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October 4, 2018

Cold water. Big waves. Tiny fish. Most likely in tiny holes. 

These were the big selling points of the I CMAS Women’s World Cup in Sagres, Portugal and I still decided to join the team. 

I’m a fair weather diver. I like warm tropical clear water with lots of big dumb fish. I thought that diving in Portugal would challenge me and make me a better diver by taking me out of my comfort zone. I just didn’t realize how far out of that zone I would be.

It was actually easy to join. I went to nationals, I did well enough, the girl ahead of me couldn’t go and suddenly a spot on Team USA was mine. A few people tried to talk me out of it, convince me that it would suck or that someone better could go in my place, but I ignored them, and a few short weeks later I was donning my brand new 7 mm Sporasub wetsuit on my first day of scouting in Portugal. 

The water was cold, like 49 degrees cold. And if that wasn’t enough to make me miserable, then the sea sickness from the rough water would. And if I...

March 22, 2018

This year I am once again honored to represent the United States in the highest level that one can take our sport: The World Championship. Twenty-five of the best teams in the world gather every two years to compete. The 2018 World’s will be held in September in Sagres, Portugal. The team will comprise of Justin Lee, Paul Young, and myself as divers. Kelston McGuire as alternate and Cameron Kirkconnell and Joe Fernandez as co-captains. This article will seek to shed a bit of light on how we as individuals and as a country qualify to compete. And also on the scouting process and competition itself. 

Each country’s first step is to select four of its most deserving athletes to compete in either the Pan-Americans, Euro Africans, or sometimes Inter-Pacific championships. Depending on the countries region. These events are qualifiers for countries to earn a spot at the world championship. The way each country selects their team varies. Some, like Spain, have a large team...

October 24, 2017

I learned a lot from two weeks scouting in Portugal. I shot 5 new fish species, hunted the surf zone, and learned how to navigate huge swells. But mostly I learned how much I still have to learn. This is a hard lesson I get before every competition. Fortunately this time I got this lesson a year before I'm to put these new techniques to use. 


The coolest part of competing at the world level is how far out of your comfort zone it takes you. Last year it was 200 foot dives in Greece, next year it will be 6 foot dives in 6 foot swells. I grew up diving palm beach where if it wasn't at least 30 ft of vis we turn around and go to the sandbar. I remember how thrown I was at my first Pan Americans. Acapulco Mexico, the big cuberas were at 100 feet in 5-10 foot of vis. Normally encountering these situations we would go back to the hotel and lay on the beach. Instead I had to learn. After two weeks of leaving my comfort zone it wasn't so bad anymore. I was willing to push it just a bit farther...

October 8, 2017

"The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war." - Norman Schwarzkopf

Scouting is such an important part of these competitions. That doesn't just include time in the water. Boats must be reserved, houses must be booked, and connections must be made. Any advantage that can be had is a must to even think about being competitive. 

Think of the best diver you know. The guy who scouts twice as long as anyone else for every competition. The guy people hate to compete against. There will be 75 of those guys here next year competing against Team USA. Our competition will include the famous Spanish divers that will arrive with a well funded team of 15 or more all working together. The local favorite Jody Lott who previously won in Spain and has spent his entire life commercial spearing in the tournament zone. Guys like Dwane Herbert, 8 time NZ national champ and two time Australian champ, who are more than comfortable in the cold rough waters we will encounter in Portugal. The career Gre...

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