Soneva Fushi welcomes world-famous freedivers
Soneva is set to welcome two of the world’s most celebrated freedivers at Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives.
In January, Alexey Molchanov, who holds the record for the deepest competitive freedive, will be leading courses for adults and children, giving presentations and telling stories and anecdotes about his career at the Talkers Table. From February 20-26, Umberto Pelizzari, considered amongst the best freedivers of all time, will be running courses for all ages and giving a lecture and a Q&A session about his experiences in the sport.
Alexey, from Russia, holds the deepest competitive freediving record – he has also set five world records throughout his career. He has earned a combined total of 15 gold, silver and bronze medals for both individual and team world championship events.
“Guests can take freediving lessons from Alexey in both Russian and English. He will be hosting a Talkers Table – an incredible opportunity for guests to get to know a World Champion and hear his stories. At Cinema Paradiso guests can catch him giving presentations, a Q&A session and a chance for photos and autograph signing,” an announcement by the world-leading luxury resort operator read.
Pelizzari is an Italian freediver, known as one of the best in the history of the sport. He is the only athlete to have world records across all the freediving disciplines that existed at that particular time. Umberto and his then rival, Pipin Ferreras, were the focus of the 2001 IMAX production Ocean Men: Extreme Dive.
At Soneva Fushi, Umberto will also host freediving courses for guests, as well as a Q&A session, lectures, presentations and autograph signing at Cinema Paradiso.
Meanwhile, Soneva Fushi’s resident instructor Ken Kiriyama has been holding freediving courses from December.
Ken has been a practitioner of Yoga and Pranayama since the young age of 16. He uses these techniques and knowledge as the foundation and mental preparation for freediving – ensuring guests are calm, relaxed and focused while on dives. This results in a meditative experience where guests feel a ‘oneness’ with the ocean.
Freediving is one way to discover the underwater world on a single breath, without supporting equipment.
Soneva said the freediving courses at Soneva Fushi consist of theory lessons, breathing and relaxation techniques, stretching, confined water and open water practice.
“This is a chance for guests to learn the essential aspects of freediving directly from World Champions who currently hold or have held multiple world records. They will learn about what happens in the human physiology while freediving, about the physics of water, about mental capacities, deep relaxation and breathing techniques to improve their health and wellbeing. The breathing techniques are a key factor and can be used anytime, anywhere,” the announcement read.
“In the water guests will learn how to move and save energy, how to use fins with the correct technique and how to be calm and relaxed in the water. The course is open to all ages, 12 and above, and participates will receive a diploma upon completion.”
According to Soneva, the children’s freediving experience is a two-hour journey on the reef that involves having fun and learning from a World Champion. The basic techniques of swimming, finning, snorkelling and easy dives while holding the breath will be covered.
Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.
The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.
Soneva also operates the Soneva Jani resort and Soneva in Aqua luxury yacht in the Maldives.