Vancouver divers to reach new depths in local freediving competition

Divers will hold their breath while diving to depths between 15 and 60 meters!

This weekend, local divers will attempt to reach the deepest depths of Howe Sound, some descending to around 60 meters below the waves, the equivalent of an 18-story building.

The two-day event called Howe Deep? The AIDA deep freediving competition takes place at Ansell Point in West Vancouver. Divers should hold their breath as they dive along a line, aiming for a specific depth and time to be underwater. Safety divers meet the diver along the way and escort the diver to the surface.

Roberta Cenedese, a competition judge and freediving coach in Vancouver, says the sport has exploded in popularity over the past five years and that local competition allows its enthusiasts to participate once again.

“With COVID-19 limiting travel and some global competitions postponed, Howe Deep? The AIDA deep freediving competition allows local athletes to participate in an internationally renowned event without having to cross borders, ”Cenedese said in a recent statement.

The sport’s sudden popularity stems from highly televised annual diving competitions like Vertical Blue set in Barbados’ famous Blue Hole, and movies like My Octopus Teacher on Netflix.

“This competition is about a person’s relationship with themselves and the ocean,” Cenedese said. “We are a community of people who love water. It is difficult to explain the magic of holding one’s breath and in the silence of the depths. Of course, when a group of orcas pass by, as they did this week, it’s also hard to explain the excitement.

The contest will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday August 28 and 29. For more information on the sport, feel free to visit

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