U.S. FREEDIVERS TO MAKE HISTORIC RECORDS IN FIRST CMAS-SANCTIONED COMPETITION IN AMERICAN WATERS
Kailua-Kona, HI, August 17, 2018: The United States Freediving Federation (USFF) will hold The Hawai’i Cup of Freediving in Kailua-Kona on August 24-27, 2018. This historic national championship will be the first-ever CMAS sanctioned freediving event in the United States.
Sponsored by Paralenz, Malo’o, AquaLung, Octopus, Apnea.gr, RinseKit, Yoga Nest Hawaii and Trident OpenROV, the championship will host freedivers from the Hawai’ian Islands, California and Florida, as well as two members of the Team America Freediving Team.
“The Hawai’i Cup puts us (USFF) on the map worldwide and provides support and value to a community that has long waited for sanctioned competitions. There are many divers in the states but until now, they had to travel to other areas around the world” says USFF President Jeremy Stephan. “With the Olympics in sight, this event starts to build momentum around Hawai'i as a training ground.”
“With the ongoing conversations of bringing freediving into the Olympics, I’m hopeful this event will push the awareness of freediving in the States and show the true beauty of the sport and the people in it as well” says Team America diver Kristin Kuba. “Freediving is a sport unlike any other that has changed people’s lives all around the world. I would love for its growth to continue the way it has been in recent years.”
All Hawai’i Cup competitors will be eligible for U.S. National freediving records in two categories: 18 - 54 years of age and 55+ years (Masters) as managed by the USFF. There are currently no U.S. National records, so this is an opportunity for American divers to make history.
For Stephan, it was important to hold the first U.S. competition in Hawaii’s pristine waters.
“I chose Hawai'i because there are good year-round conditions that afford the opportunity to dive at almost any time. The weather is superb, the water temperature and clarity are great and it’s a waterman culture” says Stephan. “I chose Honaunau Bay specifically since this area hosts a large gathering of freedivers every Sunday for the last 15+ years. The community of freediving here on Hawai'i is large, very active and supportive.”
“This competition in particular means the world to me as it will be taking place in my home waters. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and finally having the opportunity to compete here is truly an incredible feeling” Says Kuba.
Artwork for the Cup’s logo comes from famous Hawai’ian artist Dietrich Varez and the event is organized locally by freediving record holder Kurt Chambers. In addition to the competition, the USFF will host the first U.S. screening of DOLPHIN MAN, the world-renowned documentary based on the life and legacy of Jacques Mayol at the Aloha Theater on 8/24 at 7PM.