Category: Education

Aida – Suunto Best of the Best Awards 2012

The Best of Best Award nominations are on Facebook this year. Please go to the Aida International Group  page:
to nominate your favorites in the categories. The top 3 persons in each category will go to a vote and the winners of those categories will receive a prize from Suunto. Each winner will be asked to submit of photo of them self with their prize.


Logo AIDA International suunto_Logo1


February Board Notes

The February 2013 Aida Board meeting was held via Skype on the 18th with all executive officers in attendance. The first vote approved Mario Albuquerque, of Portugal, as an instructor trainer. He will be subject to a 6-month review period to ensure quality assurance and active participation. We welcome Mario and look forward to hearing from his new instructors.

Jean-Pol and Carla provided a report on a group of freedivers in Indonesia seeking to obtain AIDA Observer member status. The Board voted to ask that the Assembly vote on this group’s request to obtain Observer status (only the AIDA Assembly may approve new members).

The Board also voted to approve the purchase of medals for both world championship competitions in 2013, plus twelve reserve medals.

Robert reviewed a request for VWT world record attempt by Anna von Boetticher; the Board concurred that Grant Graves and Petar Bojovic judge the record attempts (to take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in April 2013).

Antero confirmed that he will be in Belgrade for the Serbian Open Freediving Championship, and will inspect the venue and logistics. Petar has stated that the organizers have requested that there be no performance minima, as Belgrade has the capability to host a large number of competitors. The Board voted to approve waiving the minima for both WC competitions this year (for Belgrade, pending Antero’s positive report). Robert will request that the Assembly vote to select judges for the Belgrade competition by end of month.

Kimmo stated that he and the IT team have been diligently working to fix the judge database . A new Judge Responsible will take office when the system is in good working order and renewals for editing points, etc. have been implemented. Kimmo and Carla will be reviewing all current judges and making promotions where indicated. Judge cards will be manufactured and distributed to active judges. In addition, the Board voted to amend the approval process for appointment of Level B, A and A Instructor judges, in order to require Board approval for such leadership roles; this parallels the current process for appointment of AIDA Instructor Trainers in the education system (which also requires Board approval, rather than approval by a single person).

Antero asked that the request for suggestions to the rules changes be extended for two more weeks. A reminder to send in suggestion will be posted on Facebook. He and the committee plan to have a rules draft ready for initial review by the Board at the end of March.

Rik opened discussion of medical topics which included changing the medical release  so as not to require a doctor’s signature unless there are contra-indications of the athlete’s health/fitness. Many scuba agencies use such a form (e.g. PADI). He will have a draft of this form by 30 June. Rik also reported about the feedback on the lung-packing paper, and made suggestions for potential requirements of medical personnel (to be considered in the future) and incident reporting at competitions.

The next topic concerned an item presented to the Disciplinary Committee in 2012, which was asked to review questions regarding selection of members of the team selected by AIDA Portugal for the 2012 AIDA Team World Championships. Kimmo reviewed the report from last year’s DC, which found that the selection process may not have been managed fairly and openly. Kimmo noted the need for minimum standards to apply to certain functions of AIDA National Members (such as selection of teams sent to world championships and public national statutes at a public Aida national website together Board members information), and indicated that this topic would be reviewed as part of the current strategy project.

Kimmo proposed that the forum discussion function on the AIDA website be migrated over to the AIDA Facebook page. All other pertinent information will remain on the AIDA website, and only the community discussion function will be changed.

The Board agreed to meet again in March . All Aida members are encouraged to present any topics to be discussed.




New Aida Instructor Trainers !

We are excited to announce that we have three new Aida Instructor Trainers with very impressive credentials! First up is long-time diver, volunteer, instructor, judge and judge instructor, Pim Vermeulen. Pim is from the Netherlands and instructs throughout Europe and Egypt. Pim is multi-lingual and can instruct in several languages.



Next up is Miguel Lozano. Miguel is an Aida Master Instructor and record holding diver. He is from Barcelona, Spain and is based at Apnea Canarias. He speaks Spanish and English.






And last but certainly not least ,we have World Record diver and World Champion , William Trubridge. William is a New Zealand native and instructs at the famous Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas and in Europe. He offers courses in English and Italian.



These instructors offer all levels of Aida courses from beginner to instructor and Pim also teaches judge courses.

  • Pim Vermeulen:
  • Miguel Lozano:
  • William Trubridge:


Aida Board Meeting 23 September 2012

The Aida Board met via Skype call on September 23. Many important topics were on the agenda that required attention. The first item was the proposal for Enhanced Financial Controls, which was delivered to the Assembly in June. In connection to that proposal, AIDA is seeking two to three candidates to act in an audit committee-like capacity: periodically to review AIDA financial statements and account records to help ensure that AIDA is not subject to misappropriation of funds in the future. Candidates having a degree and relevant experience in the fields of accounting and/or finance are requested to forward a short CV to: (questions may be referred to:

Jean-Pol François (Education Officer) then provided a report on a group of freedivers in China desiring to obtain AIDA Observer Member status. The Board voted to ask that the Assembly vote on this group’s request to obtain Observer status (only the AIDA Assembly may approve new members). It is exciting to see growth in this market with very large potential.

The next issue which was discussed was No Limits Sled diving. Due to a number of incidents resulting in serious injury or death in connection with No Limits world record attempts, and concerns regarding additional safeguards that may be needed for athlete safety, the Board voted to temporarily suspend for a period of one year (until 30 September 2013) AIDA International’s sanctioning of No Limits world record attempts. During this period, AIDA International, in connection with AIDA Nationals, will review incidents, procedures and other matters relating to No Limits (in addition to other work being done regarding deep and sled diving), and take additional steps relating to No Limits risk management. Please feel free to contact the AIDA Board with any input your National may have on this matter. Please note that this suspension will not limit AIDA’s work on guidelines for diver safety, including No Limits diving: many instructors and athletes use No Limits to train for other disciplines, typically at relatively shallow depths. Please also note that this suspension by AIDA International does not restrict the ability of an AIDA National to sanction, take other action on, or ban No Limits diving and record attempts in that National’s country.

Ute Gessman (Sport Officer) brought up the issue with the CARS system , competition fees, and judges’ points. She will coordinate a group (likely to include Marcello di Matteis and Panagiota Banalou) to consider a competition fee schedule, as well as judge points for small competitions, and will report back to the Board at a future meeting. Ute also provided a report on the recent 2012 AIDA Team World Championships in Nice, France, and issues that affected athletes, staff and others. AIDA will make improvements at future AIDA World Championships, and the Technical Committee will review policies and procedures to set minimum standards to be met at future World Championships. Following the subject of World Championships; the Board reviewed bids for the 2013 AIDA Pool World Championships. The Board will focus on challenges that occurred in Nice, and try to avoid their recurrence at next year’s World Championships. The Board expects to send the bids to the Assembly for vote approximately in the next 10 days.

The next agenda item was addressed by Antero Joki (Technical Officer), who provided an update on the newly constituted Technical Committee, the Judge IOP and update to the Competition Rules. The IOP will be updated first then the Technical Committee will be accepting suggestions for rules modifications.

Then Kimmo provided a report on the AIDA strategy project which encompasses the future direction of Aida and issues which need to be considered with the evolution of our sport. Kimmo also provided an update on the current drafts of the Deep Diving and Sled Diving Guideline, which is being supervised by Rik Roksen( Med/ Science Officer).

The Board reviewed a number of initiatives regarding insurance in various regions and was updated on the publicity efforts for the 2012 inaugural AIDA World Cup Circuit, and media coverage for final 2012 World Cup event, Suunto Vertical Blue. Then the discussion moved on to the final two agenda items, beginning with alternatives to Dropbox for archiving video of world record attempts (Dropbox does not support files the size of videos). Ute and Julien will look into using a YouTube or Vimeo private (i.e. archiving) account for this purpose.

Then closing the meeting; Kimmo reported that the Aida application for observer membership status in the EUF (European Underwater Federation) will be voted upon in their December meeting in Austria.

Any questions , concerns, or comments are welcome. Please contact any Board member.

On behalf of Aida Board,

Kimmo Lahtinen,
Aida president


Board Notes for July

The Board met via Skype on July 22,2012.

The first topic to be discussed was regarding the European Underwater Federation (EUF). Kimmo reported on an introduction with the EUF at their recent annual meeting. The EUF represents most major diving agencies in Europe (e.g. PADI, CMAS), and sets diving standards within the EU region. The Board voted to join the EUF as an Observer Member, at an annual cost of EUR 100.

The Board then reviewed financial matters including  the proposal for enhanced financial controls sent to the Assembly in June, and discussed items remaining to be completed; all items are currently on schedule. Ben Noble, Treasurer, has prepared draft financial statements for 2001, and Robert King, Secretary, is reviewing them. A draft of financial statements will next be prepared for 2002 and 2003, and audited with the accounting firm.

Jean-Pol Francois, Education Officer, reported on the pilot project to create national level judges (Level F) and judge instructors, which was approved at the June meeting; this project will be tested in Sweden and China. If the program is successful, it will be rolled out to members generally. The goal of this program is to allow faster training of judges capable of judging national level competitions only, as a stepping-stone to having them become international judges (i.e. Level E) after obtaining additional training and experience.

The Board then voted to approve the following candidates as AIDA Instructor Trainers: Brian Crossland; Wendy Timmermans; Maria-Teresa Solomons. Congratulations to these new ITs !

The Board welcomed AIDA’s new Technical Officer, Antero Joki. Antero discussed potential TC members, and structure for the TC; candidates for the TC will be reviewed at the next meeting. The Board also reviewed target schedules for revising the Judge IOP and Competition Rules.

The Board reviewed issues relating to AIDA Spain, and athletes going to the world championships. Petar Bojovic has been working to come to a resolution for these athletes.

In regards to the Individual World Championships for both pool and depth; at the request of a number of organizers who await confirmation from venue officials, the deadline to submit bids was extended to 31 July 2012. Please notify all potential organizers of this extension, and note that bids should be submitted not later than 31 July. Get those bids in!

Kimmo provided an update on the strategy project, the first meeting for which was held in May. He has assembled a strong committee for this important project for the future direction of Aida.

The Board discussed alternatives to Dropbox for archiving video of world record attempts (Dropbox does not support files the size of videos). Marcello and Julien will look into using a YouTube or Vimeo account for this purpose.

Kimmo again noted that we have terminated AIDA’s former address within Switzerland. Please note that AIDA has a new address in Switzerland, which can be found on the AIDA website, on the “Contact Us” page:

The next meeting will take place in August. Please contact any Board member for any topics which should be discussed.


Aida Board