Alexey Molchanov has set the new Constant Weight (CWT) Freediving World Record. The freediving superstar broke his own AIDA World Record in Constant Weight (CWT) by diving to 129m in 3min 50sec. Despite strong currents, this record beat his previous World Record depth of 128m set in 2013 at the AIDA Depth World Championships in Kalamata, Greece.
Award winning Underwater Photographer and Expedition Leader Amanda Cotton melds the human element with the beauty hidden within our oceans in an effort to educate and empower others to become personally involved in the fight to maintain our precious, yet highly fragile aquatic ecosystems.
Christian Vizl was born in México City in 1972. He has a degree in Business Administration, was certified as a Diving Instructor, Cave Diver, Rafting Guide, and Sailor. He was a member of CEDAM, a Mexican organization devoted to marine archeology, lived for a year in Germany (1993) a year in Akumal, southeast México (1997) and a year in Australia (1998). He has been an enthusiast photographer since he was 15 years old, and since 2010 he started underwater photography with a more professional approach.
With a background in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving, David Strike is a regular speaker and presenter at regional and international diving events. A former Field editor for Asian Diver Magazine who has authored several hundred articles about diving and organised several world class technical diving events, he is the recipient of the ADEX ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contributions to Technical Diving, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York.
Born in Nice, Guillaume has broken several records, earning a world championship title in deep-sea freediving (-126m), Guillaume continues to explore the human limits and the unknown world of the deep-sea. He writes and creates images that combine aesthetic style and high performance, such as Free Fall, Ocean Gravity and his latest project, One Breath Around The World.
Hidy started her modelling career when she was just 18, quickly moving on to acting where she starred in eight films. Diving for 13 years, she became a qualified Dive Instructor Trainer by National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), thereafter being named the NAUI Worldwide Ambassador. At the same time, she is a qualified SSI Dive Instructor. Finding her passion for the ocean, she became the 2011 Miss Scuba International Ambassador.
HRH Princess Zatashah received the French highest recognition award Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) for civil merit in 2017. She is also an environmental activist in Malaysia with her campaign #sayno2plastic since 2016. She has been actively campaigning to the public and has shown tirelessly through her social media to #stopsingleuseplastic. She is also passionate about wildlife preservation and loves to dive; she is currently Sharksavers Malaysia Ambassador against no more sharks fin soup with #ImFINishedwithFINS. Furthermore, she launched her initiative #zerofoodwastage in 2016 getting hotels and supermarkets to channel their surplus food to Kechara Soup Kitchen to feed those in need.
Jill Heinerth is a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, NOAA, and television networks worldwide. She is the Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. Partnering with Penguin Random House in Canada and Harper Collins in the US, Jill will soon be releasing four new major-market, non-fiction and children’s books.
Former holder of several French records in deep-sea free diving (-68m), Gautier expresses herself through her underwater cinematography. The Reunion Island native shoots unique images in apnea, using her artistic flair and the infinite freedom of her movements. Top-side, Gautier is an author and a director. Her sensitivity explains her attraction to the world of fiction, as shown in Narcose.
Laurent Ballesta is a French naturalist photographer. Among many photography and film projects, he has led four GOMBESSA Expeditions: the study of the deep coelacanth in South Africa, the mating of the groupers and the grey sharks hunts at night in the south pass of Fakarava in French Polynesia, and the exploration of the deep ecosystems of Antarctica. Every new mission is in the lineage of the previous ones and strengthens the three pillars of all Gombessa expeditions: a scientific mystery, a diving challenge and the promise of unprecedented animal images.
His book, 700 Sharks Into The Dark, provide astonishing testimonies of life, death, innocence and violence in the heart of sharks packs in French Polynesia.
A fellow in the Explorer’s Club, Kohler is an author and shipwreck explorer with 40 years of diving experience. He discovered lost ships such as the Andrea Doria, RMS Titanic, USS Murphy, USS Lagarto, U-215 and U-869. His explorations were detailed in documentary films, television programmes (he hosted 56 episodes of “Deep Sea Detectives” on History Channel) and a NY Times best-selling book, Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. In 2017, his first book Mystery of the Last Olympian, detailing his work on the HMHS Britannic, was published.