Fifty keen Sydney spearos huddled in the large Bass & Flinders room of the Tradies club in Gymea, Sydney, on Friday night to meet triple world champ, Pedro Carbonell. Shirts were signed and photos were taken as the divers waited in eager anticipation for Pedro to share some of his bounty of knowledge with the group.
We arrived in Sydney at 9:30am that morning. Our first stop off was a visit to Craig and Justine at Obsession Dive. We were greeted with a “Welcome Pedro and the Adreno team” sign and a table full of muffins, cookies, soft drinks, tea and coffee – it was just the beginning of the amazing hospitality we would receive over the next three days. I also had the privilege of meeting Sue Dockar, a previous Australian Ladies champ, who’s other claim to fame culminated in the tragedy that was the 1983 National Titles. Her amazing tale deserves it's own blog post so i'll share that with you later this week.
Later that night we all drank and ate while the four Sydney clubs mingled together, eventually gathering around the tables to hear Pedro talk and then the divers were able to ask their own questions of the champ. Here are some things about Pedro that I learnt:
- Won the world championships in 1996, 2000 and 2002; has a wife and two sons; 42 years old, if he wins another championships he will be the only man in history to have won four times;
- He generally doesn’t dive for longer than one minute and fourty-five seconds;
- He uses drop weights when diving deep;
- His Uncle was also a three time world champ and his Dad was a European champ; spearfishing is in his blood, it is a natural ability, he does no pool or other physical training, no mental preparation, but he does dive three times a week, purely to provide food for his family;
- His biggest fish to date is a 36kg Amberjack, personal best fish – grouper and he really wants to shoot a big tuna;
- He is terrified of sharks and would jump in the boat if he saw one;
- While most professional divers have strict diets and training routines, Pedro lives an absolute normal life, eats normally etc, and feels no pressure to win in the comps, he says “if I win I win, if I don’t I don’t, there’s no pressure”;
- His favourite spearfishing has been in Tahiti (but he hasn’t dived Ausrtalia yet!);
- In comps and general diving he uses a 105cm or 115cm Beuchat Marlin Carbone Fibre Speargun which allows him to fish in caves and the open, always uses a reel;
- and finally for breakfast before a comp he eats toast with olive oil and salt (kind of like vegemite on toast for us!).
I'll bring you more reports from our Sydney trip including the Alliman Cup that was held yesterday. Remember Adreno is holding another party tomorrow night that is set to be bigger and better than Sydney's so make sure you pop in to the Norman Hotel from 6:30pm.