Archive for July, 2011

In memory of Patrick Musimu

It is with deep sadness that AIDA International notes the passing of Belgian freediver Patrick Musimu.  Patrick appears to have drowned on 21 July, while pool training alone.  He is survived by his wife Isabelle and daughter Maeva. Patrick was best known for no-limits diving with a sled (

That a diver who achieved depths in the 200m-range drowned in a 2m pool warrants close consideration by all divers.  If a diver of Patrick’s accomplishments and experience can drown while pool training, it’s clear that no diver is experienced enough to train without a safety.  To restate the most important rule in freediving:  All breath-hold activities in water require the supervision of a trained freediving safety diver. We urge all divers to reinforce this message with other persons in the dive community including instructors, judges, and divers generally. A diver’s first level of responsibility for safety is with himself/herself — only the diver can decide not to train alone. Safety should always be the number one concern when training, competing, spearfishing, or recreationally diving.

Patrick’s loss is tragic, foremost to his family, and also to the diving community as a whole.  It’s important that we take from this sad event the wisdom to avoid further accidents of this type.

On behalf of Aida Board,

Kimmo Lahtinen
AIDA, president


News from Kalamata!

Stavros Kastrinakis and Freedive Club group are excited to announce that the athlete list is in for the Depth World Championships, taking place from September 15-25. A couple countries still need to submit their entries,but there are currently 144 athletes with 26 coaches from 31 countries, planning to attend. This will be the largest number attending in freedive competition history!

Please see this file with the list of the divers;

Athlete List WCh2011


On behalf of Aida Board,

Kimmo Lahtinen
AIDA, president


July Board Meeting

The Board met on July 17 ,2011 via Skype to discuss the present agenda.

Robert King, Secretary, noted that the Board sent the report from the work group on the sled-diving incident to the Assembly on July 10. This report was written after a comprehensive investigation of a no-limits training dive, which occurred on June 7 in Santorini, Greece.  The Board recommends that Assembly members share this document–including the “Human Factors in Sport Diving Incidents” attachment included with the report — with freedivers in their country.

In regards to this issue; The Board has asked Grant Graves to update the current AIDA Sled Diving Guidelines, with assistance from one or two other divers highly knowledgeable with sled diving, in the next month, if possible.  Items to be considered include proper use of lanyard, use of video camera on diver during the entire dive, and the four levels of responsibility.

The Board discussed matters relating to Anna von Boetticher’s recent Variable Weight record attempt.  Certain issues noted by the judges relating to this attempt may be referred to the AIDA Disciplinary Committee.

Kimmo Lahtinen, President, provided an update to the Board on AIDA financial matters and also summarized a proposed system update for ranking, renewals and judge points. This would be of great benefit to streamline these time-consuming processes.

Stavros provided a report on certification card printing is now up and running again.  Assembly members are asked to request again on line (without payment) any student certification cards that may still be missing from 2009 or 2010; these cards will be sent out the same week as requested. The Education Committee is very pleased to have rectified this problematic issue!

The Board reviewed matters relating to SSI and Freedive Dahab, and potential improprieties with respect to AIDA education and competition activities.

Kimmo provided an update on the 2012 Team World Championships proposals.  The Board has received one proposal as of 15 July. We encourage all potenetial organizers to submit proposals as soon as possible for this event, which coincides with the 20th Anniversary of AIDA!

Ute Gessman, Sport Officer, provided an update on judges for depth and pool world championships, noting that Marcello de Matteis has resigned his position at the depth World Championships, and will be replaced by Pavlina Prochazkova.  The Board selected Marcello de Matteis as President, and Grant Graves as Vice President, for the Lignano Pool World Championships.

Kimmo provided an update on AIDA officers, noting that Alex Boulting has resigned from the position of IT Officer due to personal reasons (effective 31 July). We are very sorry to lose Alex and thank him for his great contribution to the content of the website, database registry, and many other great efforts.

The next meeting will take place in August. Please contact us if you have an item for discussion on the agenda.


On behalf of Aida Board,

Kimmo Lahtinen
AIDA, president



Change in judges’ panel

Due to a business conflict, Marcello de Matteis will not be able to fulfill the judge’s position at the depth World Championships. He will be replaced by Pavlina Prochazkova, who was next on list determined by the number of votes received. Pavlina will be joining Panagiota Balanou, Ute Gessman, Grant Graves, Linda Paganelli, and Panos Lianos as judges for the competition, which is taking place September 15-25 in Kalamata, Greece.

On behalf of Aida Board,

Kimmo Lahtinen,
AIDA president


Sponsorship agreement renewal between Suunto and Aida

Dear Aida freedivers,

I am very pleased to announce that Aida has renewed a sponsorship agreement with Suunto ( This gives Aida the ability to use qualified, custom- made, Suunto D9 depth gauges in the upcoming World Championships and also in any future Aida world record attempts and competitions. This agreement also includes a full maintenance guarantee for these depth instruments.

Aida will also receive rash guard shirts for Aida judges, strengthening the Aida brand in these high level competitions. Aida will have the rights to use the exciting new “Suunto Movescount” functionalities integrated at Aida website ( or — Competitive — Aida in Suunto Movescount).

I am also happy to inform you that high level Aida competition organizers now have a channel to Suunto if they would like to negotiate sponsorship agreements in upcoming competitions. Suunto and Aida have created this channel to facilitate and expedite agreements in any future competitions. Organizers may contact the Aida Sport officer for more details.

Aida has agreed to allow Suunto to use the Aida brand and requests our assistance for Suunto marketing purposes. I believe that this cooperation is of great benefit to both parties of this agreement.

In official release, Suunto President Mikko Moilanen states;

“Accurate and reliable depth measurement in the freediving World Record attempts and World Championships is a must, and we are very proud that Aida has again chosen Suunto dive computers as the official depth gauges in these events.

Our 75 year long heritage in manufacturing sports instruments combined with our new on-line diving community; offer all freedivers around the world the best possible tools in their sport.”

Yours Sincerely,

Kimmo Lahtinen
AIDA, president