RENEE BLUNDON

In A Nutshell

Renee Blundon is an American competitive freediver and freediving instructor. She trains and teaches freediving courses in Dahab, Egypt and internationally. She also conducts workshops and coaching for advanced equalization, free-immersion technique, monofin technique and BCS stretching. Although she enjoys all of the freediving disciplines, she spends most of her time training in free-immersion, constant weight and static apnea.

Achievements

  • Former USA National Record Holder in free-immersion with a dive to -62 meters / 203 ft. (CMAS)
  • Dahab Championship Champion
  • The deepest free-immersion female freediver in the USA in 2018 with a dive to -70 meters / 230 ft. (AIDA)
  • Freedived to -73.5 meters / 241 ft. in free-immersion during training
  • On the the USA National Freediving Team
  • 5 min 20 sec breath-hold
  • PADI Ambassadiver
  • Master Freediving Instructor (AIDA, PADI and Apnea Academy)
  • Advanced Equalization Instructor & Monofin Instructor (Apnea Academy)
  • Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer
  • Writer of motivational blog with freediving stories and poetry at reneeblundon.com
  • Founder of Seaunseen.com

BIO

Beginnings

Renee Blundon was born and raised in Lyme, Connecticut, with a profound love of the water from the early age of five when she first learned to swim. She was a certified life-guard for three years in her teens and joined an adult swim team at 19, which provided the training to become a life-long skillful swimmer.

In the spring of 2013 Renee left the US to travel solo throughout East Africa. It was in Tanzania when she first began diving in the warm, clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. She joined the Dar es Salaam underwater hockey team, connecting with several freedivers in the area who introduced her to freediving.

Renee took her first freediving course in June 2014 in the chilly quarry waters of Durban, South Africa, with spearfisherman, Trevor Hutton. Afterward she continued training in Tanzania and in the US in lakes throughout Massachusetts and Maine.

Then in January and March 2015, Renee trained in Zanzibar with Freedive International, and completed her SSI Level 2 and 3 courses.

Going Pro

In May in 2015, Renee completed her Apnea Academy Instructor Course with Umberto Pelizzari and his team. Afterward, she began teaching freediving courses in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and then in Dahab, Egypt from September 2015 onward. Within the following three years, she became a PADI Master Freediving Instructor, EFR Instructor and Instructor Trainer, AIDA Freediving Instructor, competed in five freediving competitions and taught/coached over 200 students.

COMPETITION RESULTS

2015, RedCcup (Nov. 6 & 9), Dahab, Egypt
Free Immersion -48 m / 157 ft, Constant Weight -40m / 131 ft

2015, Freedive Dahab Mini Comp (Nov. 23), Dahab, Egypt
Free Immersion -56 m / 184 ft

2016, RedCcup (Aug. 25-27), Dahab, Egypt
Free Immersion -57 m / 187 ft, Constant Weight -55m / 180 ft, Static 4:05

2017, Russian Freediving Competition (May 30-31), Dahab, Egypt
Constant Weight -50 m / 164 ft, Constant Weight -56m / 183 ft

2017, RedCcup (October 24-26), Dahab, Egypt
Free-Immersion -60 m / 197 ft, Free-Immersion -63m / 206 ft
2nd Place Overall Female Winner

2018, RedCcup (May 30-31), Dahab, Egypt
Free-Immersion -68 m / 223 ft, Free-Immersion -70 m / 230 ft
1st Place Overall Female Winner
1st Place Winner for Female Deepest Free-Immersion Dive

2018, RedCcup (Aug. 27-30), Dahab, Egypt
Free-Immersion -62 m / 203 ft, Free-Immersion -64 m / 210 ft, -66m / 217 ft.
2nd Place Overall Female Winner
Placed #3 out of 10 in Free-Immersion

2018, CMAS Freediving World Championship (Oct. 1-7), Kas, Turkey
Constant Weight with Fins -60 m / 197 ft, Free-Immersion -62 m / 203 ft.
USA National Record in Free-Immersion
Placed #8 out of 23 in Free-Immersion

Placed #10 out of 28 in Constant Weight with Fins

2019, Dahab Championship (April 25-29), Dahab, Egypt
Constant Weight Bi-Fins -50 m / 164 ft.

2019, Dahab Apnea Spring Comp (May 28), Dahab, Egypt
Free-Immersion -60 m / 197 ft.

2019, Dahab Championship (Sept. 2-6), Dahab, Egypt
Free-Immersion -59 m / 194 ft, Free-Immersion -62 m / 203 ft, Free-Immersion -63 m / 207 ft.
1st Place Overall Female Winner

DEGREES & CERTIFICATIONS

ADDITIONAL INFO

FREEDIVING INSPIRED PROJECTS

Renee expresses her passion for freediving through creative underwater video projects and photography. Her aim is to allow nature to be the artist, only to capture and reproduce it as accurately as possible in a form that can be admired above the water. Her curated collections include highly creative underwater pieces on the topics of freediving, conservation / awareness, marine life and underwater landscapes.

Renee also launched Seaunseen in March 2014, in collaboration with Alan Sutton, a website to inspire the world with creative imagery, stories and information about sea life and diving.

Interests

Renee writes poetry and stories about freediving. She also enjoys running, swimming, trekking, drawing, rock climbing, photography, videography, underwater hockey, yoga and singing.

REFERENCES

  • Work Ethic & Commitment: Describing Renee as a hard worker doesn't do her justice at all - the drive and commitment she gives to herself & her sponsors both in and out of the water is infectious and inspiring. Even when faced with huge challenges, she has the fortitude to overcome adversity by turning it into a learning outcome. She couldn't have demonstrated this better than at her first World Championships in 2018 with a series of well executed, measured performances. Emerging as one of the top athletes in this sport - we're all really proud of her achievements to date and are excited to see her journey unfold Nutrition: Does Renee have a weakness for delicious cakes? Who doesn't?! Does she know the value of nutrition? Trust me, I would advise anyone to guard her chia seed drink whilst out on the water with their life, haha! Getting the balance right is hard for everyone - Renee's focus is unquestionably driven by her appetite to succeed! You simply cant put in her volume of training & maintain the required presence of mind this sport demands without the right fuel & lifestyle balance being there. Character: Most often its an intangible energy or a feeling that someone emits which is a simple truth. Renee has a quiet confidence that she holds close to her heart. I actually experienced Renee's artwork before meeting her in person whilst a friend was house sitting for her - I recall carefully detailed pen and ink drawings, purposefully framed depicting the coastlines and topography around Dahab. There is a fastidiousness, sensitivity & love reflected in these and in the way she interacts with trusted confidents (not to mention her little feline bundles of fluff) which is really charming.

    Adam Mustoe
    Adam Mustoe Freediver and Safety Diver
  • I was in Dahab for two weeks for freediving training and Renee's coaching was excellent. She displayed impressive determination, customer service and commitment. The overall organization was always great even in a sometimes challenging environment. Thanks to Renee's experience she was able to develop my technique and the mind-set I was approaching free diving with. Her way of coaching was safety oriented and conservative. I was always feeling safe during my dives. This was probably one of the reasons I was able to learn a lot from this experience. I will surely recommend her to any friends who would either begin with freediving or further develop their skills.

    Riccardo M.
    Riccardo M. Africa & Middle East Security Manager
  • It was quite a journey with Renee! We spent one whole month together. She has a unique balance of strength that pushes you forward and sweetness. She tells you what you need to hear and encourages you. “You know you can do it” she kept telling me while I was preparing for my national record attempt. I was very sick during competition days but she knew what to do, she told me which doctor to go and as she told me I would be good in a few days. She was right again. And we did it! WE did the record together. Even if the record hadn't happened I could master a new kind of equalization technique. She gave me exercises, theory and all I needed. It really put my diving into a new level!

    Thais Picchi
    Thais Picchi Brazilian National Record Holder in Bi-Fins
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