Performance Freediving Going to Cayman for Record Attempts

2/22/2005 4:09:01 PM
Six months after Hurricane Ivan sideswiped the Cayman Islands, members of the Performance Freediving Team are going back March 14 to train and attempt to break six world records in the sport of freediving.

"Going back to Cayman was a well-thought decision, and we needed to look at how they're rebuilding and their ability to support our wide and varied needs," said trainer and organizer Kirk Krack of Performance Freediving International (PFI). "The Caymans have treated us so well in the past, with our team accomplishing five prior world records there, and in the end, they're up and running and able to support this type of endeavor."

Divetech and Cobalt Coast on the northwest end of the island were relatively untouched and have been back in full business for months. They'll be providing accommodations and technical diving support, while Danny Kupkowski of Off The Wall Divers is the main training boat over four weeks. Other sponsors and supporters that came forward were Amphibico Inc, Docs Proplugs, Oceaner Sporting Goods and Yamamoto Corporation.

Our main supporter and sponsor, Dr. George Lopez, CEO of ICU Medical Inc., a medical equipment support company, last year set a new US National record and will once again be training alongside as a member of the Performance Freediving Team.

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank is a 30-year-old, four-time world record holder from Vancouver, Canada and a PADI Americas employee as well as an instructor with PFI in charge of student services. Last year she broke Tanya Streeters record of 70m / 230 feet in constant ballast, with a record setting dive to 78m / 256 feet, an unprecedented jump in this discipline by a man or woman. Mandy will be focusing on the variable ballast record (sled down and swim / pull back to the surface) of 122m / 400 feet and free immersion record of 71m / 233 feet.

Joining Mandy is her teammate Martin Stepanek from the Czech Republic. Martin is 27 years old and a five-time world record holder, having recently reset the constant ballast (swim down and up self powered) world record to 103m / 338 feet. Martin is also focusing on the variable ballast record held by Carlos Coste at 135m / 443 feet and the constant ballast without fins (swim down and up under own power without fins) record of 66m / 216 feet. Martin is also an instructor with Performance Freediving International.

Both Mandy and Martin are working with coach and trainer Kirk Krack, founder of Performance Freediving International Inc. Kirk is also vice president of the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA), the world governing body for the sport of freediving. AIDA Level A Judges Bill Stromberg (Sweden) and Nicolas Laporte (Switzerland) will be the officials in attendance ratifying the attempts and insuring the strictest of safety protocols are followed.

The members of Performance Freediving International teach educational clinics around the world and are involved in both team and athlete development. Last year's attempts in Cayman were broadcast near-live by streaming video and garned an outstanding response from underwater enthusiasts the world over.

A streaming video press release is available at http://www.unikron.com/play/play_sniff.htm?id=freediving10, or for daily logs, pictures and video clips on the training and progress, go to http://www.performancefreediving.com.

For media or spectator attendance or to receive pictures and updates, please contact Kirk Krack at +1-604-862-5868 or email kirk.krack@performancefreediving.com.<