The Al Fazz'a Cultural Championship, held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, was officially launched on December 28 at the Al Meedan theatre at the Global Village and other locations. The championship, which is one of the main cultural events of DSF 2006-07, was initiated in 2002. It has played an important role in popularising traditional sports among the younger generation of UAE nationals and preserving the rich culture and heritage of the country. Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, general supervisor of the Al Fazz'a Championship, announced that on the advice of Shaikh Hamdan, two new competitions have been added to the event this year which were dog racing and diving. The main sponsor of the Al Fazz'a Championship is Dubai Islamic Bank.
On 1 and 2 February the FAZZA Freediving Championships were held at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel. Participants were required to dive down a rope, wearing nothing but swim wear, and hold their breath for as long as possible. The basic rules were no diving gear or diving accessories permitted, the diver had to hold the rope at all times during the dive, and any divers incurring a black out would be disqualified in spite of the long breath hold time.
There were some 40-50 participants, of which I was the only female diver. The weather conditions were terrible on the day of the finals, the water temperature was 20 degrees Centigrade, it was pelting with rain and a very cold wind. In spite of that we braved the conditions and the winners were as follows:
1st prize (brand new Range Rover supplied by Al Tayer Motors) – Nadim Mazjoub 3.365 minutes
2nd prize (20,000 dhs) - Ihmied 3.345 mins
3rd prize (15,000 dhs) – Bruce McClaren 2.57 mins
4th place – Sara-Lise Haith 2.33 mins (consolation prize yet to be determined) (ME!!! HOO HOO!!!)
The organiser has said that they would be eager to receive suggestions for next year’s competition including safety procedures and additions of other categories. This type of traditional breath hold practise is unlike the international standards, where the freediver holds his breath for as long as possible with his respiratory tracts immerged, his body either in the water or at the surface. Static apnea is the only discipline measuring the duration, and one of the three disciplines considered for the international competitions by team, with Constant weight and Dynamic with fins. Performances could be done and recognized in both pool or open water (sea, lake, river, etc). For more information on the different freediving disciplines see this website http://www.aida-international.org/.
Freediving should never be practised alone. It can be extremely dangerous and it is vital that you never freedive without proper training and without the presence of an experienced buddy with you at all times.
If you want to learn to freedive an international AIDA instructor trainer is visiting Dubai during the month of March. Her name is Emma Farrell and for more details visit this link
or this link
Come on let's have more women on board in Dubai to participate in this fantastic sport.