Category: Education

AIDA – Suunto Awards 2012

The results are in from an unprecedented number of votes in the 2012 awards. This year the winners were determined by an open vote on Facebook.  Some categories were very close with just a few votes separating first and second places. There were ten categories. All finalists will receive a beautiful certificate and the winner of each category will receive a generous prize provided by Suunto.

Best Male Freediver

Best Female Freediver

Best Male Newcomer

Best Female Newcomer

Best AIDA Instructor

Best AIDA Judge

Best Safety Diver

Best Athletic Sportsmanship

Best Coach

Best AIDA Volunteer


Board Notes April 2013

The Board had a meeting via Skype on 20 April.

The first order of business was to vote on the appointment of  Petar Bojovic and Panagiota Balanou as co-Judges Responsible. Due to the large number of judges and associated tasks; the workload will be shared. Carla will also assist, as needed, and fill–in until Petar is fully available to start after the AIDA Pool World Championships in June (Petar is one of the organizers of that competition). The implementation of the updated online Judge Database and standardization of judge course materials are priority projects.

The Board also voted to elect Grant Graves as President and Petar Bojovic as Vice-President of the Jury for the 2013 AIDA Pool World Championships. The other jury members (elected by the Assembly) are: Ute Gessmann, Robert King, Stavros Kastrinakis, and Ekaterina Romanova. Alternates are: Alex Karjuk, Jana Balounova and, Darja Sobutin.

The next topic of discussion was a vote to recommend that groups from Bulgaria and Indonesia as be accepted by the Assembly as new AIDA Observer Members; an Assembly vote on this matter is currently in progress.

The Board voted to resolve an ambiguity in the Judge IOP, using judge experience points calculated as indicated by the IOP, without use of the ambiguous term “times”; the term “times”—which is of unclear meaning, and if interpreted literally would lead to irrational results — will not be used in the calculation of Judge experience. Please note that there is a work group currently reviewing the Judge IOP, which will propose changes to reflect best practices and make the Judge IOP easier for judges and organizers to understand. Such proposed changes will be reviewed with the Assembly, and the Assembly will need to vote to approve them prior to their becoming effective.

The Board discussed the judge candidates for the variable weight world record attempt to take place in  Sharm el Sheikh, including judge candidates for that attempt, in May.

Antero stated that the updated competition rules should be ready to present to the Assembly for review by May 2013.

The Board has requested that either Antero or Robert will attend the meeting of the European Underwater Federation as representatives of AIDA International; Kimmo is not available on this date.

Jean-Pol provided a report on the status of the order for the rash guards and t-shirts for AIDA judges. The order  has been placed and we hope to have the new shirts available very soon.

On behalf of Aida Board

Carla Hanson
AIDA, secretary


March Board Report

A Board meeting was held via Skype on March 17,2013.

The first order of business was the approval vote of Jonathan Sunnex as an instructor trainer. Jonny is from New Zealand and will be offering courses there and in other locations around the world. He is known for helping many divers with equalization issues and deep dive technique.

The Board voted to allow athletes from observer member or non-AIDA member countries to compete at both world championships in 2013. This is contingent upon the athlete(s) paying the required fee, and providing proof of passport from the country for which they wish to compete.

Rob and Kimmo reviewed various financial matters with Aida and the financial statements through 2012.

Rob noted that the vote for judges for the 2013 AIDA Pool World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, closes today, and the votes would be tallied shortly. Antero provided a favorable report on his visit to Belgrade, to verify a satisfactory venue and logistical arrangements, etc.

Kimmo provided information on the status of the judge database update project, including judge points and judge cards. The Board voted to approve the manufacture and distribution of an AIDA Judge packet including ID card, AIDA judge cards (i.e. white, yellow, and red cards) with the AIDA logo, and a necklet, at a cost of approximately €12.50 per judge, and in aggregate not to exceed €3500; such judge packets will be available to all active AIDA judges in the near future. Kimmo and Rob also explained the current project for the renewal and streamlining of the Judge IOP.

Antero reviewed the AIDA Competition Rules revision project. The deadline for suggestions will end in two weeks. The Technical Committee will then draft new rules, and the document will be presented to the Assembly for review.

Kimmo reviewed the status of the AIDA Strategy project. This project will be addressing current issues and make plans for the long term vision of Aida International and the sport of freediving.

The Board reviewed an inquiry from an American television network regarding the possible broadcast of an AIDA world record attempt. The Board will work with the network regarding feasibility of its request. Although large scale publicity of this kind is highly desirable; safety considerations are primary and cannot be sacrificed under any circumstances.

The Board will be meeting in April. Please contact any member with any questions or topics for the discussion.

AIDA Board


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.