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Karen Valesella
News | 15 oct.
We often think that freediving means holding your breath. In fact, it starts with breathing, I learnt the lesson with a professional.

I had an appointment for an introduction to freediving in a discreet hotel of the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The man who welcomed us is everything but ordinary. Gianluca Genoni is a freediving world recordman. His own records are very impressive: -160 metres in apnea, more than 18 minutes in the depths. He is a superman.

 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
 © Blancpain
The water was warm and the atmosphere soothing. Calm and concentration were required. Gianluca gave us the first instructions - all is a matter of technique and respiration. We learnt how to breathe properly, to fill in our lungs, in the lower part first and then in the upper part. Two minutes while we had to breathe in and breathe out repeatedly, slowly and profoundly before we immersed our face.

We started on a series of apneas, 45 seconds, then 1 minute, then each time we had to add 30 extra seconds. Gianluca was responsible for time, he acted as a metronome. Time is an elementary value for freedivers, it rhythms preparation, the beginning and end of all immersions. It is a challenge and could be like a quest for the Holy Grail.
« Each apnea is a step toward the next apnea, it allows me to prepare for a new challenge. We need to be patient, to have self control in order to apprehend sensations and to accept them », Gianluca explains.
I finally reached 3 mn 30 sec, the gap which separates the last breath in from the next breath of air. I was fascinated with my own achievement. I ended the day in a dream, remembering I had met with a remarkably generous and humbled man.

Freediving is, for Gianluca, to experience freedom in water, and to have fun in the ocean in the purest way. Today, he has finished with competition, his new challenge being now ocean protection.

 © Blancpain
Pluris would like to thank  for allowing us to share the experience.
Crédits photo : DR, Blancpain
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1348 Le Brassus - Suisse

+41 21 796 36 36
+41 21 796 36 37
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Breathing in and breathing out à un ami.
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