The Municipality of Kalymnos Island Greece together with Kalymnos Hoteliers Association and the Free Diving Association of Thessaloniki, invite you to the annual Skandalopetra Freediving Games in which anyone can participate free of charge.
The 2011 event will be held on Kalymnos island Greece from July 20 to July 24 as part of the Diving Festival of Kalymnos Island (July 18 to July 24) with the participation and support of the Italian Federation of Underwater Activities FIPSAS.
The Skandalopetra dive is easy, safe, spectacular, offers fun, is a unique lifetime experience and anybody who can swim can also try it! I you are not familiar with it, have a brief Introduction to the Scandalopetra dive
The Skandalopetra Freediving Games include:
- The introductory part during which the history of the Skandalopetra dive is presented along with the proposed technique of the athletic variation.
- The educational part during which children up to 16 years old and anyone interested, learn the basics of apnea.
- The trial part during which anyone can try the Skandalopetra dive at a limited depth.
- The experimental part during which new discipline variations and patented Skandalopetra are tested by qualified freedivers.
- The training part for the familiarization of freedivers willing to participate to the games.
- The competition part in which the trained freedivers participate.
- Training and contest on Dynamic Apnea
- Underwater photo contest.
There will be only 1 discipline at the competition. It is the discipline described in the Regulation of the Skandalopetra Freediving Games and in brief at the Athletes Guidelines.
- Other variation disciplines might been experimented but not included in the competition.
- FIPSAS trainers will also offer advise and training to the CMAS discipline "Dynamic Apnea".
Participation and Fees.
Everybody from 8 to 70 years old can participate to the Skandalopetra Freediving Games and try the Skandalopetra dive to a limited depth. While participation to the competition requires a medical certificate. Please read the Athletes Guidelines for more information.
The participation to the Skandalopetra Freediving Games and events is free of charge. No participation or other fees are required (this does not include accommodation, food and transportation)!
Please find and book in time your accommodation from the hotel's list at http://www.kalymnos-hotels.com/Accommodation/Hotel-List.asp or from the map with list of hotels that you can book online
- http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=184423678249637 : The event of July 20-July 24 2011 in facebook
- For anything concerning the games and for contacting the Freediving Association of Thessaloniki:
- Nikolas Trikilis: +30 6977983023 niktrik at tellas.gr
- Dimitris Chatzimendor: +30 6977408495, chatzime at ath.forthnet.gr
- For the Italian group: Maurizio Belondi 00393463500710, m.bellodi at alice.it, http://www.facebook.com/maurizio.bellodi
- On technical infrastructure : Gregory Mouzourakis +30 6972442141
- For the underwater photo contest: Michalis Paou: +30 6973560692 micpaou at hotmail.com, http://www.michaelpaou.com/, http://www.facebook.com/michele.pau1
- To contact Kalymnos Hoteliers Association : Nikolas Reissis: +30 6947604120 admin at kalymnos-hotels.com
- To contact the Municipality of Kalymnos Island Greece: Grorge Chatzismalis +30 6977927327 george at kalymnos.gr
The Skandalopetra is a piece of stone, usually from marble or granite, with rounded edges and hydrodynamic shape, weighting from 8-14 kilos. For thousands of years until a few years ago it has been used by sponge divers as diving stone and an auxiliary diving tool. A long rope tied through a hole at one of it's edge, was unrolled during diving and rolled during ascending of the sponge diver. Through this hole a small rope was tied to the shackle bone of the sponge diver so that he could liberate his hands without missing the Skandalopetra and his connection with the boat.
Until the decade of 1960, a lot of sponge divers were using this ancient Skandalopetra diving method.
The skin diver was diving from a boat keeping the stone with his two hands and the small rope tied to his shackle bone.
During descending he used the Skandalopetra as weights for quick descending, as a steering wheel to change direction and as a brake to slow down or accelerate his diving beat.
Upon reaching the sea bed he would liberate his hands to collect the sponges and when he was done he would use the long rope to give the appropriate sign to his partner on the boat. Then his partner would rope him to the sea surface while he was standing on the Skandalopetra or just hung up on the line.
From this small description it is obvious that the Skandalopetra was a tool with many uses. It was the equivalent of the weights we use today and at the same time it was a steering wheel, a brake and a standing base. While the rope it was tied on, was used as a reference line and for communication with the boat.
The Skandalopetra diving method has a history of thousands of years. Due to this fact it has reached the highest levels of perfection and safety.
But freediving for sponges was a very hard job and as soon as new and more comfortable diving gear was available, the Skandalopetra diving method was totally abandoned !
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