INTO the BLUE
Until only about 30 years ago, Dahab was a tiny Bedouin fishing village on the Sinai coast, about 100 km from Sharm el-Sheikh to the south. Now it’s known worldwide for having great condition for shore diving and windsurfing, of course the FREEDIVERS found well place to dive deep too.....
A short drive north of the main centre of Dahab is the notorious Blue Hole, known among diving circles as the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Dive Site’. It can be accessed from the shore and is around 100 m deep, but with a tunnel at 52 m many divers are tempted to go beyond the recreational diving limit of 40 m to experience everything the Egyptian blue hole has to offer, including nitrogen narcosis for the unfortunate few. Because the entrance is hidden and difficult to spot, divers looking for a way in often go too low, increasing the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis. Some are never seen again.
Lighthouse dive center present " INTO the BLUE " freediving challenge in Blue Hole Dahab South Sinai, Egypt. It will be A hard 3 days waiting for athletes which will try to catch the bottom of the magic Blue Hole, 3 dives – only one discipline, only Titans can get to the bottom , hardest freediving discipline ’constant weights no fins’. This is the challenge of strongest freediver on the world, competition with world class and AIDA ratings. The Best freediver will be the Titan which will dive deepest 3 dives in competition, Women category and Men category.
Interview with Amro M Al-Hamed
Amro M Al-Hamad visited Lighthouse dive center last week , for his freediving training camp to work on his technique with monofin. Amro will take part in the INTO the BLUE competition too with promises to break Qatar national records. Freediving is quickly becoming a very popular sport, worldwide. Qatar is one of the countries which is experiencing a boom in the sport and has found many fans. People [worldwide] are becoming more and more interested in taking freediving courses.
WHO is Amro M AL-Hamad ?
He is a young man with high energy levels and a desire to be a better than others. Amro possesses high levels of motivation in two (2) different kinds of sports. First, where adrenalin plays big part, he is one who enjoys motor sports(racing cars). On the other side, he is passionate about Freediving, where you have to be completely relaxed , and need to keep your heart beat low, to spend more time and go deep with only a single breath.
Amro started his racing career in Qatar through the Qatar National speed test championship. He moved later to middle east hill climb challenges in Syria, Jordan & Lebanon where he managed a couple of podiums before he moved to the Qatar National Road Racing Championship back in his home country. Amro's best championship finish was finishing 2nd overall in 2011. Having enough of touring cars he decided to move to the Radical Winter Cup Championship on a Radical SR3. The Radical cup is a haven for European drivers to practice in winter time when it's impossible to practice motorsports in Europe . Amro clinched the 2nd and 3rd places in his first 2 races and podiums and points kept going on. His last participation was in the NGK 300 Kilometers endurance race held in Dubai Aerodrome in which he finished 3rd after 2 complete hours of high speed chases with other opponents.
Back to the freediving world: We asked a few questions of Amro. Let's check out thought was interesting and see his responses.
INTO the BLUE: First question is usually about how humans choose their steps to be the best , or why they do what they do, what was your first step to became a freediver and why ?
Amro : The whole story started by me and a couple of friends going on a trip to spearfish . I loved the tranquility and silence under water and ambushing fish. I didn’t stay down for much though and I decided to go for a free diving level 1 course with Fii to improve my skills what I didn’t know though that I will fall in love with Free diving as a sport more than just using it as a means to spearfish later I joined a level 2 course conducted by Martin Stepanek in the Lighthouse Dive Center and later became an Fii certified assistant instructor
INTO the BLUE : What does Freediving mean to you?
Amro : Free diving is one the few sports that I have practiced and fell in love with besides motorsports . If you practice a sport and have something in your mind telling you (Why the hell are you doing this) and after you're done all you want to do is do it more and more then stick to that sport. That sport challenges you and you will get somewhere with it one day
INTO the BLUE : In most Sports, stress and adrenalin play a major role, how do these things affect you before you dive? What is going on through your mind when you start your dive, especially when you are driver you meet often with adrenalin.
Amro : Before doing a deep dive I calm myself down by thinking of my previous personal best record and convincing myself it was easy to perform and why would I be stressed . Everything goes to auto pilot mood from that second and on. Motorsports is the total opposite and quick reflexes are required.
INTO the BLUE : Have you ever had a run in with a "Big Fish?" Meaning: One that was amazing or perhaps startled you? We know that you are a spear fisherman too, what was your biggest catch ?
Amro : Well I got startled a couple of times by sneaking sharks . Well, there are 2 catches that I will never ever forget and both were in the Bahamas using pole spears. The biggest was an amber Jack around 30 Kilos and it fought pretty well and I had to land her to the boat before the sharks in the water get any closer and the 2nd was a black grouper at 26 meters deep but he was a bit shy and decided to run into a cave and I decided to wait there until the water clears up and I had a clear shot and got him to the boat was the best dinner off my life ever.
INTO the BLUE : Where do you find your motivation to be a freediver ? What motivates you?
Amro : There are people who has motivated and encouraged me to advance in free diving Khalid Al-Hamadi who was my level 1 instructor whom I am working with now giving Fii Level 1 courses and also Martin Stepanek with his continuous encouragement and guidance . Scoring Qatar's 1st free diving National record is also a motivation for me as no one in Qatar has managed to set a record yet. Hopefully I will be the 2st to it in (Into The Blue) and that I believe will open new doors to the sport of free diving in Qatar .
INTO the BLUE : My last question is about your future, what is your plan? Do you have something extreme somewhere on your radar? What is it you would really like to do? What challenges do you still dream about?
Well , as I mentioned earlier I want to score Qatar's 1st National Record . On the racing side I am getting ready to do 2 races in the European Radical Masters championship to get more contact with more aggressive drivers . A fantasy for me for years has been Base Jumping but I haven’t got a chance to learn so far . Who knows maybe this year I will get enough guts and do it !!.
Thank you Amro for your time, wish you all the best and see you on INTO the BLUE competition end of august 2013.
INTO the BLUE competition forum
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