Category: Competitions

Season’s Greetings from AIDA International!


Fellow AIDA freedivers, we look forward to a safe, productive and enjoyable 2015: continuing AIDA’s mission of developing the sport of freediving around the world. We hope to see as many of you as possible at the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships: Pool World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia (19-28 June), and Depth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus (11-20 September).

Best wishes for the Holidays to you and your families from the AIDA International Board:

Kimmo Lahtinen, President
Robert King, Vice President
Carla Hanson, Secretary
Ben Noble, Treasurer
Vedran Milat, Treasurer Elect
Ute Gessmann, Sport Officer
Antero Joki, Technical Officer
Jean-Pol François, Education Officer
Per Westin, Medical and Science Officer
Julien Alias, ITC Officer
Petar Bojovic, Judge Responsible&Legal officer


New World Record in Dynamic Apnea No-fins


9 November 2014 Brno, Czech Republic

Experienced diver Mateusz Malina of Krakow, Poland achieved a long-time goal of being a World Record diver. In a time of 4:27, he swam underwater for 226m . He surfaced with a very strong protocol and received a well-deserved white card from the judges.

Since 2012 Matt had been training all disciplines, except static, regularly. He trained pool several times a week and did exhale dives to maintain lung flexibility, once a week in a nearby quarry. In his opinion, this training achieved ‘modest results”. Then in July 2013 he “focused solely on DNF,FIM, and CNF” because he believes they are all connected. Matt said “It works pretty well for me” and it certainly seems that he is correct.

Congratulations and well done Matt!


Russian Teams sweep World championships !

Aida world champions 2014

26 September 2015, Cagliari, Sardinia.

The Team World Championships of 2015 proved to be a wonderfully organized and exciting competition in a beautiful setting.

The Croatian men, led by World Record holder Goran Colak, came prepared to defend their title from 2013 but the Russian men were on a mission to capture the gold! Natalia Molchanova was hoping to add another gold medal to her long- list of triumphs and did so in brilliant fashion with a 237 meter new World Record in dynamic apnea which gave the Russian women a decided victory over Japan.

There were many impressive performances including Goran’s very easy 9:13 static but that was not enough to carry the team to a medal. Team competition relies completely on points, and clean performances by each member of the team delivers the most points overall. A few unexpected red cards throughout the competition kept the points close and the outcome unpredictable. In the end , The Russians prevailed with the most white cards and some big performances. The Czechs were very strong and won two medals, as well.

Medal Winners:

  • Women: Russia- Gold – Japan, Silver, Czech Republic – Bronze
  • Men: Russia -Gold, Czech Republic – Silver, Finland – Bronze

Board Meeting October

The Aida International Board met via Skype on October 11,2014. The following is a summation of the topics discussed.

The Board reviewed AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Ben. It was noted again that the old PayPal account should no longer receive payments; instructors will be notified to send payments only to the new PayPal account. AIDA Nationals: when making payment to AIDA International by PayPal, please use only the following payment information: bank @

The Board reviewed the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships, recently completed in Cagliari, Italy. The Board noted the exceptional work by the organizer—Ricky Mura and Blue World Apnea—to make the competition a success. The Board also thanked Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic (Jury President) and Sport Officer Ute Gessmann (Jury Vice President), for helping the competition run smoothly and successfully. The Board noted that not all athletes (especially those used to competing with other agencies) are familiar with AIDA Competition Rules; because of this, the Board plans to have important AIDA’s Rules reviewed at the start of future AIDA World Championships, so athletes from other agencies are familiar with them. AIDA held it’s first AIDA Judge continuing education course in Cagliari: presented by Sport Officer Ute Gessmann, Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic, Secretary Carla Hanson, Technical Officer Antero Joki, and Vice President Rob King. The response to this course was highly positive, and the Board plans to hold more of these courses in the future. AIDA paid for room and board for three assistant judges from other continents—Junko Kitahama (Japan), Gaby Contreras (Venezuela), and John Wright (New Zealand)—in order to allow judges from other continents to afford to travel to AIDA World Championships to Assistant Judge. Feedback on this program was also positive, and AIDA plans to continue assisting committed judges from other continents to gain experience needed for promotion.

As is now customary at AIDA World Championships, there was an Open Meeting, where athletes and others could voice their ideas to the Board. In addition, the Board reviewed the safety changes to the AIDA Competition Rules passed by the Assembly in July, and demonstrated AIDA’s web based Incident Reporting System (which will go live in January). Feedback on AIDA’s media coverage—including real time posting of results by Carla Hanson and photos and videos by Daan Verhoeven—was also highly positive. AIDA plans to continue and enhance media coverage of future AIDA World Championships.

Kimmo noted that the 2014 AIDA Officer Vote will begin in late November. Offices up for election this year are: Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Sport Officer. Candidates interested in running for any of these offices should send a CV to Kimmo Lahtinen ( not later than 1 November 2014. Kimmo then said that seven Nationals had requested a special Assembly vote to void the recent Assembly vote on the Competition Rules update. As that number meets the minimum required to call a special Assembly vote, that vote will take place in early November. This means that the proposal to amend the Judge IOP (i) to permit judge promotion (the 2009 IOP prevents judge promotion to Level B or higher, by requiring World Record points which are impossible for most judges to obtain), and (ii) to allow easier reactivation for inactive judges, will be delayed until 2015. We apologize for this delay, and understand the need to fix the Judge IOP and AIDA’s judge promotion system.

Kimmo proposed a new process to update AIDA’s Competition Rules for 2015. Kimmo noted that the last time the Rules were updated­‐in 2009­‐ Board members voted in the Assembly (some with 2 or 3 votes); so the Board proposed Rules changes, and had the Assembly approve them. In 2010, Kimmo proposed changes to AIDA’s Statutes (adopted by the Assembly) that stopped Board members from voting in the Assembly. Since the Board no longer controls Assembly votes (since 2010), AIDA needs a new process for updating the Rules. Kimmo has been working with Chris Marshall (New Zealand), Pavlina Prochazkova (Czech Republic) and Jody Fisher (Australia) to pilot a new process, in which the Rules will be posted on an online document management tool: Google Docs. Each National will be able to comment on the Rules: items it wants changed, deleted or added. A smaller group of representatives, led by Technical Officer Antero Joki, will review comments, and work on items supported by a number of Nationals. Rules updates would be smaller but more regular: likely a small number of changes voted on each year, to become effective 1 January of the next year (with emergency changes still possible if needed). Kimmo will present the Assembly with more detail on this process in the coming weeks.

Kimmo, Per and Robert reported on progress on the AIDA Incident Reporting System. Robert demonstrated this system in Cagliari at both the AIDA Open Meeting and Continuing Education Course, and the reception was very positive. In response to comments from Nationals ,mostly regarding privacy and anonymity , several modifications will be made prior to rolling out this system on 1 January.

The Safety Proposal changes to the AIDA Competition Rules will take effect on 1 January. Dr. Per Westin and Dr. Kerry Hollowell will prepare guidelines for organizers and competition doctors, on how to evaluate the severity of squeezes (this was requested by several Nationals). Separately, Erika Schagatay has committed to have an initial draft of the study on chest squeezes and freediving ready by end of year; this study was funded in part by a contribution by AIDA International.

The Board voted to extend the current moratorium on AIDA International’s sanctioning of no‐limits World Record attempts; this moratorium will continue until the Board votes to end it. The Board continues to review safety concerns relating to this discipline for depths near or below current AIDA world records; as yet, AIDA has been unable to identify ways to ensure adequate safety for athletes at depths of the NLT world records.

AIDA International received four proposals to host the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships, and three proposals to host the 2015 AIDA Depth World Championships. The number of proposals reflects strong interest in hosting AIDA World Championships, and the health of competitive freediving generally.
These proposals are currently with the Assembly for vote; the voting deadline is 26 October. If you have not done so already, please commence your National’s review of these proposals. For the first time, AIDA International has posted the proposals on its Facebook page. This should give more athletes access to the proposals before Nationals conclude the voting.

Kimmo reported on a new Assembly web tool, which allows members to update their contact information online: similar to functionalities in the EOS and JOS systems. All National representatives are urged to log-in on the new tool to update their contact information, logos, websites, etc Dues payment can also be made with this tool. Kimmo also reported that the AIDA has started using a new email system, Wiggio, to replace the Yahoo Groups service: the Yahoo email service has been experiencing significant issues (including dropping members, and not delivering messages and/or attachments). This project is aimed at implementing a new service to solve those issues, and at better integrating Member data with the current AIDA web-­‐ based tools (EOS, CARS and JOS). Note: If you are not receiving emails from or are unable to send them to the Assembly group list, please contact AIDA Secretary Carla Hanson ( so we can keep you copied until the new system is implemented. The current plan is to use both the Yahoo Groups and Wiggio services in parallel until 31 December, and then discontinue use of Yahoo Groups on 1 January 2015 (if the Wiggio service is performing as planned).

As you may have noticed, we are still looking into how to format Wiggio messages for easier reading, and to attach (or post) files more easily. If you have suggestion, concerns or comments on the Wiggio system, please send them to us as soon as possible (

The Board voted to approve the following instructors as AIDA Instructor Trainers:

  • Walid Boudhiaf (Honduras)
  • Doris Hovermann (Germany)
  • Andreas Pap (Germany)
  • Goran Čolak (Croatia)

Jean‐Pol noted that, as is the policy for all new Instructor Trainers, these new ITs will have a six‐month review period, to ensure that they actively teach AIDA Instructor courses. The appointment of these Instructor Trainers reflects AIDA’s ongoing commitment to having an AIDA Instructor Trainer in or near every AIDA country. All AIDA countries need easy access to AIDA Instructor Trainers, as they do to senior judges and Judge Instructors.

The Board has received a number of requests to support the creation of AIDA Freedive Centers: dive centers that offer AIDA courses and other freediving services. This is similar to dive centers supported by a number of other agencies. The Board agrees that starting AIDA Freediving Centers is important to developing the sport of freediving, and will make this program a goal for 2015.

In recognition of the significant amount of work he is doing to support Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic, the Board voted to appoint Vlajic Milorad Milo as “IT Specialist and Assistant to Judge Responsible”.

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


AIDA Board


August board Meeting

The Aida Board met on Saturday , August 9 2014 via Skype conference call.

The first item discussed was AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and it was noted again that the old PayPal account should no longer receive payments; instructors will be notified to send payments only to the new PayPal account. AIDA Nationals: when making payment to AIDA International by PayPal, please use only the following payment information: bank @

The Board reviewed a proposed competition in Crimea, which was sanctioned by AIDA Russia, but opposed by AIDA Ukraine. The Board noted that the United Nations and IOC currently recognize Crimea as a region of Ukraine; accordingly, the Board voted unanimously to remove the proposed competition from the AIDA calendar unless and until AIDA Ukraine sanctions it.

The Board reviewed SSI’s recent appointment of former AIDA Education Officer Lotta Ericson as Freediving Training Director of SSI (, noting issues relating to the protection of AIDA intellectual property (primarily in AIDA’s education system). The Board voted unanimously to terminate Ms. Ericson’s status as AIDA instructor/instructor trainer, and access to the AIDA’s Education Online System; this termination also applies to Ms. Ericson’s business partner, Linda Paganelli. The Board noted that during the first 7 months of 2014, together they had certified only three AIDA students; accordingly, access to AIDA’s systems was unlikely to be used for valid training purposes. The Board also voted unanimously to maintain both Ms. Ericson’s and Ms. Paganelli’s current AIDA judge status, with the following caveats to prevent possible favoritism toward SSI or SSI‐affiliated athletes:  (1) neither may judge at AIDA World Championships; (2) before acting as senior judge for any AIDA world record performance, each must request advance approval in writing from AIDA International, not less than two weeks prior to the performance (with respect to the latter, the only records currently possible to break in the Dahab Blue Hole­‐max depth 90m­‐is woman’s CNF; accordingly, the Board has pre‐approved both judges for performances by recent woman’s CNF record holders Natalia Molchanova and Ashley Futral).

The next topic was the selection of judges for a World Record attempt. By email vote, in July the Board appointed the following judges for the upcoming Winram record event (30 August – 6 September): Senior Judge, Petar Bojovic; Junior Judge, Radoslaw Gaca. Due to issues relating to Mr. Gaca’s availability at the event site on the event days, the Board voted unanimously to replace Mr. Gaca with Denys Rylov as Junior Judge for the event. Robert King and Petar Bojovic recused themselves from this vote therefore the vote was done by the other Board members.

The Board reviewed results of the recent vote on the Safety Proposal, noting that numerous changes were approved, and that the items on feet first descents and consequences of blackouts were not approved. The Board would like to thank all Assembly members and members of Nationals that took part in the review of and vote on this Proposal, and also the safety work group that prepared the proposal: these changes respond to the risks identified with the fatal accident of diver Nick Mevoli last November, and should increase safety for AIDA divers worldwide. The Board noted that approved changes will become effective on 1 January 2015, and will incorporate them into AIDA’s Competition Rules by that time. Please note that there will be NO CHANGES affecting athletes at the upcoming 2014 AIDA Team World Championships in Sardinia; though the AIDA Board will work with the organizer to implement some organizational items (e.g. use of Sonar and pocket masks), there will be no rules changes that will apply to athletes. At least two Nationals requested that with respect to approved item #4 (“consequences of squeezes”), that AIDA International provide guidance to organizers on how to implement the changes effectively and uniformly. This recommendation is well taken, and AIDA’s Medical and Science Officer will be working on a set of guidelines for working with athletes with squeezes by end of year.

The Board noted that Item 1 of the Safety Proposal (“limitation of announcements”) resulted in a tie (10 for, 10 against); in accordance with AIDA’s Statutes, this item will be sent back to the Assembly for revote (with the proposed changes for the Competition Rules). The Board also noted input from Nationals on this item, however, will be included in the revote. First, if an organizer wishes to limit announcements, the limitation will be to no greater than 10m below the depth done in training (previously, announcements could be limited to no greater than 3m below that depth). Second, recent dives will be considered even if not done onsite or on the ranking list—essentially allowing the second option, which is the athlete stating what depth he/she has done, and who the safety diver/witness was.
The Board voted unanimously to reflect the above input from Nationals when the item is sent for revote.

Kimmo and Robert reported on progress on the AIDA Incident Reporting System; Per Westin, also working on this project, was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. Per and Robert are working with developer Simo Kurra to prepare a prototype version of the Organizer Reporting Form for demonstration in Sardinia. The organizer reporting system will be mandatory—i.e. organizers are required to report serious incidents—and this component should allow for statistically based reporting of incidents (i.e. number of incidents of each type per 1000 starts). Work is also progressing on an optional athlete reporting system that will not be statistically based (i.e. it will not be possible to determine the frequency of incidents in detail), but which may be useful in identifying types of incidents warranting additional attention. For both systems, personally identifying information (e.g. name) will not be captured.

Jean­‐Pol Francois , Aida Education Officer , reported on safety‐related updates to the AIDA education system. Jean‐Pol noted that safety updates on the 1* and 2* courses should be ready by this fall; revisions to the AIDA Safety Diver course should be ready by late fall as well.

The Board reviewed matters relating to the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships, to be held in September in Sardinia, Italy. The organizer has set up a website and Facebook page for the competition:


Please take note of these pages. Aida will also be posting on the Aida Facebook page unofficial ‘live results’ as the dives take place. Robert reported that the Assembly has approved two courses to be given in Sardinia: a judge reactivation course, and a judge continuing education course. The AIDA judge reactivation course will allow inactive AIDA judges to reactivate their judge status (at a nominal fee). AIDA believes that reactivation of inactive judges, without the expense of retaking a judge course, is important for judges in a number of countries. AIDA will also offer a continuing judge education course (free of charge). The AIDA Judge Continuing Education Course will provide AIDA judges with important information on judging at higher‐level events, and common judging issues generally. AIDA believes that continuing education is critical for the training and promotion of judges. Experience points will be granted to judges attending this course.  AIDA Board will also host an open meeting in Sardinia, like the open meetings that took place in Belgrade and Kalamata last year. All persons will be invited; Board members will review several important items, and other items will be discussed as requested by participants.

Please note that the AIDA Board is accepting proposals from organizers to host the 2015 AIDA Pool and Depth World Championships. Please request any organizers that may be interested in hosting a pool world championship in the spring (April-­June) or a depth world championship in the fall (August – November) to forward proposals and questions to The Board voted to require that all proposals be delivered not later than 30 September, in order to allow them to be finalized and sent to the Assembly for vote in October.

Kimmo reported on a new Assembly web tool, to allow members to update their contact information: similar to functionalities in the EOS and JOS systems. Kimmo also reported that the IT group is working on a new email distribution system (to replace the Yahoo Groups service): the Yahoo email service is experiencing significant issues (including dropping members, and not delivering messages and/or attachments). This project is aimed at implementing a new service to solve those issues, and at better integrating Member data with the current AIDA web‐based tools (EOS, CARS and JOS). Note: If you are not receiving emails from or are unable to send them to the Assembly group list, please contact AIDA Secretary Carla Hanson ( so we can keep you copied until the new system is implemented.

The Board voted unanimously to recommend to the Assembly that organizations in the following countries be considered for Observer Membership: Slovak Republic; Iceland; Peru; Latvia; and the Philippines. Each of these organizations meets the requirements for Observer membership (including statutes, and number of members). The Board also voted unanimously to recommend to the Assembly that the following Observer members be upgraded to National membership: Romania; Malaysia. Each of these organizations meets the requirements for National memberships (including statutes, number of members, instructors and judges). The Board plans to ask the Assembly to vote on these membership items in October, in connection with the vote on 2015 World Championship locations.

The Board is pleased that three observer members—South Korea, Romania and Malaysia—have grown to meet the standards to be upgraded to full National members. We remain concerned, however, that most observer members have not demonstrated significant growth. A larger number of observer members over a period of years have not been able to reach 25 members, one instructor and two judges—the minimum requirements for an AIDA National. AIDA International’s mission is the development of freediving world wide, and we see the development of organizations in countries without AIDA Nationals as a key component of that development. The failure of most observers to grow into Nationals is a concern for AIDA. We plan to review this matter further, and recommend to the Assembly actions that may be taken to better promote growth. Such actions may include AIDA International sending instructors, instructor trainers and judge instructors to countries with observer members, as well as to other countries with or without AIDA organizations, who request access to instruction in order to develop the sport of freediving.

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

AIDA Board