HOLDING your breath and swimming towards the ocean floor may seem frightening to some.

But the Curtis Coast Freedivers find it exhilarating.

This weekend they will show off their prowess in the Curtis Coast Freediving Challenge at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre.

Organiser Wayne Judge said about 15 competitors would participate in events today and tomorrow.


The Curtis Coast Free- divers kicked off the weekend with a diver rescue workshop yesterday afternoon.

The purpose of the workshop was to educate divers in safe diving practices and to coach them to be confident in handling blackout situations.

In a small heated pool, the day's first event focused on static apnea.

Judge said the discipline involved holding your breath for as long as possible without moving.

"We'll be face down in the water and holding our breath," Judge said.

"The skill involved is in knowing your limit and coming up at the right time."

Competitors will also take part in a dynamic no fins competition which Judge said involved swimming underwater on a single breath.

He said it was useful to be doing this event in a small pool because competitors could propel off the walls to gain extra distance.

Finally, on Sunday competitors will swim the dynamic apnea which is a single breath underwater swim with fins.

Judge said the competition would heat up when three competitors who have travelled from New South Wales, take on the locals for a State of Origin competition, something which had never been organised before.

Although he said there would not be much for spectators to watch during the static apnea event, he encouraged people to see the Curtis Coast Freedivers in action during the other events.

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