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Video Report: Phuket’s Suunto Series – seeing in red and white

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: The first two white cards handed out for “points” in the Phuket We Free Dive Suunto Series have highlighted the unique format of the competition, which ranks the control, safety and beauty of the dive above time and distance.

“I value any clean dive far above a longer or deeper one that ends with a barely conscious diver,” explained Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnée (AIDA) judge Richard Wonka.

“Freediving is a beautiful sport, it’s only the ego – which all of us carry around with us – that spoils its reputation.”


Two white cards and two red cards were handed out to contestants by Mr Wonka and AIDA judge Sarah Whitcher at the dynamic without fins event on March 30 in Chalong. These cards count toward the grand prize of a Suunto D6i dive computer (story here).

“The winner will be the one with the most white cards and cleanest record, because clean and safe dives are exemplary of the sport,” Mr Wonka said.

“To my knowledge, no other competition has ever applied this principle, so we are excited to do something new.”


Red cards are issued for failure to follow surface protocol, air way obstructions and other rule violations.

In a competition, all divers competing for points in the AIDA international rankings have to perform a simple surface protocol: remove any facial equipment, show one “okay” sign to the judges and then say either “I am okay” or “I’m okay”.

“If divers are unable to perform this simple task after their dive, then we can safely say that they are not fully in control of their actions, which results in a red card,” Mr Wonka explains.

“Beginners sometimes muddle this up, simply because they are new to this, but that’s what being a beginner is all about. You make a mistake, you learn.”

We Free Dive Suunto Series is sponsored by: Suunto, Special Fins and Dive Supply, and will continue on April 19.

Those wanting to participate in the event can register at

The Dynamic Without Fins (DNF) event at the We Freedive Suunto Series saw contestants push to cover as much horizontal distance as possible. Video: PGTV

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


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