Connect with us


Phuket freedive floats Wierenga to third in US rankings

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: American Katie Wierenga was ranked third among the USA female Dynamic No Fins (DNF) athletes after an outstanding performance at the We Freedive Suunto Series in Phuket on Sunday.

Wierenga covered 105m underwater in what many believe is the most technically difficult of the eight Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apée (AIDA) freediving disciplines.

“She had performed in our past DNF competition in June and achieved 107m, but we had given her a red card [disqualification] due to her failing the surface protocol upon surfacing. So getting a white card for 105m was a big achievement this time,” one of the event judges, AIDA Master Instructor Sarah Whitcher, told the Phuket Gazette.

The surface protocol in freediving is a sequence of performances that an athlete must complete within 15 seconds upon surfacing after a dive.

The athlete needs to remove all facial equipment; give one okay hand signal; and say, “I am okay” to the judges on the side of the pool. The AIDA competition regulation is in place to ensure that the athlete is fully conscious and in control when they surface.

Also participating in the event at Phuket Country Home in Chalong last week was fellow American Walter Johnson. Unlike Wierenga, who flew in from Chiang Mai, Johnson is a Phuket expat.

“Walter did a strong performance freedive of 85m, short of his personal best, but we believe he is now intent on keeping his white card record safe in order to win the the overall series prize of new white Suunto D6i computer that will be awarded on the final competition day in December,” said Whitcher.

Johnson is currently in a close battle with local mermaid Melanie Long for the most white cards. However, Long did not compete in the event this month, giving Johnson a chance to catch up.

Three events remain in the Phuket We Freedive Suunto Series, with the next competition, dynamic with fins, getting underway at Phuket Country Home at 10am on October 26.

Those interested in the sport are invited to join in the pre-event training session on October 25, starting at 3:30pm.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Northern Thailand2 hours ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Hua Hin4 hours ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism5 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand9 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism10 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of11 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8