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Sussex academic wins UK freediving championship

Dr Kattie Lussier accepts her prize from judge M.T. Solomons

University of Sussex academic Dr Kattie Lussier won first place for women at the 2009 UK National Freediving Championship on 20th July.

Dr Lussier said: "I'm ecstatic to have won!  I've been scuba diving for nearly 10 years but I started freediving last year with two other members of the Sussex Subaqua Club. At the time I couldn't have imagined that I would enter the competitive scene but I'm really glad I did."

Freediving means immersion under water without breathing. There are six disciplines in the competition including Dr Lussier's which were constant weight with fins where she went down 30m and without fins where she went down 20m. This is where the competitor descends and ascends on a single breath without pulling on the rope or changing weight.

Dr Lussier, an academic at the University of Sussex's School of Education, said: "I wanted to learn how to dive without equipment in order to be closer to the sea life. Many sea creatures are afraid of the bubbles produced by scuba equipment and they often swim away when we meet them."

Dr Lussier trains at the Falmer Sport Complex on the University's campus each morning as part of her training schedule: "Without the support of Sussex's sports staff I would have never reached this level so fast. I am particularly thankful to Val Orringe, my yoga instructor and all the freedivers who helped me on the way."

The Saltfree Double Dip freediving competition (the UK's national championship) was held by the Saltfree diving club at the National Diving and Activity Centre, a flooded quarry, in Chepstow. There were 18 competitors from 6 different countries.


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By: Danielle Treanor
Last updated: Thursday, 30 July 2009