Wearing a red wetsuit Daredevil would envy, Kurt lay on his back, hand on the line, breathing up for his national record attempt in this discipline. Just four days ago he broke his own record in Free Immersion (FIM) with a dive to 94 meters/ 308 feet.
Today, he was attempting to join the elite “100 meter club” and make is mark on the history of US Freediving. Three years ago, at the First Caribbean Cup in Roatan, Nick Mevoli set the bar and became the first US athlete to reach 100 meters on one breath; powered solely by muscle and determination.
Kurt’s surface coach and partner, Katie Pentz, calmly removed the foam noodles supporting his head and monofin and backed away to watch Kurt inhale slowly, to the count of 10 past official top. With a smooth entry, he descended the long way down towards the bottom plate. His progress monitored via sonar, the dive live commentated by Ren Chapman via Periscope and watched by his friends and training partners in Hawaii.
Kurt was confident he would succeed when he arrived at this popular, annual event, but the days leading up to today let the doubt creep in, which Kurt was determined to overcome.
When he surfaced, 2 minutes and 52 seconds later, it was clear, almost immediately, that he had the record. Everyone, even his coach, was quiet, no one needed to urge him to breathe. A quick and confident “I’m ok” made it seem like the dive was easy for him. He suspense-fully slowly removed the tag from his hood and the cheering commenced, before the official white card was given.
US National Record: CWT 101 meters/ 331 feet.
Post dive, Ren asked him if the dive was easy. “No, it wasn’t easy”, Kurt replied, “but I tricked myself into thinking it was easy, which helped me relax before the dive.” “Overcoming the unexpected obstacle of doubt I had during the training days and the first day of the comp, made the success that much more precious to me”
Constant Weight with Fin/s (CWT) is one of 3 depth disciplines. The diver, wearing a monofin or bi-fins, descends down the line and up again. Any weight they are wearing, to help them descend, they must keep on to come back up. Their safety lanyard is worn around their wrist, to allow free movement of the legs.