This week, 36 world-class athletes from 20 different countries are joining dual World Record holder William Trubridge to compete in the 2016 Vertical Blue Freedive Challenge at Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas.
This freediving depth-competition is “the” sporting event of the year for elite competitive freedivers – the “Wimbledon of Freediving”, as dubbed by the NY Times. “VB 2016 looks like it will be our biggest year yet, with the top athletes in the world registered. We have capped the number and invited all the top-ranked athletes from the previous calendar year, so that Vertical Blue maintains its standard as the most elite competition in freediving” exclaimed Trubridge.
Now in its ninth incarnation Vertical Blue also provides, a spectator-friendly competition zone, so fans can watch the record-breaking battles among the world’s most talented athletes, who are literally pushing the limits on what was once thought impossible for the human body to do.
Comprised of three depth disciplines: Constant Weight, Constant No-Fins and Free Immersion (CWT, CNF, FIM respectively) this AIDA judged competition offers competitors six official dives to challenge themselves and their rivals to obtain the coveted Vertical Blue Championship title. Performances will be filmed on the surface and at depth using GoPro cameras to give the viewer a first-hand perspective on how deep these dives really are, amazingly all on breath-hold. Vertical Blue’s organizer William Trubridge has an exciting innovation in video technology to add even more perspective and drama at VB2016.
“It’s been a dream for a while to be able to follow VB dives from start to finish with high-definition video. This year we aim to put that in practice with the X-Adventurer Freetracker which will provide HD footage of the entire length of the dive, and next year we hope to have those videos steaming live to the Internet.”offered Trubridge, who will be the first person to ever incorporate this audience expanding technology. Another first for VB2016 will be athletes in the roster from China, among the many accomplished record-holders in attendance. Pursuing his own goals, Trubridge (who currently holds the world record at 101 meter in what most say is the purest form of freediving, constant no-fins) may also reveal a World Record attempt.
Additionally, a giant in the field of freediving will be making his inaugural appearance at Vertical Blue, Umberto Pelizzari. Trubridge had this to say about his mentor… “Our special guest this year will be Italian legend Umberto Pelizzari. This is his first visit to Long Island which has been highly anticipated as I’ve been asking him to come (for years!) to see Deans Blue Hole. It will be an honor to have Pelo open the VB2016 event.”
Freedive enthusiasts from across the globe can tune into the Vertical Blue Facebook page, the VB event website, VB Instagram, the VB Youtube Channel, Trubridge’s Twitter feed as well as the Vertical Blue twitter handle & hashtag #VB2016 for all the up-to-date news, videos and results.