Sabang International Freediving Competition

Pulah Weh, otherwise known as Sabang after the largest city, is a small active volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra, 45 minutes by fast regular ship or 2 hours by ferry from mainland, Banda Aceh. Sabang is a luscious, green tropical paradise. With crystal clear blue waters, friendly locals, and yummy Indonesian local meals, this island is a travelers paradise.

A total of 40 diving athletes from 23 countries from all over the world competed in the Sabang International Freediving Competition 2018 (SIFC2018) held from 3 to 8 November 2018. The Competition was organised by the Indonesian Freediving Association headed by Stanley Sradaputta.

We chose to stay at Casa Nemo, the rooms were great, on a hill, ocean facing with a wonderful breeze flowing through as we lay on our porch hammock and enjoyed the view of the beautiful blue ocean. It gently caressed the shore at night and we had the harmonious sound lull us to sleep.

The food was good too with quite a few vegetarian options. I got hooked on pasta during this trip, the owner of Casa Nemo is Italian and his wife is Indonesian. They had a fare selection of both foods.

The competition and training site was located about 20 minutes away by scooter. We drove along the coast line, rustic village style, with jagged rock out crops to the sea.

The diving site had temporary changing rooms on the beach, there were a few buoys set up just a short swim away. Then a boat came around every 15-20 minutes to bring divers to the platform site, a huge platform created with plastic cube floats. Diving conditions are great, there were no or very subtle thermoclines, so warm water. The current was almost null. Consistent Conditions compared to the likes of Bali, but perhaps less so compared to places such as Panglao in Philippines.

The competition was run over 6 days, splitting the ladies and men, Day one was CWT Women, followed by Men on Day 2. Second discipline was FIM then CNF.

My Dives went like this: 67M CWT NR; 62M FIM NR; 43M CNF

Overall I was places 3rd in the Women’s, with Jessie Kim of Korea coming 2nd and Marianna Krupnitskaya of Russia in first place.

Congratulations to the Men, 3rd place Marc Anop USA, 2nd Stefan Randig Germany and Sendoh Wang 1st place from China.

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