The annual Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition takes place in Roatan every May. Started in 2013, this international event brings elite athletes from all around the world to compete in a week of freediving competitions in West Bay. In competitive freediving, athletes swim to incredible depths of hundreds of feet all on one single breath of air.
During the Caribbean Cup, divers compete in the Free Immersion (FIM), Constant Weight with Fins (CWT), and Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) disciplines over a period of eight days. This event follows the standards for competition and safety set forth by AIDA, the International Association for Development of Apnea. With competitors reaching depths around 400 feet, this event is amazing to witness as these athletes push past perceived human limitations.
The event takes place at West Bay Beach, where staff and competitors will be housed in Mayan Princess Resort. The diving platform is located only 3 minutes by boat from there, allowing spectators and competitors alike to easily reach the dive site. With a comfortable catamaran stationed at the dive site for spectators, you can witness the mental and physical preparation competitors do before descending, and the triumph as they resurface having reached personal goals and new records. You could also grab your fins and mask and watch these athletes as they disappear into the depths, only to reach the light again on their ascent minutes later.
William Trubridge, a 15-time World Record holder and yearly competitor in Roatan’s Caribbean Cup says, “Roatan is a unique island in the Caribbean in that it has one side of the island with very sheer drop-offs to great depth. And the trade winds come from the other side, meaning that deep side is very calm, with very clear waters and very little current. It’s ideal for freediving. It also has a lot of other different attractions that appeal to freedivers: you can go shark diving, swimming with dolphins or with turtles. It has a very well managed marine park as well, which means the coral reef system is very well populated and the snorkeling here is amongst the best in the world.”
The Caribbean Cup is fully dedicated to the safety of the athletes. This is the first freediving competition to implement a mandatory medical response course to its safety freedivers, organizers, and local medical personnel. Also for the 2015 Caribbean Cup, American Dr. Kerry Hollowell has developed a course with an emphasis in basic and universal freediving safety procedures, more advanced CPR and ACLS elements, and overall team building and leadership that all athletes and organizers were invited and encouraged to attend at no cost.
The Honduran Ministry of Tourism, as well as the Municipality of Roatan, expressed their enthusiasm for this event to be hosted on the island, providing local police support and medical assistance from the Red Cross.
The 2015 Caribbean Cup will begin Saturday, May 24th, and end on Saturday, May 31st. Many competitors will arrive weeks earlier to begin training at the competition site. Be sure to check out the competition itself as well as all the special events planned during the week of competition.