The Cortez Cup Challenge was conceived to give my students a chance to experience competition , to make marks and break Mexican National records. In this we had a resounding success 6 National records broken by 3 of the Freediver’s Students . There were no Blackouts and no disqualifications in this competition .

In my estimation we had a narrow window of opportunity before the Northerly winds and winter water temperatures put an end to our aspirations till the summer of 2011.

One of the problems we faced was lack of personal equipment by all the students .Only Estrella and Gonzalo had equipment , Estrella had an excellent monofin a very good suit provided by her sponsors Costa Baja. Liquid goggles, neck weight, weight belt and nose clip were provided by her trainer, Aharon. Gonzalo had complete equipment, but Esteban had only a suit so was limited to doing dynamic no fins in the pool and Free Immersion and Constant Weight no Fins in the sea .

Linton had no equipment at all , so was limited to doing dynamic no fins in the pool.

Mario had a suit ,neck weight and  mask but was no better off than Esteban.

Estrella has a natural aquacity from her swimming back ground , she is , like her brother,  a competitive swimmer, and has tremendous genetic advantage ,tall slender and we will not discuss the rest of it !!

She very quickly mastered the correct classic style with the monofin and the under water adaptations of the breast stroke for the no fins disciplines . She aquired an excellent breath hold of 4 mins . static in her first week of training . Later she mastered the techniques of equalisation at depth that permitted her to do her 50mt Constant weight Record with the monofin and 40 mts just swimming down .C.N.F.

In this event Estrella took 4 Mexican National records and each one by a huge margin , shattering the former records.

50mts Constant weight       Swimming down and back with the monofin

40mts Constant weight no Fins  Swimming down and back breast stroke

and in the pool

100 mts Dynamic no fins

128 mts dynamic with the monofin

Estrella has enormous potential and next year can aspire to achieving a very high International ranking.

This is well worth keeping a eye on !

Esteban came to me 3 months ago he had only a suit and mask and therefore was limited in the pool to Dynamic no fins and in the sea to FIM ( pulling down the line and back ) .He did a swimming test with me and his swimming at this point was not good enough to attempt freediving ,so I suggested he learn to swim with Linton ,he practiced 2 months with Linton and I kept tabs on his progress , it turned out to be a very successful combination and I accepted him for freedive training , his progress was also astonishing and after only 1 months training he broke the Mexican National record formerly  held by Manuel Gonzalez

also a student of the Freedivers from La Paz , With an excellent swim of 78mts . He went on to do a 30 mt free immersion dive and a personal best in the sea .

Linton who only trained with me intermittently for 3 weeks beat Esteban’s record the following day with a great swim of 84 mts no fins thus taking the Mexican National record .He shows great promise if he can overcome equalisation difficulties ,which will permit him to realise his true potential in depth .

Gonzalo did a course with me 2 years ago and has a superb style with Bi -Fins and an excellent breath hold , however his main interest is in spear fishing ,where he is establishing an international reputation today .

Mario is totally involved with his thesis and post graduate work and his training for this event was nearly non existant , although he had trained with us in the past , he has a 6 and three quarter min breath hold and also has an excellent potential in depth . He did a very creditable 50mts no fins dynamic and declared 40 mts free immersion in the sea which he was unable to complete due to the flu that seems to be going around La Paz.

Edna who is one of the countries top Master”s and long distance swimmers joined us just for fun and to experience breath hold diving and did a 39 mt no fins swim without any training .

The Judges were Ben Weis of the USA  and Maria Teresa Solomons of the freedivers , herself a 70mt

Diver in constant weight (depth) and one of the 4 top women in the world . She took two gold medals in the depth events in the international competition in Greece this summer and represented the UK in the international team competition in Okinawa in July 2010.

Images were provided by Luke Inman and in the pool by Gonzala Mata . Costa Baja sponsored the competition providing the boat and crew  for 3 days , they also bought Estrella’s suit and flew in Ben Weis and sponsored his accommodation and food.

Thanks must also be offered to the Staff of the Gum and Prof Hirales who helped and supported us with unfaiing good humour throughout the training.

Much more can be expected from these athletes in 2011 and may well be that the entire national team

will come from La Paz for the international team competition in 2012.

The Freedivers continue their commitment to develop and sponsor exceptional athletes in Mexico and support the National organisation.

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