March 2020, 22-year-old Christian Burger, becomes the very first Zimbabwean to set a freediving record at Alphonse Island, Seychelles, located 400km South East of the Seychelles mainland of Mahé.
Holding his breath for one minute and fifty-two seconds, Burger propelled himself using just his arms, along a measured rope to the depth of 35 metres.
Upon surfacing Christian received confirmation of his Free Immersion record (FIM) by globally renowned, South African Champion woman’s free diver, and Pure Apnea Head Judge, Beth Neale.
Burger originally became a surf instructor, but the temptation to discover the marine life below the surface of the ocean ignited his passion for scuba and freediving.
Burger is currently the reigning Zimbabwean freediving champion. He joined the Blue Safari Seychelles team at Alphonse Island as a divemaster, surf and freediving instructor in May 2019.
Inspired by women’s freediver, Beth Neale, following a week freediving with her in the Chinhoyi Caves in Burger’s native Zimbabwe, her knowledge and passion for the fastest growing water-sport encouraged Burger to make history and set the Zimbabwean freediving record on Alphonse Island.
“I am so grateful to Blue Safari Seychelles for allowing me to prepare for this both mentally and physically. I had to bring the date forward due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but by meditating I was able to mentally prepare for setting a new record and due to my job as a diving, surf and freediving instructor, I knew I was physically prepared for this challenge.”
Freediving is one of the fastest-growing water sport activities in the world today.
First classified as a sport in 1949, when the first depth record was set by Hungarian born fighter pilot, Raimondo Bucher, who dived to a depth of 30 metres in a single breath.
Recently, it has gained immense popularity as a sport and the surge in social media has fuelled interest and awakened people’s curiosity in freediving.
Alphonse Island’s Activity Centre offers a full range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba diving to Divemaster.
Alphonse Island offers an introduction to this fantastic, new diving experience and also offers courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced freedivers with Burger being its own certified and qualified instructors.
Proving that surfing is not just limited to the famed and renowned destinations of California and Hawaii, Alphonse Island also provides guests with all surfing abilities the opportunity to catch waves and radically ride the Indian Ocean!