When you think of a world championship, you'd think of world class athletes, world class judges, world class safety and world class organisation. Well, not in Egypt you don't...
I applied for the safety after having funktioned as safety diver at various indoor competitions in Berlin and at the German Championship 2007. The organizer spoke very highly about the safety teams and what the plans where on the official website. It sad there will be three different categories of safety freedivers and what you should be able to do to become one. And then, it this:
The total number of Safety Freedivers required for the Team is 30.
Well, on the first day, there where 3! Alexandru Russu, Michael Gessmann and me. The three of us where supposed to safety four training lines all day. But that was not a problem as there where no training lines on the first day... ;)
After we got some help from Mahmed uand Ahmud, two members of AIDA Egypt who could not compete coz they where needed so badly for the organization, we managed to do the absolute minimum of safety to ensure the competition.
Alex and I sared a room and after a while our days looked like this:
8 in the morning - get up and have breakfast,
9 - get ready for diving
10 - be out at sea
Safety all day
4 pm - get back to the hotel
4 to 7 - sleep !!!
7 pm - get some dinner
9 pm - sleep
Really, I hope this was the worst organized world championship I will ever see in my life!
After a couple of days we got some help from the athletes that was much needed. It was great to see how everyone was starting to do his part to make this competition work.
The most difficult thing in safety freediving in competition is to make the decision to act. If it is your buddy at home you can act when you have a doubt and it feels funny but in competition, where people dive at their limits, you can disqualify a diver. On the other hand, when you come to late the risk is very high that something serious is happening.
Kirk Krack gave us a very good safety training that included not just the usual safety procedures but very praxis and competition oriented scenarios. Within these I learned a lot about the signs I have to look for in order to really judge the situation and make that decision.
vor 5 Monaten