Archive for February, 2011

The Wigwams arrive at the NDAC

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

NDAC Wigwam Accommodation

Wigwams arrive on trucks

The first wave of wigwam accommodation has arrived on site and is presently being installed on our lower Plateau.

Six wigwam units arrived at the National Diving and Activity Centre in the second week of February after completing their 600 mile journey from our manufacturers in Scotland.

Wooden Wigwams offer the ideal 4 season camping holiday or short break, for group’s families and couples. A great low cost alternative to youth hostels, B&Bs, self catering or camping.

Presently most people are spending between £35 – £60 per person per night in hotels and B&Bs around Chepstow, not to mention petrol travelling to and from the National Diving & Activity Centre.

book a wigwam nowHow does under £18 per person per night sound in a cosy, heated wooden wigwam camping cabin.

Wigwams are the ultimate eco cabin, secure and lockable the wigwams truly offer all year round camping, and the best bit, no pitching a tent in the rain!

We believe we will be the only UK dive centre to be able to offer onsite accommodation at such reasonable rates and we hope to have the new wigwams in place in the first quarter of 2011.



Wigwam Accommodation coming soon to NDAC

RNLI 1-2-3 fundraising challenge

Saturday, February 19th, 2011
123 Divers at NDAC

Two members from Coventry BSAC will be attempting a ‘1-2-3 Challenge’ to raise money for the RNLI.

The challenge will take place on one day – 21st May 2011 – with two divers attempting to dive at three different dive centres in England:

1 DAY 21st May 2011

2 DIVERS Marc Greenway and Simon Price

3 SITES Capernwray, Stoney Cove and the NDAC

Marc Greenway says he hopes the challenge will inspire other divers as well as raising money for the RNLI.


We intend to start at Capernwray, move onto Stoney Cove and finish the day at the National Diving & Activity Centre, Chepstow, Not only are there the inherent challenges associated with the diving but we must also travel nearly 300 miles. We are raising money for the excellent RNLI who provide an amazing service helping people around the shores of the UK.

Just GivingThe team are hoping to raise a minimum £1000 for the RNLI, a very worthy charity close to the hearts of the diving community.

For more information and to donate please go to

Saltfree Divers to host Triple Dip – the UK Freediving Depth Championships

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Saltfree tripple dip. Photo by niall flinn

SaltfreeSaltfree Divers, based at the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) have once again been invited by the British Freediving Association to host the UK Freediving Depth Championship. Running over the weekend of 10-12 June, the competition will involve athletes from all over the UK and overseas, competing in three of the toughest freediving disciplines.

On Saturday 11 June, freedivers will show us how deep they can go without their fins. In the morning, they will compete in “Free Immersion”, where divers pull down the rope using their arms only as propulsion. The UK Records in this discipline are 70m for men (Mark Harris) and 81m for women (Sara Campbell) – both set in warm water. At Triple Dip, in the much more challenging waters of the NDAC, we anticipate having quite a few athletes reaching around the 60m mark.

Free DiveLater in the day, athletes will return to compete in what some consider the very purest form of the sport, “Constant Weight No Fins”. Using only an adapted breast stroke technique to propel them, athletes make the delicate balance between working hard to begin their descent and ascent, and allowing their natural buoyancy to take over to preserve oxygen. A relatively new form of the sport, “No Fins” has become very popular amongst the Saltfree regulars, and we hope to see some performances to rival the current British records (Sara Campbell’s 56m and Dave Tranfield’s 53m).

For those slightly less serious about their “No Fins” – this is also the chance for a challenge at Saltfree’s infamous “bikini dive” record. The diver must go as deep as they can wearing no fins, weights or wetsuit – just a bikini. This slightly mythical record is currently held by the otherwise entirely masculine, David “Lammy” Threlfall at 22m!

Final results will be decided on Sunday with freedivers returning from the pubs, B and Bs and campsites of Chepstow to compete in “Constant Weight with Fins”. Using either a monofin, or long, freediving fins, this is the discipline that just about everyone has a go at. We expect to see depths from 10-15m from our new athletes to the bottom of the quarry (around 70m) from the British Team contenders. UK records are currently well below the bottom of the NDAC, so unless the army lads get their dynamite out, the records are safe for now. There is however a local challenge, as no female has currently reached the bottom of the lake – and only one guy (“Deepest” Dave King) has ever made it.

Results from Triple Dip will count towards selection of the UK Team for this year’s World Championships. The BFA will select the top three male and female athletes in each discipline to represent the UK against the world’s best over 10 days in Kalamata, Greece in late September.

Triple Dip is not just open to super-deep freedive heroes though. Every year freedivers of all abilities take part, facing their own personal challenges and also competing for the coveted “Best Newbie” prize – a computer kindly donated by Suunto. Prizes are also awarded for the best and worst duck dive of the day, and of course a suitable reward for the bikini dive.

For more information, to enter, get involved or join Suunto and the BFA in sponsoring the event, please visit the Saltfree
page on the NDAC site
or contact Sam Kirby

Freediving can be dangerous and should never be attempted without formal training. Do not freedive alone.

Further Info,, , Saltfree page on the NDAC site

follow Saltfree on twitter Follow Saltfree on Twitter @saltfree>

More freediving dates for your diaries>

Interested in being a freedive instructor?>


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