Karol Meyer Sets Free Dive Records in Bonaire

Karol Meyer chooses to follow her dream. Her passion for free diving has brought her to the sunny Dutch Caribbean Island of Bonaire. Karol is third in the world for Variable Weight Freediving. She has broken 3 South American records in Bonaire and seeks to focus on her personal record of 100 meters this month in Bonaire and learn more about the depths with Patrick Musimu. All these performances was monitored by the present judges:  Archimedes Garrido (Brazil), Frank Eiking (Netherlands) and Augusto Montbrun (Venezuela/Italy).  They used several pieces of equipments to measure the target depth that the athlete achieves such as 2 depth gauges, pre measured rope, surface camera, underwater camera and also underwater judge and witness scuba divers.

A fellow Brazilian led Karol to Bonaire. Rodrigo Coluccini from www.decostop.com.br came to Bonaire several years back and found divers heaven. He spoke with Karol and recommended she travel to Bonaire to set her record.  With the support of Yasmin Perez, Tourism Director or Tourism Corp. Bonaire South America, plans were made to travel to Bonaire. Rodrigo and the staff at Buddy Dive Bonaire confirmed the relatively calm water was free of major currents and would be near perfect.  Karol is joined by her husband Gilberto Gabardo Neto and her coach and mentor Patrick Musimu a world record holder from Belgium. In 2005 Patrick dove 209,6 meters in Herchada Egypt breaking all records. A sports enthusiast and motivational speaker, Musimu understands the mental and physical dynamics of free diving. Musimu instills trust and confidence in their relationship supporting Karol in her endeavor.

Karol is thrilled to be in Bonaire. She said, “Each attempt brings me more confidence. I must prepare mentally and physically but having Musimu present helps me gain confidence. He has done this so understands.” Karol is comfortable in the waters of Bonaire. She said, “The visibility is wonderful compared to Florianopolis where the water is cold and not clear.” It is a hard place to train but Bonaire is wonderful.” Karol has always been a sports enthusiast. This dynamic 41 year old has played handball and basketball. She was experimenting in a pool with friends and was able to hold her breathe 4 minutes. She decided to research free diving and connected with a group in France who supported her efforts. Along the way she met Musimu.

Musimu explains, free diving has been noted historically thousands of years. The sponge divers of Greece and the Pearl Divers of Qatar have long been known to be extreme free divers. Musimu stresses the essential element of this sport, team work. He said, “You cannot do this without the team and most of all, believing in yourself.” Interesting enough Musimu came to Bonaire 11 years ago to become a dive master but due to a deviated septum he was unable to dive. After surgery and training Musimu later went on to conquer the sea and challenge him in freediving. He is now back to Bonaire, a full circle of fate.  “There are no barriers in this sport”, he said. He smiles as Karol shares with all her enthusiasm with an audience at Buddy Dive.

Karol and team are sponsored by Buddy Dive Resort and experts technical divers from Buddy Dive Center, Sunrentals,

Avianca , Insel Air ,Bonaire Tourism Corporation, Bonaire Hyperbaric Chamber –  Dr. Richard van der Vaart, one of Bonaire’s hyperbaric physicians and special Brazilian and USA Midia Coverture. To learn more click on http://apneiabonaire.brasilmergulho.com.br/

Ann Phelan is a free lance writer and Bonaire based travel specialist. See her website www.bonairecaribbean.com and read her blog http://www.bonairebliss.com

Karol Meyer and Patrick Musimu in Bonaire

Karol Meyer and Patrick Musimu in Bonaire

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