25 free divers perfect their technique with Umberto Pelizzari
The Adeje Municipal Aquatic School and Apnea Academy West Europe Centre, in La Caleta, hosted a week long training course for free diving professionals with world champion Umberto Pelizzari at the helm.
The programme was theoretical and practical, spread over 80 hours, and for those already advanced in this particular sport. Pelizzari’s teaching team included experts in relaxation, safety, first aid and swimming, with concentration on preparing the body for dives as well as being mentally prepared for what is a very particular kind of sport. Pelizzari explains, “When you are more relaxed mentally your body is also more at ease. Free diving is about exchanging our environment for that under the sea, and those who can successfully practise this sport need to find their inner peace and arrive at a particular point of relaxation which will allow them descend and properly use the oxygen needed to complete the dive.
“When we free dive we are fighting against a natural survival instinct – to breathe. So it’s important to learn to relax mentally”. Pelizzari also stressed that this was a sport that you had to adapt to over time and no diver could expect to descend 30 metres on their first submergence. Those who practise free diving have to be fully aware of their own limitations and work within them.
The theoretical part of the course took place in the Tenerife Top Training centre with some practices in the pool. The students also undertook sea dives at different depths all under the supervision of Pelizzari and the on-site experts. The week-long course ended with a conference in conjunction with the marvellous photographer Sergio Hanquet in the Adeje CDTCA.