Category: Board

November 14 Board Meeting

Board news!

The Aida Board met via Skype call on 14 November 2015.

Kimmo started the meeting on a somber note to convey our deep sadness for the people of France and Lebanon who recently suffered attacks by terrorists. We expressly wish to send our thoughts to Aida France and all of our members who were affected by this tragedy.

Kimmo then presented an offer from a unique communications tool called Amazers.  One of Aida’s main goals is to improve our communications, which have been less than effective in recent months. We have experienced significant issues with Yahoo groups and we also need to find a way to bypass social media blocks present in some countries. Mario Zuzic and Kimmo will be investigating the options that we have to establish a reliable and all-inclusive means of communication.

Antero was unable to attend the meeting due to work, but he sent in the latest version of the rules updates to be reviewed. The new rules should be ready for the Assembly to review in January 2016. Most items were simple clarifications or corrections but there will be a few new rules to be considered.

Kimmo reported that the Education officer, Jean-Pol  François and Oli Christen sent out a statement in regards to the Aida policy and the new Padi freedive education program. Aida instructors who desire to teach both programs should contact Jean-Pol if they have any questions regarding this policy.

Kimmo and Carla stated that it is important for Aida to participate in dive-related conferences and conventions worldwide. Antero will be attending the EUF (European Underwater Federation) meeting and Aida will have a presence at Salon Plongée in France, Das Boot in Germany, and the Hong Kong Dive show. Carla gave a brief report on DEMA USA which she attended with William Trubridge, to represent Aida and freediving. Carla was able to meet with DAN executives and discuss instructor liability and competitor health insurance. She also talked to potential sponsors and contacts who might be able to promote Aida freediving.

Jean-Pol reported that the new slides for the education materials are ready and we look forward to the official launch of our new program. He also recommended that Ian Donald of the UK be promoted to IT. Ian is one of the most active instructors and the Board voted to approve his promotion. In addition, Jean-Pol will be instructing a judge course at the Pan Pacs in Australia. It was noted that the course could not be calendared due to the significant problems we are experiencing with the Aida website. IT security specialist, Jakob Galbavy, is feverishly working to resolve the problems and secure our systems.

The Board reviewed and voted to approve the proposal for the Team World Championships 2016 presented by Stavros Kastrinakis and Freedive Club Greece. The proposal will now go to the Assembly via a vote to approve. Mario Zuzic, assistant sport officer, will be the main point of contact for both the world championships in 2016.

Ute reported that the results of the doping test for Nanja van de Broek were negative and the new variable weight record is now official. She also said that the doping test results from Cyprus have not yet been received but the invoice was recently paid. Ute gave a brief summary of the competition in La Paz and said that it had organizational and logistical challenges. The Board agreed that new organizers need support and advice in order to produce a safe and high-quality competition.

Vedran lost his connection during the call, as he was working in a difficult location, but Kimmo said that he had ordered a report from the accounting firm and the finances were satisfactory. Vedran will produce a 2016 budget and 2016 plan ASAP and it will be presented to the Assembly for review and approval .

The Board concurred with Petar Bojovic that the following judges should be promoted from E to D level:

Stephan Adolfsson, Julien Alias, Adriana Bantu, Anne-Louise Fortin,Daniel Frolec, Monika Hopf, Kyoko Inaba, Peter Johnsen,Wayne Judge, Marinos Kartapanis, Francois Leduc,Nora Lestari, Suzanne Lim, Anders Lundberg, Nils Manne, Danny Martherus, Martin Mühlbauer, Aya Mizumura,Oriol Navarro, Kathryn Nevatt, Ben Noble, Hussein Odiba, Marc Oesterle, Kosuke Okamoto, Timo Pontinen, Shaun Pope,Stefan Randig, Ferran Sayeras Riera, Sergio Soria, Kaj Toivola, Sigmund Uray, Judith Van de Griendt, Catherine Wilson, Clemens Zauner. 

Congratulations to all and we hope to see you judging at a competition soon!

The Board discussed the upcoming  Board elections and noted that the vote for offices for the 2016-2018 term including: president, technical officer, and education officer along with vice-president (2016 only) will be sent to the Assembly shortly. There are two candidates who wish to run in each office.

The Board would like to remind all Aida competition organizers that we have an excellent Go-Pro underwater housings available for a discounted purchase price of only € 150. Please contact Carla if you would like one of these custom-made housings for the bottom camera .

If you have any questions or concerns please contact any Board member.


October Board Notes

The Board notesThe Aida International board met via Skype call on 14 October. An urgent matter that needed to be reviewed regarded the document sent to the Board with the findings of the Disciplinary Committee of the incident with the World record attempt of Guillaume Nery in Cyprus. The Board voted to approved the recommendations from the DC. Robert King declined to accept the offer to return to the vice-president office. The position will be added to the December elections for a one year term beginning 2016  January.

The Board voted to approve to share the costs of the damaged/lost cameras housings from the Cyprus World Championships. In relation to camera housings; Dan Burton has agreed to produce a state of the art housing for bottom cameras which includes space for a long-life battery. Aida International will provide these housings to organizers at a discounted price of € 150. Please contact Carla Hanson, Secretary,  for more information.

The Board discussed an on-going issue with a judge regarding occurrences with the past Board. Kimmo Lahtinen, President, agreed to contact this judge and attempt to come to a resolution.

Antero Joki, Technical Officer, reported that he will attend the EUF (European Underwater Fed) in Vienna to represent Aida International. Aida International strives to elevate the sport of freediving in the global sports community and communicate on behalf of our athletes. Antero also said that the new rules updates are almost ready to be approved and that he will add the new recommendations included in the DC recommendations.

Vedran Milat, Treasurer ,was not able to attend due to a work conflict but the 2016 budget and audit report will be presented at the next Board meeting.

Carla distributed the proposal for the 2016 Team World Championships submitted by Stavros Kastrinakis. The Board will review the proposal then send it to the Assembly for approval.

The Board agreed to review a document provided by Aida Education committee member, Oli Christen. This document is in regards to the launch of the new Padi freediving education program. It will be sent to all Aida Instructors.

Kimmo and Carla presented the Board with a plan to initiate the enforcement of a Code of Conduct for all Aida communications. Kimmo will draft the document which will be posted on the Aida website, Facebook, and Aida Yahoo groups. It is hoped that all freedivers will be willing to comply with the guidelines in this document in order to provide a more productive environment for communication.

Following a spate of comments from the Yahoo judge group; Carla suggested a Facebook Judges only group be formed to enable discussion of pertinent judge topics. Several judges agreed to manage the task and the group can be found here:

Please feel free to contact any Board member with questions or comments about any of these or other topics.

We will be glad to address any queries or suggestions.
AIDA Board 2015




Aida Board Notes 27 September 2015

The Board met via Skype call to discuss several items of immediate importance.

It was noted by Kimmo that the incident (Nery WR attempt) that occurred during the pre-comp in Cyprus has been referred to the Disciplinary Committee. The DC has the ability to gather information, assess obtained information, and make recommendations without concern of being influenced by outside parties. See note from Kimmo (Aida President) below regarding the DC process.

The next item discussed was regarding the Team World Championships. Carla (Secretary) will contact organizers who have expressed an interest in hosting the competition and inquire as to the status of bids and offer assistance to compose proposals.

Vedran (Treasurer) will finalize a preliminary budget proposal for 2016 this week. The budget will be presented to the Assembly and finalized by 1 December. Vedran asked Board members for budget items related to their office and suggestions for funds needed for 2016 projects.

It was noted that candidates for the following Board positions (2016-18) should submit their declaration and CV to Carla by 30 October:

  • President
  • Technical Officer
  • Education Officer
  • Vice-President (following resignation of Robert King) one year term 2016-17

Carla will publicize the need for members to volunteer and run for office. The request will also be sent to the Assembly list.

The concerns and suggestions from members who attended the General Meeting in Cyprus have been noted. Many excellent ideas were presented and these will be implemented in projects in 2016. Suggestions for rules amendments have been sent to the technical office to be added to the rules update process.

The Board discussed priorities for 2016 which included:

  • Development of an on-line judge CE/renewal course. Standardizing the basic judge course to establish consistency. Addressing issues and inadequacies in the current judge system.
  • Refreshing and stabilizing the Aida International website
  • Continuing update and enhancement of rules
  • Budget for hiring a professional public relations and marketing firm
  • Establishing a work group to improve competition procedures and organization on all levels from national competitions up to and including World Championships.

Message from the President regarding the DC:

Aida DC has started to investigate what happened in Limassol Aida World championships pre-competition. They started this process from my request. The process basically has 3 steps:

  1. collecting the information and trying to learn what happened (investigation)
  2. then conclusions based on the collected information and finally
  3. the recommendation for the Board for possible actions.

For the investigation period the DC has recommended that the judges involved with the incident in Limassol, will be suspended from the Aida judge role (Ute Gessman, Robert King and Savvas Savva). Investigation may take about 2 weeks in accordance with the Disciplinary Commission guidelines:

“6. Timelines
Within 7 days after application of the case, the DC will confirm the  receipt of the mail and inform the sender which body will be handling  the specific case. Within 15 days after application of the case, the DC will decide which  level of action will be taken (see article 4) and decide and communicate  the expected timelines that will be taken into account.)”

Aida Board confirmed this suspension in the meeting that was held today and we will inform Aida Assembly about this process and also the purpose of the process: we need to learn something from this incident and improve as an organization so that this kind of incident will not happen again!

Disciplinary commission work is lead by DC secretary Katya Romanova in co-operations with the former DC secretary Claude Chapuis.

Best regards,

Kimmo Lahtinen, AIDA president


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The Worlds Most Accomplished and Famous Female Freediver, Natalia Molchanova, is Missing.


Photo: DeeDee Flores

Formentera, Spain. Natalia Molchanova was recreationally freediving off the coast of Spain on August 2, 2015 when she was separated from her peers. She was diving without fins to around 30 to 40 m and supposable got into strong underwater current. Search efforts have been ongoing during daylight hours and the next day since she was reported missing by three peers. She disappeared while diving approximately two miles northwest of the port of La Savina at Poniente de es Freus.

Natalia Molchanova is the most decorated competitive freediver in the world, holding 41 World Records and is a 23 time World Champion in Freediving. Natalia trained hard for her sport, she had a nine minute breath hold, could dive to a depth of 101m using a fin and swim a distance of 234m with a fin. Along with being one of the top athletes in the world she has a PhD in Pedagogical Science and has authored multiple scientific articles and two freediving training handbooks. She is the creator and current president of the Freediving Federation of Russia. She designed and taught freediving programs all over the world. She is based out of Moscow and has created one of the most vibrant recreational freediving communities in the world. Natalia has trained thousands of people to freedive in locations worldwide.

Natalia is a proud mother of Oksana and Alexey. She loved children and was awaiting the day when she would become a Grandmother. She was an inspiration to all freedivers and despite being one of the fiercest competitors in the world, she was always calm and relaxed during competitions. She said “birth and death are important, but freediving competitions are just games for adults”. The cause of Natalia’s disappearance is unknown, but she was doing what she loved. Natalia has a passion for freediving that burned so deep inside of her that she dedicated her life to it.

Contact: Galina Zveryaeva ( –


Aida Board meeting notes May 2015

Meeting of the Aida International Executive Board: Executive Summary

The Board met via Skype call on 10 May 2015, 14:00-16:30 CET

The first topic was AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Vedran followed by a discussion regarding the next meeting of the European Underwater Federation which is in June, in Bristol, UK. As Kimmo will judge two Aida competitions outside of Europe during June, Antero was asked to attend this meeting for AIDA. Board voted to approve his actual travel expenses (hotel and transportation), not to exceed €750.

The Board reviewed a proposal for the 2016 AIDA Pool World Championship from the Finnish Divers’ Federation ( The Board noted that the proposal appears very strong — with excellent facilities and amenities — and voted to send the proposal to the Assembly for review and vote.

The Board noted that the proposals for the 2016 AIDA Team World Championship are due not later than 30 September. Please ask interested organizers contact AIDA International for further information (

The Board voted to elect Radoslaw Gaca as Jury President for the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships, and Ekaterina Romanova as Vice President. Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic (Jury President in Belgrade 2013 and Cagliari 2014) will be Board liaison to the Belgrade jury, available to consult on all matters, and to ensure that any issues are resolved appropriately; Petar will also review existing and new pool rules with the jury (and athletes) before the competition. Judge Instructor JP François will be teaching an AIDA Judge Course, and oversee measurement of the pool(s).

The Board reviewed assistant judge candidates for Belgrade and Cyprus, and approved assistant judges for both events. Because fewer judges applied for advanced selection than the number permitted (16 for Belgrade, and 12 for Cyprus), the jury at each competition will be able to appoint additional assistant judges (up to the maximum number) from students who complete a judge course at those locations. In addition, the Board approved travel subsidies for the three judges from outside of Europe, who will be assistant judges in Belgrade or Cyprus: Guillaume Latzko-Toth (Canada), Fran Rose (Australia), and Rachel Cat Wang (China). The subsidy (as last year) will cover actual costs for hotel (double occupancy) and meals, not to exceed EUR 700 per assistant judge. The Board is pleased by the interest and commitment shown by these judges, and looks forward to having at this year’s world championships.

The Board discussed a suggestion from AIDA Poland to have official AIDA stop watches for world championships. The Board approved the purchase of eight Casio waterproof stopwatches, total expense not to exceed EUR 500; these will be tested in Belgrade, and available for future world championships and world record events. The Board also approved production of 100 cotton judge T-shirts, to be given to judges in Belgrade and Cyprus, at a cost not to exceed EUR 1,500. The Board is reviewing a proposal for sponsored T-shirts for all judges and instructors; if implemented, this would allow all AIDA judges and instructors to order lycra and cotton T-shirts, paying only for shipping (the cost of the shirts would be paid by the sponsor).

Robert also noted that there will be judge Continuing Education (“CE”) courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus (like the one held last year in Cagliari). As previously noted, AIDA will be offering AIDA Judge courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus, at a reasonable fee (approximately EUR 70): AIDA International is committed to ending predatory pricing of judge courses at AIDA World Championships: judge students paying for airfare to and hotel at a WC should not have to pay nearly EUR 400 for a 16 hour judge course.

The Board voted to approve airfare for Carla Hanson to Cyprus to do media/PR for AIDA (up to EUR 1,200), and EUR 800 for Daan Verhoeven to act as AIDA’s photographer and videographer in Cyprus.

Official Gauges. The Board reviewed a proposal to renew the 2011 Suunto agreement, under which Suunto would provide 15 new DX (i.e. “D ten”) gauges, plus maintenance (including on the existing 15 gauges), in return for branding at AIDA world championships and world record events. The terms of the agreement are unchanged from 2011 (except for the addition of 15 new DX gauges). AIDA expects to have more judges promoted to senior levels, and it’s important to have official gauges with many of these judges (it can be difficult to ship gauges to locations outside of Europe, due to customs and risk of theft). The Board voted to approve the renewal agreement with Suunto.

Carla reported on an application for Observer membership from a group in Hong Kong. After reviewing the application, the Board voted to ask the Assembly to vote on admission for this group, and to recommend approval.

After discussion, the Board voted to approve promotions for judges, listed at the end of this summary. Petar noted that it required many hours to manually review each judge’s records to determine eligibility for promotion, and that this could be automated with an upgrade to JOS. The Board will review options for upgrading JOS to manage more functions automatically.

The Board noted that the 2009 IOP prevents nearly all judges from being promoted to higher levels. In particular, no judges met the requirement for promotion to Level C (i.e. being elected to judge at two AIDA world championships); only one judge met the requirement to for promotion to Level B (i.e. judging six world records). The Board noted that until the IOP is changed, it will be impossible for most judges—even those with years of experience judging—to be promoted. The Board voted to request the Assembly to vote on changes to the IOP (mainly as presented to the Assembly in March), in order to fix this long-standing problem (put in place by the previous AIDA Board); this vote will be requested in the coming weeks.

The Board voted to appoint Kimmo Lahtinen (Finland) senior judge for an upcoming world record attempt in Bonaire, and vote to appoint Guillaume Laztko-Toth (Canada) junior judge for this event.

The Board discussed the need to have a person responsible for each of AIDA’s major applications (e.g. CARS, JOS, EOS), in order to respond to inquiries, manage maintenance, and recommend upgrades. The Board voted to appoint Milorad Vlajic (assistant to the Judge Responsible) as application manager for JOS, and Mario Zuzic as application manager for CARS (and Associate Sport Officer).

Further Information. If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.


Judge Promotions

Promoted to Level D

DODUC Natalie
Filinis Mihalis
FRIEDRICH Christopher
GOTO Shuichi
INABA Tetsuya
LARSEN Nikolaj
MILAT Vedran
PéAN Philippe
RUSSU Alexandru
STUMM Gunnar
SUGAWA Hiroshi

Promoted to Level C


Promoted to Level B


Promoted to Judge Instructor (Level AI)


Assistant Judges

Pool – Belgrade

**LATZKO-TOTH Guillaume
**WANG Rachel Cat

Depth – Limassol

BANTU DINU Adriana Gabriela
BORISOV Konstantin
**LATZKO-TOTH Guillaume
LIM Suzanne
**WANG Rachel Cat

**May choose Belgrade or Limassol