More video from Ft Lauderdale and the Underwater Grand Prix
I’ve finally editing together Day 1, the practice day for the Formula H20 Underwater Grand Prix in Ft Lauderdale, Fl.
We got up really early and headed out to the boat. The great thing about the Tracy is it’s only a short ride out and you can get a beautiful view of the Florida coastline from the boat.
Everyone hit the water, so they could get acquainted with the wreck, check out the course and of course, to have some fun. I haven’t been diving in over a year, so I’m going down just to get used to the water again…
After the initial dive in 70ft of water, we headed off to do a shallow dive on the wreck of the Copenhagen. Here, everyone just played around, checking out the fish, playing with the scooters and got some great fun underwater photography in. At this point I was so relaxed, I thought if I saw a shark, I might be ok with it. Just then, a see something grey and graceful in the distance…. Then, I realize it’s one of the freedivers. They are so beautiful to watch in the water. They just glide along, no scuba gear to weigh them down. I was amazed at how they just played underwater, almost like seals.
After the race, everyone headed back to the hotel, where they had a meeting to discuss the logistics of the actual race. Everyone gave their thoughts and experiences of the practice race and how it could be improved for the following day.
There was going to be a lot of people in the water. About 20 racers, plus a plethora of camera people. There was also going to be a bunch of spectators and there was a big concern about diver safety and making sure nobody got hurt.
After everyone was done, Dean Vitale and David Ulloa played it up to the cameras for a Discovery Channel Canada film crew who were doing a piece on the race. Everyone was pretty exhausted by this stage, so most people headed off to relax.
I had never been to Ft Lauderdale before and I wanted to see what was out there, so I recruited Natalie Weatherby, who’s with the Wreck Racing League and David Valaika, who’s the President of the International Association of Handicapped Divers to head out to dinner. As we headed south on A1A, it started pouring down rain. There was non stop lightning and the roads were covered in water. But hey, we’re divers, we’re used to water. So we hit up Shooters, which had a nice outdoor patio and we enjoyed some down time. We couldn’t stay out too late though, we had to be up and at the boat by 7am….
I’m headed to the Formula H2O Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix
So, I got to thinking. I haven’t done any diving this year and I was starting to get pouty about it. This was my big opportunity to do some diving, do some filming and have a great weekend hanging out with David. Who I am sure is going to win this weekend!
I am so looking forward to this weekend. I’m hopping a flight down on Friday morning, then I’m staying at the official host hotel, The Ocean Point Beach Resort, which is right on Pompano Beach. They hooked up the Wreck Racing League with super sweet discount rates. I can’t wait to wake up in the mornings looking out at the ocean!
The race will be taking place on The Tracey. South Florida Diving is the official dive shop for the event, and diving both days, including getting to demo the scooters is only $110. The first dive we’ll get to watch the practice and do demo’s, even get to try the course if we want. The second dive is a drift dive. On Sunday, we’ll get to watch the race from the Tracey, and then explore the wreck. The second dive is a drift dive on a nearby reef.
Sunday afternoon they’ll have the awards ceremony. I’ll get one more sleep in paradise before heading back to work on Monday….
There’s still time to book your trip to the event. The Ocean Point Beach Resort still has rooms available and I’m pretty sure you can still make it out to see the race. It might be last minute, but life is more fun when you add a little spontaneity!
We headed up to Dallas for the Texas Dive show on Valentine’s Weekend. Driving up from San Antonio, we were worried if we would even make it into Dallas. They had just had record snow. Over 14″ of the stuff. It was not only a record for that day, but for all time. They’d never received that much snow fall in a 24hr period. We started to see snow by the time we got to Georgetown. By the time we got to Waxahachie, everything was white.
Thankfully, as we got to Downtown Dallas, the roads were pretty clear and not too slick. We had waited till later in the day when it was a little warmer to get through Dallas. There’s nothing worse than icy overpasses. We headed through Dallas at peak hour, but being a snow day, traffic was almost non-existent. We made our way to our hotel in Plano/Frisco, dumped our stuff and headed over to check out the Texas Dive Show.
Walking in, the first person I saw was Dustin, a diver I had previously met in Houston at Camp CDE. He was on his way out and it was nice to see someone I knew right off the bat.
We went up to the registration desk, showed them our emails from when we had pre-registered online. They had a good deal going on where if you registered before Christmas, you could get in free. They gave us name tags, we entered into a raffle and then headed inside.
Friday night was only open from 5-8pm. We used that time to go around, see who all was there and introduce ourselves and make sure everyone was OK with being filmed. We noticed that the Dallas show was a lot bigger than the previous ones in Houston. Matt and I then headed back to the hotel and caught some Zzzz’s after the long drive.
Next morning, we got up and headed back over to the show. I was glad we had gone over the night before, because today everyone was expecting us when we showed up with the camera. Some people were nervous, but everyone did a great job of explaining what they were there for. All the displays were nice and colourful and everyone was full of energy. It should make for a great episode. I should be done editing it this week and have it online by next.
Big thanks to Brad Nolan for letting us come up and film at his show. He did a great job on camera too! We really appreciate everyone letting us come to their booth and taking the time to talk to us. Hopefully, this will inspire people to come out to the next dive show and meet all the fabulous people we got to meet.
I will say though, I think the snow outside made the show inside even better. When you’re shivering walking in, there’s nothing better than seeing a backdrop of some tropical paradise and thinking of diving in those warm waters….