Turks and Caicos--Defying physics and critics alike, world champion freediver Tanya Streeter shattered both the men's and women's variable ballast freediving world records on Monday, July 21st in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Recording her eighth overall world record, Streeter made history when she descended 400 feet (122 meters) to capture the variable ballast record and become the first to ever break all four deep freediving world records, "Confirming her status as the world's strongest freediver," said John Skippings, director of tourism for the Turks & Caicos Tourism Board.
"By capturing yet another men's and women's world record, Tanya has positioned herself as the ambassador of freediving as well as one of the world's elite athletes," said Skippings. "Following last year's achievement (breaking both the men's and women's no limits world records), the Tourism Board along with Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort and Spa were thrilled to again provide Tanya with the training facilities, safety team and overall environment to successfully shatter yet another record. Tanya is not only an honorary resident of the Turks and Caicos, but also a local hero and role model."
Streeter arrived at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort and spa five weeks early in order to properly train on-site for the record attempt. The training and hard work paid off on Monday when Streeter held a single breath for over three and a half minutes to descend 400 ft (122 meters) on a weighted sled and then kick and pull her way up a guide rope to the surface. Additionally, the record dive marked a major accomplishment in terms of human physiological limits, as Streeter was able to withstand the extreme burn of lactic acid and carbon dioxide that builds as a result of breath holding during sprinting ascents of over two minutes in length, according to Paul Streeter, Tanya's manager and trainer.
"Most freedivers require the aid of an inflated liftbag to return from such a depth," said Paul. "Tanya has trained her body to push past these obstacles in order to redefine the limits of freediving."
In addition to Tanya's amazing physical capabilities, the champion freediver relied on extraordinary equipment for depth measurement and safety precautions. In particular, the TAG Heuer Aquagraph watch, capable of descending to 660 feet (200 meters), provided crucial depth measurement information during the record dive. The variable ballast freediving attempt took a total of three minutes and 38 seconds, shattering the women's record by 94 feet (29 meters) and surpassing the men's world record by six feet (1.8 meters).
"I have surpassed my own expectations with such a deep dive, and am excited about inspiring other freedivers to break this record," said Streeter. "Also, I want to thank the Turks and Caicos as they contributed an overwhelming level of support by providing professional mixed gas divers and the logistical assistance of an on-island hyperbaric facility for their safety. The clear, warm, deep and calm waters around these islands provide the ideal environment in terms of conditions and safety. I look forward to returning to the Turks and Caicos for future freediving record attempts."
The variable ballast marks the fourth deep freediving world record held by Streeter. No other freediver, male or female, has attempted to break all four deep freediving world records. Tanya's current records include the constant weight, free immersion, no limits and variable ballast disciplines.