2004 CAFA Annual General Meeting
October 10, 2004
CAFA President's Report
2003 - 2004 was CAFA's fourth year as the sport governing body of freediving and our representation for AIDA International within Canada. In June of 2000 when CAFA was first formed, we had high ideals, lofty ambitions and always a sense of responsibility to our members. These were to be realized in four short years.
In June of 2003, the idea was floated at the international competition in Cyprus that CAFA would be willing to host the 4th AIDA World Freediving Competition by Individuals. One of our goals had always been to step up to this plate and put the strength, will and determination of Canadian freedivers to the forefront of the world stage.
Upon my return to Canada from Cyprus, we quickly convened as a board to discuss the potential of hosting this competition which would rest primarily on the ability of CAFA to raise the volunteers and get our community involved. A meeting of members was realized and the majority of members agreed to the task, including those from Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver for which the main bulk of support would come.
During this time CAFA continued to function in its normal routine running five CAFA National / Regional Competitions with the participation of sixty-two athletes and impressive results. Several national records were set during this time including an impressive static apnea time of 7:14 by Luc Gosselin, a 131.9m dynamic apnea by Peter Scott, 80.1m dynamic no-fins by Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, and a 40m free immersion by Brent Pascall. Lastly, CAFA recorded two more world records by executive member Mandy-Rae Cruickshank with a 41m constant ballast no-fins in Howe Sound, Vancouver and an 78m constant ballast with fins attempt in the Cayman Islands.
In February of 2004 the SFU Advanced Freediving Research Project with Simon Fraser University in conjunction with Performance Freediving International and CAFA saw the successful start of its fourth project. At the finish of this season the majority of the women's and men's Team Canada attending the 4th AIDA World Freediving Championships would be made up of these members.
By Spring of 2004 a planning and organizing committee lead by CAFA President Kirk Krack and Vice-President Tom Lightfoot, was quickly underway to ready ourselves for the 4th AIDA Freeidiving World Championships by Team. Fall of 2003 saw CAFA beating out AIDA Egypt in a narrow vote within the AIDA Assembly of members to become the hosts of the 2004 seasons premier freediving event. Soon a professional website was up and humming and sponsors and partners were quickly drawn in. At the opening ceremony, seventeen teams, fifty-six athletes from Canada, USA, Germany, Japan, Greece, Mexico, Netherlands, Colombia and New Zealand attended what was quickly to become the most well organized and respected competition regardless of the amount of participation.
Within days, thirty non-freediving spectators would be watching the action of constant ballast live on the event barge of Lions Bay Marina as scuba divers recorded the action to a 52 inch plasma screen stationed on the barge. For the first time ever, a constant ballast competition was a live event and all due to the hard work of CAFA's members and its supporters including Doc's Proplugs, event sponsor, Amphibico Inc, Ocean Technology Systems, Donaldson Ropes, Performance Freediving International, Nuytco Research Ltd, Daka Industries, Pacific Prodive, Oceaner, Lions Bay Marina, One World Translations and METS First Aid Training.
At competitions end, the sweetest of celebrations would not only be for those who pulled together to host one of the worlds most successful competitions, but also to the victories of Team Canada and its members. The Canadian Men's team would place third, its best ever finish while the Canadian Women's team would once again hold their rank as the number one women's freediving team in the world. Thanks to Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Jessica Apedaile, Jade Leutenegger and Gabrielle Legendre, Brent Pascall, Luc Gosselin, Matt Charlton, Greg Fee and also to Mario Gomes and Ananda Escudero on a great success and for showing what Canadian freedivers are all about.
My last thanks and sincere praise goes to my fellow CAFA Board members who supported the office of President with their dedication and professionalism. Without Tom Light, Vice-President, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Treasurer, Helen Lightfoot, Secretary and Perry Gladstone, Media Relations, the 2003-2004 season including the world championships wouldn't have been the amazing success it was. With that I notified I wouldn't be accepting the position of President for CAFA for the coming season, but would still support the association and its members in the continuing efforts to promote and expand the recreational and competitive sport of freediving both in Canada and abroad.
CAFA President and Founder