Category: Competitions

February Board Meeting Notes

The Board reviewed priorities for 2014, and plans to prioritize the following matters: Safety Enhancement Project; Update of the AIDA Competition Rules; Revision of the AIDA Judge IOP; IT projects (including upgrades or redesigns to the EOS and CARS systems); the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships in Sardinia; and the Strategy Project, which will focus on how AIDA may change in order to better meet its mandate of developing, safely, and the sport of freediving world-wide.

The Board voted to appoint the following non-executive officers for 2014:

  • Medical & Science Officer: Per Vestin
  • Media Officer: Chloé Villaume
  • Judge Responsible: Petar Bojovič
  • IT Officer: Julian Alias

The Board reviewed the Safety Enhancement Project. As previously noted, the Board is planning several projects to take what is learned from the accident in November and use that information to increase diver safety. First, a Safety Enhancement Project will propose changes to the Competition Rules, Competition Safety Guidelines and Deep Diving Guidelines, in order to provide organizers and judges with additional tools to prevent divers from attempting dives that may carry unusual risk, and in order to document best practices for safety and accident management in competitions and in training; as always, rules changes are subject to review by and approval of the Assembly. Second, Education Officer Jean-Pol François will modify AIDA’s course offerings to place additional emphasis on the risk of squeezes specifically, and safe diving generally. Third, AIDA will develop and implement a web-based Incident Reporting System, which will be used to electronically collect and analyze data on accidents in competitions (likely on a mandatory basis) and in competitions (on a recommended basis). Fourth, AIDA will fund a study by medical researcher Erika Shagatay relating to squeezes. Aida will be communicating developments on this important project over the next few months.

Kimmo and Rob presented the Board with information on several important projects including the 2013 financial statements and branding and trademark plans. Kimmo also reported on advancements in IT projects including a new Assembly web tool, which will allow members to automatically update their contact information (plus other functionalities). He also stated that the IT group is looking to implement a new email distribution system (replacing the Yahoo tool), in order to remedy a number of reliability and quality issues that have been identified with the Yahoo tool, as well as to reach better integration with the current AIDA web-based tools like EOS, CARS and JOS.

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:


The organizer is planning to use real time video capability for the depth event, and we are looking into working with a professional photographer/videographer to provide same-day posts for AIDA.

The Board reviewed a number of items relating to the AIDA education system. The Board voted to approve candidate Alexandra Shaef as an AIDA Instructor Trainer. Jean-Pol reviewed video projects relating to AIDA education. The Board also reviewed instructor insurance for the United States and Canada; the Aida website will provide information for instructors to apply. European instructors and freedivers (excluding competitive freediving) may already obtain DAN insurance.

The Board reviewed a number of candidates for judge promotion, and voted to approve the promotion of a number of judges. The Judge Responsible will provide details of these promotions to the AIDA Judges list and on the AIDA website. Board members affected by this process recused themselves from voting on their candidacies.

The Board reviewed a draft revision of the AIDA Judge IOP, and voted to recommend to this revision to the Assembly, subject to a final review by the Judge Responsible. Antero and Rob provided an update on the project to update the AIDA Competition Rules. A clean up version, intended mainly to clean up ambiguities and resolve known problem areas, is projected to go to the Assembly for review and approval in March or April. Separate from the clean up version (but possibly at the same time), several larger issues (e.g. possible changes to the grab rules) will also be sent to the Assembly for individual line-item review and vote, prior to inclusion in the competition rules. As Judge IOP and Competition Rules are related, these revisions may be presented together to the Assembly.

If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member. And If you would like to add any topic to the agenda or would desire further information on the above topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.


Team World championships frequently asked questions and answers

Sardinia 2014 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for 2014 AIDA Team World Championships (#1)

1. Who can enter a team for the 2014 Team WC?
– Any independent country may enter a men’s and/or women’s team (or a single mixed team); territories, states and other dependent areas may not enter a team in the competition.
2. How many teams can a country enter?
– Each country may enter one men’s team and/or one women’s team.
3. Can a country enter a mixed team (i.e. men and women combined)?
– A country that does NOT enter a men’s OR women’s team may enter a mixed team (of men and women), which competes in the men’s category. If a country enters either a men’s or women’s team, it may NOT enter a mixed team.
4. How many persons may a team contain?
­‐ A team (men’s, women’s or mixed) may consist of two or three athletes; the scores of up to three athletes may be counted towards the team’s total score.
­‐ A fourth athlete is permitted to attend, but may only replace an athlete who is required to withdraw from the competition for medical reasons (as validated by the competition doctor).
­‐ As of now, under AIDA’s Competition Rules, an individual is NOT permitted to enter as a team; if that changes, we will notify you.

1. Whom do I contact to register a team, or to register for training prior to the event?
– Roberto Mattana: athletes (at)
2. What is the deadline to register for the competition?
– 15 July
3. Whom do I contact to register for hotel?
– Giorgio Basciu: reservation (at)
4. What is the deadline to register for the hotel?
– 15 July
5. Is a deposit required for either the competition or hotel?
– Payment in full for hotel and comp fee by 15 July
6. Does the price for the competition or hotel go up if I haven’t registered by a given date?
‐ Hotel: €3/day more after 15 July
­‐ Competition: €300 per athlete from 16 July – 31 August; €350 per athlete 1-­‐15 September (by 15 July: €250 per athlete)

1. When is official training?
­‐ CWT: 18 and 19 September
­‐ STA: 23 September
‐ DYN: 25 September
2. Is there a cost for official training?
– No, the competition fee includes official training, including shuttle boat, safety divers and deco O2 during official training.
3. Is it possible to train at the competition site prior to the official training days?
– Yes, both depth and pool training are available from September 1. The cost for depth training is €290 per week, which includes shuttle boat, safety divers and deco O2. This price does not include hotel.

1. What is the price to enter the competition?
– €250 per athlete (increases as noted above for late registration)
2. What is the price per person for hotel?
– Please see Final Bid (attached) for pricing; please note that price is per person, not per room.
3. Is there a fee payable to AIDA?
– For AIDA Nationals, there is no fee due to AIDA. For all other countries (including Observer members, who don’t pay an annual member fee) there is a fee of €150 per country (this is required by AIDA’s Statutes).

1. What is the schedule for the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships?
– Please see the Final Bid (attached) for schedule; please note that, as always, weather may result in changes to the schedule.

1. Whom should I contact with questions regarding media?
– Emanuele Mannu: media&sponsor (at)
2. Whom should I contact with general questions about the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships?
– Riccardo Mura: organizer (at)


AIDA Board


Safety Enhancement Projects

AIDA freedivers, I would like to update you on AIDA’s activities following the fatal accident of diver Nicholas Mevoli at last November’s Vertical Blue competition.  This was the first fatality at an AIDA competition since our founding over 20 years ago, and we are working hard to learn all we can to prevent serious accidents in the future.

As you may know, AIDA asked a team of medical experts to review the evidence relating to the accident, to identify factors that contributed to the accident, and to make suggestions as to how to mitigate such factors in the future.  This team completed their review of the evidence in January (other than autopsy reports, which had not yet arrived), and reported their findings to the AIDA Board; AIDA Board then delivered those findings to the AIDA Assembly on 31th of January.  Once the autopsy reports are received, the medical experts will review them and update their findings.

The AIDA Board has also commenced a multi-part safety enhancement program to make changes based on what we have learned from the accident.  The first part of this project will address changes to the AIDA Competition Rules and safety guidelines.  The second part will address changes to the AIDA education system, to help students better understand the dangers from squeezes, and from “goal oriented” freediving.  The third part will be the implementation of a web-based Incident Reporting System, which will allow AIDA to monitor major and minor accidents, and work proactively to prevent address patterns of problems.  A fourth part will be medical research into squeezes and freediving funded by AIDA, and by Professor Erika Schagatay (an expert in this area).

I will report back to you this spring on our progress on this important program.  I hope to have key parts in place by the time diving season starts in the Northern hemisphere summer.

Kimmo Lahtinen
President, AIDA International


Technical Officer Antero Joki to Lead Accident Review

As many of you know, United States freediver Nicholas Mevoli passed away yesterday after a competition dive at the Vertical Blue Competition at Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas.  On behalf of AIDA International, I would like to send my deepest regrets to Nick’s family and friends.  Nick was a Silver Medalist at this year’s Depth World Championship, and a man who brought warmth and humor to the freediving world.

Safety is the highest objective to AIDA in both freediving education and competition, and this tragic accident is the first fatality in over 20 years of AIDA competitions.  Accordingly, I have asked AIDA Technical Officer Antero Joki to lead a review of the accident, in order to learn what we can do to prevent further serious injuries.  Working with Antero on this effort will be AIDA Medical Officer Rik Rösken, diving medical researcher Erika Shagatay, and elite freediver and physician Johan Dahlström.

I have asked Antero to complete his review and report his findings to the Board in early 2014.  I plan to communicate the results of this review to the AIDA Assembly and freediving community by February, before the start of the Northern hemisphere’s summer diving season.  Please join me in giving your full support to Antero and his team on this critical project.

Kimmo Lahtinen
President, AIDA International


Diver Fatality at Vertical Blue

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Nicholas Mevoli, of the United States, passed away today after a dive at the 2013 Vertical Blue Competition.  Nick had performed a constant weight no fins dive to 72m, reached depth, and swam back to the surface successfully.  Nick attempted to complete the surface protocol, but was unsuccessful and had difficulty breathing.  He lost consciousness, and in spite of great efforts by the doctor and paramedic on site, failed to recover after reaching the local hospital.  Nick appears to have suffered from a depth-related injury to his lungs.

Nick lived in Brooklyn, New York, and worked in the television industry.  He was a passionate waterman, spearfisherman and freediver, and vocal advocate for the sport in the United States.  Nick was an extraordinary talent, breaking the US constant weight record shortly after beginning competitive freedive in 2012.  This year, Nick took second place in the inaugural Caribbean Cup in Roatan, first place at the Deja Blue competition in Curaçao, and a silver medal in constant no fins at this year’s AIDA Depth World Championship in Greece.

Nick’s friends will miss his warm smile and sense of humor, and eagerness to spearfish and dive at any time.

Aida Board