Today would have been Nick’s 34th birthday. 34. So many decades of great potential and kindness died with him. To honor that kindness, his sisters have started a thing called #WWND, which stands for What Would Nick Do, and it encourages people to do random acts of kindness for strangers, much in the spirit of Nick. This year it’s #WWND2015 , and one of the things i’d like to do is to make an image i have of him available. It’s of his Free Immersion dive during the 2013 world championships in Kalamata. I found it in my archives this month as i wassearching for photos of Natalia Molchanova -you can see her watching Nick on the decompression line.
For a high resolution version of this image, click the link below.
Right, so the Russians won, as expected. I mean, they were wearing golden suits, so it was a foregone conclusion:
and the Japanese were wearing silver suits, so guess where they ended?
So let’s get to the less obvious categories, like best T-shirt. I thought it was a shoe-in for this dude:
but then June-bug’s shirt is one i’ve loved for years:
now best turn was an interesting one, for there was this rather splendid example by a Russian guy
but then Tomoka had this oddly beautiful style, kinda poetry-in-motion, or Haiku-in-motion, in her case
Best shorts were undoubtedly the Russian’s, who took ‘shorts’ quite literally -almost too literally
the reactions to which were mostly summarised by this
Best pyjamas were worn by Jesper
best swim cap was by Goran
or maybe that was just ‘most unexpectedly pink’ swim cap. Goran -who knew?
Onwards to most inexplicable position during static, which was definitely Tomoka:
Ok, i know i take a lot of pictures of the Japanese girls, but can you blame me? They are spectacular; fantastic athletes, and when you ask them to play, they do this:
And really, the freediving men just give me a complex. They’re all shaped like action figures
some even have the action figure suit:
amongst these depressingly well-build action figures, my new favourite is Stig Pryds
He’s so cool i suggest we change the surface protocol from “I am ok” to “I am Stig Pryds”. He also has ‘best tattoos’.
Most chill pre-dive judging position? Ute. You can tell it’s near the end of the day:
As a photographer, i’ve also added the category ‘best positioning’, as most freedivers tend to completely ignore my silent pleas to face the sun. Ashleigh was a very pleasant exception to this rule:
Of course, at an Italian competition, you have to pay tribute to Umberto. Best one either goes to Radek
or this lady
But in the end, the best picture for me was the one that brought the biggest smile to my face
ok, 1 more of a Japanese girl
Last week, i had the pleasure and honour to document Danes diving deep at their annual depth championships, this time held in Kalamata, Greece. The winner of the women was Dena Parsa, who also set a national record Free Immersion with 61 meters:
and the winner of the men was my friend Jesper Stechmann, who broke the record for Constant weight no fins:
The comp had a great ambiance and it was good to see old friends and meet new ones. When i started freediving the Danes were the best ones out there, especially in the pool, and it was nice to see some of the old still being on top/bottom and teaching the new. And i was glad they didn’t pick Sweden this year, for the visibility most days was set to epic:
In Crete last month, the UK static record holder Georgina Miller broke her own record of 6 minutes 20 by 7 seconds. I got to stand by her side and say stuff like “come on”, which she said helped:
And if that wasn’t enough, she also won silver in the depth competition with these three beautiful dives, which i got to film:
Plus she did a perfect tag grab on her no fins dive, which was one of my favourite pictures of the comp
The water’s so clear here in Crete that there’s barely a point for me as a photographer to go deep -you can get overview shots at 10 meters, like this one of Monika, who did a national record Free Immersion for Poland
Beautiful dives again today -and a turtle! Only caught that one on video -poor battery on the main camera died of sheer exhaustion.
I’m a firm believer in lots of prizes at competitions, so here are the ones from the first day. Best nerves before the dive went to cool newbie Monika, who then also won most relieved smile after her dive:
Quikest dive while blocking yourself with your palms went to Yaron:
Best Jesus went to Aurora:
Aris got the ‘managed to look bigger than the boat’ prize:
Nicholas had the most definite ‘those are my fins’ award:
Do won most inexplicable position:
But the picture of the day goes to Chris:
He might not have made this dive today, but on the way down Nic Mevoli was looking stylish and strong -for a freediving hobo.