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NZ Freediving Record Success – Static Apnea

New Zealand Record Success – Static Apnea

Freediver, Marcus Thompson has smashed the New Zealand record for static apnea (holding breath underwater).

On Sunday 12 December, the West Aucklander lay face down in the West Wave Aquatic Centre for an amazing 6 minutes 42 Seconds, adding 31 seconds to the previous record of 6 minutes 10 seconds.


Marcus Thompson (centre) celebrates the New Zealand record with his "No Bubbles" safety buddies Mark Corrigan (left) and Mike Furniss (right).

“It’s not the most enthralling spectator sport but there’s no feeling quite like it,” says Marcus.

“Once you overcome the obstacle of relaxing your body and mind, the experience becomes very meditative and is part of the reason it feels so good underwater. Once the mammalian dive reflex kicks in it becomes much easier than you’d think,” he says.

The ‘mammalian dive reflex’ is the body’s natural reaction to the underwater environment. This includes a slowing heart rate and the shifting of blood towards the heart and brain.

“This is a reflex that all mammals have when they are submerged in water, and is thought to be linked to our aquatic, evolutionary past. The dive reflex results in an increase in the size of the blood vessels to the brain ensuring that you’re not starved of oxygen.”

“It sounds dangerous but it isn’t if done under the right conditions. It’s certainly not the kind of sport you go off and do on your own, unobserved without specialist training and guidance. We always have a safety buddy with us all the way. Our team, ‘No Bubbles’, meet regularly to train together, share our experiences and learn, so that we can enjoy our sport safely.”
Marcus recently represented New Zealand at the Freediving World Championships in Canada, finishing in the Top 10 for the static apnea discipline.

Marcus will reset this record under competition conditions to qualify for the International Individual Freediving world championships in Switzerland and France in 2005.

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