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II Polish Freedivers Rally - Report

The event, planned for 25-26 July 2011, took place in the heart of Wielkopolska – Giewartów, specifically on the Powidzkie Lake. Due to the so-called “long weekend” that falls on that time, the event started a bit earlier, as many participants of the rally decided to take advantage of the extra free time to relax.
Published: July 5, 2011 - 13:55
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:15
II Polish Freedivers Rally – Report

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The event, planned for 25-26 July 2011, took place in the heart of Wielkopolska – Giewartów, specifically on the Powidzkie Lake. Due to the so-called “long weekend” that falls on that time, the event started a bit earlier, as many participants of the rally decided to take advantage of the extra free time to relax. There were groups of friends and acquaintances, whole families and even a pet cat!

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Saturday morning, although not very sunny, did not deprive the participants of their enthusiasm. Everyone gathered at the bench-table, where we got to know each other and exchanged diving and freediving experiences. All participants told us what they expect from their stay and how they see their participation in the rally. It turned out that the visions were varied, from testing themselves in extreme conditions, to calming down, to discovering themselves and trying to look at the world in a different way.

At the start of the rally itself, commemorative T-shirts were handed out as a kind of uniform, and a breathing practice session began immediately afterwards.

For me it’s calming and incredibly relaxing. As well as preparing you for the dive, it allows you to listen to yourself, to calm down. It helps you to take control of your body and your breathing. A novelty for some participants was certainly the possession and operation of the diaphragm.A big part in the exercises was played by Agata’s voice, which has an incredible calming power,” writes Aneta

More geared towards diving deep, I found the static to be the boring part, but… against the odds, it turned out to give great awareness of my own body immersed in water and learning about diaphragm contractions. We were divided into pairs, each girl had to do three statics. Two minutes of preparation, during which we relaxed by breathing in deeply and exhaling twice as long, at the end a few shallow breaths and that one crucial inhalation giving us the strength to survive… Counting down 10, 9, 8, …, 1… DIVING… The first seconds were extremely long as we waited impatiently for our partner to tell us that 30 seconds had just passed… Suddenly, with every second, time ceased to matter and the body began to sink into “non-existence”, achieving blissful calm. What was happening on the surface and any sounds that might have been coming out ceasedto matter… – says Malgosia


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Finally, it was time to put on the wetsuits and take the first dip in the lake. The necessary equipment was provided by the Nemo diving base. Despite an initial breakdown in the weather, everything calmed down after a while and the Mermaids could enter the lake to begin their training. The two-hour training, during which they practised descending with the use of the lowering rope, went by in a flash. Despite the low temperature, the participants were warmed up by the excitement provided by each descent. After the training, all the girls had a well-deserved rest with a barbecue and shisha, to share their impressions and relax before the next day.

Sunday started with an outdoor yoga session. In order to get to know your mind and body and thus be able to control them better, it is worth developing your skills in this aspect as well. The participants in this part of the rally also learned how to better oxygenate their blood and calm their heart rate.

After the yoga class, the next session in the water began, which of course generated a lot of excitement and was highly anticipated. The girls in two groups practiced divided according to the capabilities of their bodies. The first group closer to the shore practiced at a depth of 10m, while the second group closer to the middle of the lake trained at 15m and 20m. After the practical part, the mermaids headed back to the lectures, where they talked about the effects of bad breathing and not breathing for too long, i.e. hyperventilation and hypocapnia, as well as hypoxia and hypercapnia. Safety and hazards during freediving closed the panel.

After the theoretical lessons, the certificate ceremony followed. From that moment on, the honoured mermaids became freedivers in the full sense of the word. There were tears of emotion, joy and promises of further development. All in a very nice “sisterly” atmosphere.

Despite initial problems with the weather, the whole event was a great success. The ladies were very satisfied and many of them, even before leaving, announced that they would be coming back next year.

Source and Photo: Organiser

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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