KRALENDIJK, Bonaire — This year’s Bonaire Deepsea Challenge was a great success. Carolina Schrappe (BRA) broke her own Continental South American Record at -101 meters on September 23 in freediving discipline variable weight in a 3-min dive (her previous record in 2016 was -95 m) while other athletes achieved their personal best performances.
Kids and adults participated with original costumes in a colourful First Ocean Parade that welcomed mermaids to the Bonairean blue waters.
While nature struck with all its power around the Caribbean, in the small yet idyllic island of Bonaire and just 500m from shore in the beautiful blue and deep waters, the annual freediving competition took place with the participation of athletes from Japan, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Brazil, UK and Venezuela. The ten-day event culminated in one Continental record, and multiple personal best dives. The competition covered four freediving disciplines: Static (STA), Constant Weight (CWT), Constant No Fins (CNF) and Free Immersion (FIM) during six official diving days.
In a parallel record attempt to the competition, Brazilian Carolina Schrappe surpassed her own Variable Weight (VWT) record, reaching to a 101m depth for a new Continental South American record (Previous record -95m 2016). VWT is a discipline where the freediver uses a sled to drag them down to depth while ascending by her own power with or without fins. The record was confirmed by AIDA judges Gaby Contreras from Venezuela and Christian Statler from Austria and witnessed by athletes participating in the competition, the logistic team and a group of international journalists.
Notable performances from the event include dives from Tomoka Fukuda, experimental freediver from Japan, and recurrent guest on the island who reached -92m in Constant Weight (CWT) and amazed with an easy 5’21” breath hold that assured her title as Best Female Athlete of the competition. Novice athlete Israel Gil from Venezuela surprised attendees showing consistency among all disciplines positioning him as Best Male Athlete after achieving some of his personal bests. Second and third place females were Ekateryna Sadurska from Ukrania and Carol Schrappe from Brasil. Second and third place males were Leon Jansen from Netherlands and Martyn Bromley from UK.
As part of the closing ceremony for Bonaire Deepsea Challenge 2017 and marking the beginning of the Caribbean Mermaid Festival. Mermaid Bonaire a new mermaid school on the island led by Gaby Contreras organized this original event took the streets and the waters of Kralendijk hosting First Ocean Parade.
The parade was a friendly artistic event designed for people to express themselves by making their own creative art and outfit to celebrate the conservation of the ocean life and the mysterious mythology of mermaids and tritons. The event aims to create awareness on how humans contribute to ocean pollution as well as coral reef damage and call to take more actions to work actively to protect and prevent this.
Ocean pollution is an ever-increasing global concern that threatens marine life, the environment, the economy, and human health.
Bonaire has proved again one of the Top Freediving destination. With deep blue waters, plenty of marine life, support from the island’s best businesses, and a beautiful community of people Bonaire is sure to host many more events such as this one. The Deepsea Challenge is poised to grow bigger and better looking into the coming years.