2] CAYMAN ISLANDS / The waters off Seven Mile Beach were the site
of an astonishing World Record set on Sunday, 29 April by Mandy-Rae
Cruickshank of Canada. Remaining underwater for two minutes
and 48 seconds, Ms Cruickshank reached a depth of 289 feet (88m)
on a single breath of air to set a new freediving World Record.
Mandy-Rae Cruickshank of Canada who set the Women’s Freediving World
Record on Sunday, 29 April off Seven Mile Beach, reaching a depth
of 289 feet.
Ms Cruickshank’s dive falls into the category
of constant ballast, in which competitors descend and return to
the surface with weights using nothing but their own power.
Previously the record had stood at
282 feet (86 m) and was held by Natalia Molchanova of Russia.
Ms Cruickshank is a member of
Performance Freediving International Inc (PFI) and has been in training
here in Cayman since 8 April. It was during the second day of the
second PFI Cayman Competition, that Ms Cruickshank set the seventh
World Record of her career.
Delighted by her latest accomplishment,
Mandy-Rae spoke modestly of what makes her the best in the world
at what she does. “Just wanting to do it… I love being in the
water and I have a real competitive streak in me,” she said.
“The mental aspect is the hardest part, pushing your own limits
and staying focused on what you are doing, not where you are going.”
“The conditions here are fantastic. The
visibility is great and the water is warm,” said Mandy-Rae.
It was only in 2000, when she moved back
to Canada, that Mandy-Rae became involved in freediving. Meeting
up with an old acquaintance, PFI founder and her future husband
Kirk Krack, Mandy-Rae discovered a real passion and talent for the
Kirk is a world class coach and trainer who helped
develop Mandy-Rae’s potential at such a rapid rate that, just a
year and a half after first becoming involved in freediving, she
set her first World Record.
Kirk also trained Cayman’s very own Tania Streeter,
one of the sports pioneering athletes. “Tania Streeter really
led the way,” said Mandy-Rae. The re-crowned World Record holder
is still pushing to go deeper and says the main source of competition
for the divers is actually themselves.
So what is next for this one-breath wonder?
“We’ve got the World Championships in Egypt at the end of the year
and we’ll be back in Cayman next spring,” Mandy-Rae explains.
“I’ve always wanted to try a record at every discipline,”
Officiating at the event were judges
Grant Graves and Matthew Charlton of the Association for the International
Development of Apnea (AIDA), one of two governing bodies for the
sport of freediving. As well as witnessing the new record, these
two AIDA Level A Judges were also present to ensure the sport’s
strict safety protocols were observed.
Freediving, or breath-hold diving, has several
disciplines with athletes competing in events measuring time, depth
and distance, each with different sub categories. Competitive freediving
emerged in the late 1940s and is today enjoying unprecedented growth
and booming popularity with underwater enthusiasts the world over.
While the sport of freediving is still relatively new, the practice
of diving on a single breath of air has been used for numerous purposes
and can be traced back 4500 years.
More information on freediving can
be found at
Freediving International Inc and media reports