Suunto is the headline sponsor of the 2012 Vertical Blue, one of the world's largest freediving events.
The competition begins on November 20th at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. At 203 metres, Dean's Blue Hole is the world's deepest vertical cave of its kind. 56 free divers from 21 countries will compete over nine days for a chance to win a share of the $20,000 prize pool.
Vertical Blue was organised by record-breaking freediver and Suunto brand ambassador William Trubridge. "The deepest dives will last in excess of four minutes, but that's not four minutes of holding your breath in your bathtub: it's four minutes of propelling yourself through the water column while combatting pressures that would crush a soccer ball to the size of a tennis ball and which exert mind-numbing narcosis," Trubridge said. "What makes Vertical Blue a special event is that it gives the athletes free reign to mine their aquatic potential. None of the concerns of boat rides, fickle weather conditions or irate taxi drivers affect the venue of Dean's Blue Hole. Essentially the competitors are like chemists in spotless laboratory - free to conduct controlled experiments on what their body can tolerate in an airless world. It's great to have Suunto on board as the official partner and timer."
Trubridge was freediving to 15 metres by the age of 8, and has broken numerous records as a professional. His competition personal best for static apnea (holding breath) is 7.29, and in 2010 he became the first man to break the 100 metre depth barrier without the use of fins, rope or weights. He also holds the record for 'Free Immersion', where divers descend and ascend by pulling on a rope.
Mika Holappa, Suunto Dive Business Unit Director said: "Suunto has worked with William Trubridge for many years and he's an outstanding athlete. We are very proud to be this year's headline sponsor of the Suunto Vertical Blue."
William Trubridge wears a Suunto Elementum Aqua which offers water resistance to a depth of 200 metres. The watch has a water sensor that switches to diver's mode when the watch is submerged under water. Recording mode is activated as soon as the underwater depth reaches 1.2 metres, allowing the watch to detect real and maximum depths, water temperature and dive time. The dive log is sufficient for 14 data sets.