Valentina Cafolla, a Croatian national of Italian origin, set a new women’s world record in distance diving under ice on Sunday, clocking up a distance of 125 meters (410 feet) on a single breath. The feat was performed beneath a sheet of ice up to 70 centimeters thick on Lake Anterselva in the Italian Alps.
Beating the previous world record held by Turkey’s Denya Can, Cafolla accomplished the record on the second and final attempt after aborting her first attempt. Achieving the new record in exactly 1 minute and 27 seconds, Cafolla struggled to stay conscious when she surfaced—and thus fulfill the resurfacing requirement protocol of the world association. “I’m really happy that all the intensive preparation paid off,” said the 19-year-old. “I’m also happy that I’ll be able to dive into warmer water next time.”
Subal ambassador and world-renowned extreme sports photographer Predrag Vuckovic captured the images during the project using a Nikon D5 in Subal’s ND5 housing with Nikon 16mm fisheye and 16–35mm lenses. While the water was clear, it was a very chilly 2°C (35.6°F), and the thick ice and snow on the surface created challenging low-light conditions for photography. However, it was a bright and sunny day, and the final images are impressive.
Just the day before Cafolla’s record-breaking dive, Frenchman Arthur Guerin-Boeri set a new men’s world record in freediving under ice at the Sonnanen See in Finland—an astonishing 175 meters (575 feet).
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