he started a very intense and passionate exploration journey of his potential in breath hold diving. It was a very self-taught start, since in Venezuela (1996-1999) the knowledge about freediving was extremely limited. But his curiosity and passion push him to discover techniques and experiment it, being able to reach 60m depths in less than 3 years without any international learning experience. Carlos started in the University Underwater Activities Club (CASA-UCV, Caracas) where he learned the fundamentals and became part of a community of spearfishermen and sport divers. Coste start training in parallel Spearfishing & Freediving every week.

In 2000 Carlos participate in his 1st International Freediving Competition (Niza Freediving TEAM World Cup) where the Venezuelan TEAM won the Bronze, between 29 countries. It meant a huge push to Carlos ́s motivation.

From this point, Coste ́s career kick off, becoming a pioneer being the first freediver passing the 100m barrier in non-assisted disciplines (CWT and FIM), as well he challenging himself going beyond standards, breaking records in Altitude and Caves.

During a -182m depth training dive in September 2006 in No Limits discipline Carlos had a serious accident (air embolism in the cerebellum). He completed the 182m dive training to break the NLT WR at that moment (183m) reach surface, surface protocol OK, but start to feel strong symptoms. Carlos did a very intense recovery treatment including Hyperbaric Medicine and physiotherapy / training for months that allow him to get back into the competitive & WR arena. His recovery was not an individual work, it was a TEAM effort leaded by Gaby (Carlos ́s ex-wife) during those difficult times.

From 2007 Carlos re start his competitive career, having new WR and adventures. From 2014 is living in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean where he and Gaby founded Deepsea Freediving School (www.deepseabonaire.com). From then is teaching a lot of students that visit him to learn from his freediving experience & techniques.

Achievements:

FIM -93 and CWT -90m AIDA World Records. Venezuela, 2002.
FIM -101 AIDA & Guinness WR (1st Freediver passing 100m in non-assisted discipline). Venezuela, 2003.
CNF -61m (non-official WR). Venezuela, 2003.
VWT -135m. Venezuela, 2004.
CWT -102m AIDA WR (1st freediver below 100m in CWT). Cyprus, 2004.
CWT -105m AIDA WR and Gold Medal in the 1st Individual World Championship. Niza 2005
CWT -57m Altitude Record CWT Dive 3800 m.a.s.l. Venezuela, 2006.
VWT -140m AIDA WR. Egypt, 2006.
No Limits Dive -182m Best Performance. Egypt, 2006.
DYN 215m, Pan-American Record. AIDA Pool World Championships in Aarus, Dennmark, 2009.
Guinness WR “longest dynamic freedive in cave, 150m” Dos Ojos Cenote in México 2010.
CWT -116m, Pan-American Record. AIDA Depth World Championship in Kalamata, Greece, 2011.
CNF -69m, South American Continental Record. Deepsea Challenge 2016 in Bonaire.
Guinness WR “Longest Dynamic Freedive in Open Waters”. Deepsea Challenge 2016 in Bonaire.
1st Ultra Marathon performance 50Km, 6h, in Bonaire Ultra 1st Edition, 2020.

See Carlos' AIDA rankings.


Andy Babbage

Freediver - Instructor - Author

Andy Babbage


In his youth Andy was very athletic from swimming competitions to athletics; he pursued to give everything he had, to compete and to win. At the age of seven he received his first skateboard, for the next fifteen years he was glued to this plank of wood, sometimes skateboarding twelve hours a day back to back. At seventeen he went semi-pro connecting with a few sponsors. Unfortunately from there his skateboarding career went a little sideways with numerous broken bones and surgeries, braking and dislocating bones from head to toe; steel rails and concrete are unforgiving. Through these times of adversity and continual rehabilitation, the hospital is tagged as his second home. He has been put under the knife more times than you can imagine. But that is what has built him. Pain and hard times have sculpted the tough character he is today. 

Through university, he searched and experimented with triathlons – Iron Man and long-distance coastal swims. He started to dabble with freediving out of pure curiosity in the deep end of an Olympic pool. BTV came naturally and he flowed with it. He was self-taught, but he was missing the knowledge aspect, he needed safety and guidance. 

In 2015 Andy set off on a grand exploration to travel and film the world – leaving New Zealand and heading to the Polynesian islands, in Samoa he fell in love with the art of the Hawaiian sling and spent the majority of the sunlight floating in the pristine waters hunting fish. 

After travelling dozens of countries through South East Asia and trekking across the Himalayas, he landed in Amed, Bali, where he truly discovered freediving, being taught by one of the best; Polish National record holder Emilia Biala. He fell in love with the beautiful town Amed and trained under the wing of Nicholas Kouvaras to complete his Instructor course and pursue deep diving. Then he was off to the famous Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt. Eighteen months later he licked the bottom of the Blue Hole. From there it was back to bouncing around South East Asia from the Philippines to Thailand to Indonesia, advancing and focusing on self-improvement. Bali was where he learnt the most about himself and his training; drift diving in the strong and challenging currents. He attended and coached in multiple deep weeks with some of the best freedivers in the world through Blue Earth.

Achievements:

  • Long Distance swim – New Zealand (30km)
  • Head of safety – 2019 New Zealand Freediving Nationals
  • Iron man completed - New Zealand
  • Cycled four countries – Jordan, Egypt, Thailand, Cambodia
  • World record fastest ascent Stok Kangri (6154m), India  
  • Personal bests Bali – 88m – (fim, bi-fins, vwt) 
  • Baro-Aspida – Amazon, An education book for freedivers on pulmonary oedema.


See Andy's AIDA rankings.


Iru Balic

Freediver

Iru Balic


Iru Balic is much more than a professional freediver who has broken the National Record (Venezuelan) for 13 times. She is more than the first place of the World Ranking from May to September 2013. Iru is: mom, friend, companion, supportive & concerned about the welfare of others. All these qualifying adjectives have made her an excellent life coach throughout her years as a freediving instructor, in Venezuela, Panama, Brasil and the world.

She is a great professional, she decided to combine all her knowledge and skills in a Master, to become a qualified Coach. Today she is a complete woman who has even more to offer because she has the ideal base as a human being, plus the necessary tools to carry out any challenge and work project.

 

 


Annelie Pompe

Freediver - Instructor

Annelie Pompe


Annelie Pompe is a professional adventurer from Sweden. She works as a inspirational speaker, adventure guide, freediving / yoga & breathing teacher, author and photographer. Amongst her adventurous achievements is a world record freedive to 126m on one breath, as well as being the first Swedish woman to summit Everest from the north side and climbing the 7 summits. 

Adventures happen on the inside as much as it does on the outside. Annelie believes adventures are more about attitude than adrenaline. It’s the studies and work with the mind that took her to to the extreme limits of the body, which made her the highest and deepest human in the world. She prefers nature and outdoors before the city or indoors and does most outdoor sports like climbing, freediving, yoga, running, skiing, surfing, kayaking and mountainbiking.

 As Annelie has spent most of her life in nature and has seen the effects of humans everywhere. She believes in giving back to nature through sharing and caring. She is a passionate advocate for the Ocean and gives back through teaching free diving, ghost net diving and being an ocean ambassador for WWF.

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Achievements:

WWT 126m WR

CWT 99m
FIM 72m PB

Climbed the 7 summits

See Anelie's AIDA rankings.


Kim Jeongseon

Freediver - Instructor

Kim Jeongseon


Kim started freediving during 2012 in Korea. As at the time very little was known in Korean about freediving, she started running a blog that conveyed important information such as freediving theory, training methods & equipment. In the years to come, she formed three training teams and worked as a leader in order to be able to travel more and freedive around the planet. So far, she has traveled to 15 countries and participated in more than 10 competitions. Her journey is still in progress.

Achievements:

2016 Panglao Depth Challenge CWT NR
2019 Mactan STA Comp
2019 Dahab Apnea spring comp
2019 AIDA Blue Ocean Depth Comp
2019 AIDA Depth World Championship
2019 AIDA Cyprus Depth Game CWT 2nd
2019 Blue Element

See Kim's AIDA rankings


Marese Secades

Freediver - Instructor

Marese Secades


Marese Secades is a Filipina Freediving instructor, 3 time National record holding athlete, mother and founder of Apnea Philippines.

She grew up between Manila where she attends school and spends her summer breaks swimming in the island of Marinduque where her connection to the sea was ignited. As a child she enjoyed going underwater to hold her breath for as long as she could all the while not knowing that freediving was a thing. In 2016, at 31 years of age, Marese left her corporate career when she fell in love with the sport and art that is Freediving. She then spent the next 2 years mastering her craft on the islands of Cebu, Bohol and Bali. 

She has been hooked ever since and this can be seen through her underwater videos and photos. Marese, has also been featured in local and international media such as Business Mirror, National Geographic, a  Netflix series called Homegame and soon to be released, a brand documentary on her life. Marese competes in both depth and pool disciplines.

She started competing in May 2018 with a national record of 42 meters at constant weight but suffered from pneumonia afterwards and took a little break, she was able to bounce back even better and in feb 2019 she bagged the static National record of 5:04 and a few months later the deepest Constant weight dive to 59meters. Secades is the deepest Filipina freediver to date. 

As a freediving instructor she founded, Apnea Philippines that offers trainings, courses and freediving events around the country. She has trained nearly a thousand new freedivers with her school and  freediving community that promotes the growth of the sport and was able to organize and at the same time compete in its first Aida sanctioned pool competition, the Manila pool open in Jan 2020. In a span of only 4 years and still early into the game, Secades has been one of the top players in the Philippine Freediving scene. 

Achievements:

Constant weight 42m (Freedive panglao mini comp April 2018)
Static National Record 5:04 (Freedive Panglao static comp Feb 2019)
Constant weight 59m (Philippine Depth Nationals May 2019)
2nd place overall women's category ( Manila pool open Jan 2020)

See Marese's AIDA rankings.


Lambros Siadimas

Spearo - Speargun Manufacturer

Lambros Siadimas


Born in Greece, Lambros started spearfishing at a very young age in the Ionian sea. He later on progressed to post his adventures on Youtube and started writing spearfishing articles for magazines and newspapers. At the same time he experimented with designing wooden spearguns which led him to produce Optimum Spearguns and also being the distributor for Polosub wetsuits in west Greece. During 2013 he was a member of AIDA freediving world championship safety team in Kalamata Greece. He has also worked as an UW cameraman for Fabrizio D’Agnagno (Totemsub, Italy) for Sky TV Italy, for a total of 15 series. He is the kind of guy who even if you throw him in a bathtub, he will manage to get back with a grouper or two.


Salvatore Roccaforte


Salvatore Roccaforte doesn't need many much to be said about him as he is considered to be a legend in Italy. He has been spearfishing since a very young age in Sardenia and since his first days, he progressed to be a part of the Italian National Spearfishing Team, having taken part in many competitions in Europe and around the world. Known for his deep & hard style, he manages to dive up to -60m and harvest anything that might come up to him, especially out-of-this-world big Dentex.


David Ochoa

Spearo - Spearfishing Guide - Creator

David Ochoa


David Ochoa is a film director and spearfishing guide with over 20 years of experience. His trips are recognised internationally having landed multiple world records in some of the most remote locations. He also owns Dock6Films with his partner Ricardo Nascimento. A production company focused on sports documentaries for brands like Red Bull. Being a well rounded waterman, he has directed films like Agua Negra or Inhale - The Azores in One Breath. Here are some of the destinations where he has filmed and organised trips: New Zealand, Bahamas, Azores, Cape Verde, Madagascar, Fiji, Zanzibar, Mexico, Panama, Indonesia.


Antonis Mantzakos


Antonis Mantzakos is a passionate spearo from Greece.He made his first steps from a very young age as he followed his dad while he was spearfishing. At the age of 10 years old he had his first speargun and the first good catch didn't take time to be accomplished. Later on, at an older age, he successfully finished all freediving levels and got caught up in helping his instructor with freediving courses as an assistant freediving instructor. But his passion for his favourite hobby monopolized his interst and since then he got into deep spearfishing with some amazing catches.


Garrett Moss

Spearo - Freediving Instructor

Garrett Moss


Garrett Moss is a professional waterman, with a focus on spearfishing, free diving, photography/videography, and surfing, currently based in Hawaii. He spends his time spearfishing the warm & beautiful waters off Maui. Proud team member for Alchemy Spearfishing and an Fii Level 1 free diving instructor. His specialty is hunting deep reefs, looking for Uku(grey snapper), Ono(wahoo), Yellowspot Trevally, Mu(big eyed emperor), Mahi, Ahi(tuna). His spearfishing travels have lead him to destinations such as Fiji, Bahamas, Florida, Dry Tortugas, California, and all over the Indonesian Archipelago. 


Javier Gil Humphrey


Javier Gil Humphrey was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, which is located in the north east of Mexico. It all started when he was 8 years old in a place called Isla de Lobos, not so far from Tampico. As he watched his dad dive and spearfish every weekend, after 2 years his dad taught him to dive and absolutely loved it.

Over the years he gradually learned to dive deeper. The more he got into it, the more he discovered new things. He remembers that one day, his dad showed him a video about apnea and it instantly caught his attention. He learned more about it and decided to take a course in a cenote in Playa del Carmen. The course was very helpful, so naturally he went from diving 10m up to 20m. At the time, he was living in Texas, so he could only go spearfishing over the summer and holidays when he visited his family in Cancun. It was actually when he moved back to Tampico when he started to dedicate more time to this sport and started to make true progress.

He is currently considered to be one of the best spearos around the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 


Humoud Alajlan


His journey began from a young age in Kuwait, when he used the pole spear to hunt giant cuttlefish and crabs. Coming from a family where their heritage revolved around pearl diving and fishing, the ocean's mystery drove him closer to it.

At the age of 10 he managed to achieve his Junior and Advance scuba diving license and at the age of 11 he joined a local sports club and swam competitively until the age of 17. Thereafter, he thrived to finish his bachelor degree in Finance and that’s when he moved to a small town called Oshkosh WI in the USA. There he swam for his team college for 3 years and moving to America was a new experience for him that shaped the person he is today. After he graduated in 2012, he continued pursuing his career in corporate banking in Kuwait, and in 2014 purchased his first ever boat which allowed him to spearfish more on weekends and improve his spearfishing skills.

Humoud also lived in Hawaii for three months to sharpen his diving skills and learn from the best spearos on Big Island whose ancestry was based on spearfishing; that was where he achieved his personal record in freediving - 58M CWT - and trained himself to hunt at depths of 36 meters.

In 2015, after his trip from Hawaii, he heard about a spearfishing tournament in Kuwait, where he signed on together with a team together to compete and won. Later on, we competed in 2017 and scored 1st again, 2018 scored 2nd, 2019 scored 1st.

In 2018, he managed to compete in the toughest pearl diving championship held by Katara in Qatar, where there was over 20 pearl diving teams of the best divers throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Each team had 10 pearl divers which included a scout, and they used to dive with swim trunks which excluded the use of dive suits, masks, snorkels, and fins which reminded them of how their ancestors used to pearl dive before the discovery of oil. They managed to score 1st place.

Achievements:

Kuwait Spearfishing Champions 2015, 2017, 2019
Biggest fish: Yellow Fin Tuna 106Kg, Ascension Island


Aaron Young

Commercial Spearo - Spearfishing Guide

Aaron Young


Born and raised on the waters of central Florida, Aaron has had a lifetime of experience in and on the water. He started spearing fishing at a very young age out of Port Canaveral with his father. His passion for modern day “freediving” began in the murky waters of the Indian River. Aaron built his first speargun, a 36” true mid handle, to target sheepshead and mangrove snappers. 

In 2013, Aaron was laid off from his full time job. He decided to sell everything he owned, move to the Florida Keys, a place he and his family regularly visited as a kid, and pursue his passion. The Florida Keys were an easy choice with its reputation of world class fishing and diving! Aaron dedicated 3 years learning the waters off of Key West and spent every spare second and dollar on the water. 

In 2016, Aaron started his own charter fishing and free diving business, Dibs On Bottom Adventures in Key West, Fl. Today, Aaron works full time as a charter captain, commercial fisherman, and aspiring YouTube creator with his channel Key West Waterman! Through his work, he shares his love for the water and the experiences that come along with it! 


Robert John

Spearo - Spearfishing Guide - Bad Boy

Robert John


Robert John was born and raised on a tropical island paradise known as Guam, a territory of the United States where you can’t physically be more than 6 miles from the ocean at any given time. Because of this, his story with the ocean began at the very young age of two years old. Robert found himself on a boat fishing every weekend with his father for game fish like mahi-mahi, tuna, wahoo, and other fish caught via high speed trolling.

He was never really into free diving or spearfishing growing up. It wasn’t until his cousin Nicolas moved back to Guam from a duty station in Hawaii where Nicolas had been spearfishing often. Robert was impressed when Nick would bring up big fish on one breath and this is where the addiction started. At 20 years old and after having a kid of his own, Robert decided it was time to give up some of his hobbies including drift racing, drag racing and building fast cars. Spearfishing being less expensive (most of the time) Robert asked Nicolas to teach him.

Robert picked up spearfishing and free diving quickly and with each dive trip both of them advanced into greater depths and further distances. From there, they eventually moved into blue water spearfishing from shore. This method of spearfishing was almost unheard of in the waters of Guam - A reputation for being dangerous and having many sharks. Guam was a place where most people would only dive the reef. In February of 2016, a competition was held from shore in a village called Umatac. Robert joined this competition with Peter Heradura; a friend and dive buddy of his for the first time. Together they brought back three mahi and a 47lb wahoo on a shore dive.  This was the largest wahoo ever recorded captured by spear at the time on Guam. This event sparked interest around the island and local newspapers that it technically shifted the way Guam spearos fished.

With more and more spearos adopting this method of spearfishing, Robert wanted to be notorious for landing these big game fish so he continued to spearfish the blue and land larger fish by recording it all on camera. In February 2017, Robert and Peter brought back in another large wahoo during the annual Umatatc competition. This time it weighed in at 51lbs and once again, taking home the trophy for 1st place largest fish.

Robert considers himself a competitive spear fisherman, so in 2018 he began his journey into Baja Mexico to compete in the blue water world cup. He took 1st place for reef fish with a large Pargo and took 3rd place overall out of around 26 competitors amongst the best from all over the world. In his eyes this was his greatest accomplishment in spearfishing. These events ultimately led up to Robert filming his adventures and spearfishing trips and posting them on the platforms that allows him to exhibit his version of art, Instagram and youtube. Big brands in spearfishing began to notice Robert’s videos including Evolve Diving, Aussie reels USA and Alchemy Spearfishing. Robert is now an ambassador for these brands and a proud team member of Alchemy Spearfishing. Keep an eye out for his upcoming videos and events!

 


Shaffan Rasheed

Spearo - Honorary Member

Shaffan Rasheed


Shaffan Rasheed started spearfishing at the age of eighteen in 2013. Back in those days spearfishing was just a way to spend the holidays with his friends and have a good time. Just a couple of boys enjoying the ocean, no GoPros, no fancy equipment and a couple of self-made pole spears. It was all about trying to see who could free dive the deepest and catch the biggest fish. From spending all day in the water, to trying to hunt octopus in the shallows, to diving down to shoot the biggest fish is how he fell in love with the ocean and the sport of spearfishing. Through spear fishing he learned more and more about the Maldivian waters and the uniquely beautiful creatures that inhibit it.  

In 2016, Shaffan finished his first free diving course which certified him as a SSI level 1 free diver. By then he was going on freediving and spearfishing trips almost five days a week. By allocating so much time to the sport, he had gotten extremely good at using the pole spear and had started to hunt with spearguns. His favorite fish to hunt has always been the Bluefin Trevally known as Fani Handhi in the Maldivian language. Shaffan remembers that in the beginning, landing a Bluefin Trevally was a challenge, which made it all the more fun. As he enjoyed the challenge, landing a Bluefin Trevally was always a great satisfaction.

Shaffan believes that spearfishing is a lot more than just shooting a fish. It is about discipline of the spearfisher as well as the knowledge they acquire through practice and most importantly, the implementation of those skills while shooting the fish.

“The best part about spearfishing is being able to share the catch with my friends and family. I hope to pass on my knowledge and the lessons learnt about this beautiful sport to many generations to come.”

Shaffan was the first non-Greek person to join the Alchemy spearfishing team. He sadly passed away in September 2020, doing what he loved. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten.