John Moorcroft Breaks the UK Freediving Record
The event was organised by Steve Millard of Apneists UK, who's behind the main Freediving National and International competitions each year in the UK for both depth and pool. DNF has long been one of John’s strongest freediving disciplines and the only one that he trains regularly in the pool. When Moorcroft started training in 1999 at a 25m pool, there were no long fins were permitted. The world record was held by Frenchman Andy Le Sauce and was 125m, so when John swam 100m he realized he might have a talent for the discipline.
“Back then nobody used neck weights or suits, it was purely a speedos and goggles job!”
Before long the world records for DNF got bigger and bigger and John stopped training the discipline as much, but he returned to it in 2009 and came close to a national record with a swim of 140m, but unfortunately blacked out upon surfacing. In 2012 he came back fighting with a 153m swim this time, taking Chris Crawshaw’s previous record of 150m, which at that stage was just days old, but it was a short lived victory as John explains: “My record lasted even less time, a matter of about an hour as Chris came back with a massive 163m.”
John credits Crawshaw’s record standing for the past two years despite his attempts on it, the most recent of which at the Great Northern in Liverpool earlier this year, failing due to a technical error in the surface protocol, a silly mistake he says, not caused by hypoxia.
John attributes his success to his buddies and sponsors: “None of my freediving achievements would be possible without my regular training buddies in Apneists UK and of course Steve Millard who has coached me and provided great advice and training opportunities not just for me but for everyone up here in the northwest. I would also like to thank Alun George who has always been there to inspire and motivate me. And I am grateful to my two sponsors, Polosub and Carbonio GFT whose products I rely upon with my [other] training.”
John is now setting his sights on the open water and improving his depths in both constant weight disciplines (with fins CWT, and without CNF).
Photo Credit: Sean Peters, Frogfish Photography