Sincere thanks to all participants, to our sponsor's Mares, SSI, Davosa, ChrisBenz, Ivana Orlović, Samo Jeranko and Neza. The special thing with Ivana, Samo, Nik and Rene is that four Mares ambassadors were together at the same place. We have never managed to accomplish this before.
The title says it all! This year we had a blessing in disguise. Unfortunately, Antonio Kodermann could not participate this year, so we had to reorganise and find suitable replacements for him. We asked Samo Jeranko, currently one of the greatest freedivers, and Ivana Orlović, one of the best underwater photographers that exist if they had the time and will to participate in our event. Crazily enough, they both managed. Samo was accompanied by his girlfriend Neza, also a very talented free diver, so we had active support. Of course, we were also quite delighted to know that 30 participants booked up for the festival in advance!
Our festival was ready on time, for the fourth year in a row, with the sun shining and 28°C - simply unbelievable! The mood was indescribable, almost like a big family gathering! With both advanced free divers and beginners exchanging stories among themselves. Diverse free diving workshops were on the program this year once again. Besides that, there was also relaxation, yoga, pranayama and stretching of the entire body. As in previous years, we held a diving competition on Sunday, at the end of the gathering. The winners received great prizes from our sponsor's Mares, ChrisBenz and Davosa. The first three places were 10-20cm apart. It has never been so close!
This time there was also diving to a predetermined depth using a specially modified mask through which participants were unable to see. Eight participants were half a meter away from their target depths! Unfortunately, time flies very quickly, and the event came to a swift conclusion. We are however already planning our Fifth Annual Festival for the 4th – 5th August 2018! We already have the first sign ups which are a tribute to the success of this year’s event.
What makes the Walense Festival so unique?
This year the festival offered easy entrance into the water, and by swimming out just a few meters, there was sufficient depth for free diving. There were also parking spaces at the festival. In a restaurant nearby, called Lago Mio, participants could have a lunch break or relax in the evening with like-minded people. Irrespective of whether someone is an advanced diver or a beginner, using our workshops people had the opportunity to improve themselves and their diving skills. The event was limited to just 30 participants; we provided small snacks during dive breaks which consist of an assortment of fresh fruits, chocolate bars and drinks. The prizes were worth over €1500. Additionally, every participant got an apnea t-shirt as a souvenir of their participation.
Next year we will be there again, and we look forward to seeing you!
The Mares Team