The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession

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9780007191826: The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession

Carried away by love -- for risk and for each other -- two of the world's best freedivers went to the limits of their sport. Only one came back. This is his powerful, heart-wrenching story. Francisco 'Pipin' Ferreras, a native of Cuba, is a world champion in the dangerous and controversial sport of freediving, in which athletes test the limits of their minds and bodies by diving to unthinkable depths without oxygen tanks. Audrey Mestre was a beautiful French marine biology student researching the physiology of freediving. When she decided to base her studies on the legendary Pipin, a passionate romance was born. Pipin and Audrey soon married and moved to Miami, where she took up the sport herself and proceeded to break the female world record (115 metres). They became freediving's power couple, constantly training together and encouraging one another. But on 17 October 2002, Audrey pushed her body too far and died off the coast of the Dominican Republic while attempting to break the world record -- which was currently held by her husband. Now, for the first time, Pipin tells his own story. He addresses the controversy that has followed him throughout his career and defends his sport and his own records against criticism from peers. And Pipin opens up as never before, providing what no interviewer has been able to capture: a glimpse into the heart of a complex and haunted man. In his own words, he relates the tragic story of his relationship with Audrey -- a unique and complicated tale of love and competition taken to the extreme.

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About the Author:

Pipin Ferreras, a pioneer in the sport of free diving, established the world record, 162 metres, on 18th January 2000 -- his 38th birthday. He lives in Miami, where he still dives.

From Publishers Weekly:

Free diving champion Ferreras sums up this dangerous sport: "it all boils down to one simple, overriding question: How deep can a man dive on a single breath of air?" In the 1950s, such dives without tanks became fiercely competitive in Italy. The rivalry of Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca inspired The Big Blue, the 1988 movie that spawned mainstream interest in the sport. Amid this history, Cuban native Ferreras tells his story: "I grew up with the sea as my backyard." He defected to the U.S. in 1993, after breaking numerous diving records. On a trip to Mexico in the mid-'90s, he met marine biologist Audrey Mestre, who began dive training while their romance blossomed. Together, they produced a documentary TV series, expressed their love in tandem dives and married in 1999. "Audrey and I were happiest in that silent, mystical underworld, bathed in blue." That happiness ended with Audrey's tragic underwater death, and last year, Ferreras matched her 170-meter world record during a tribute dive on the first anniversary of her death. With fluid writing and vivid descriptions, this compelling autobiography explores emotional depths while detailing the sport's beauty, technologies, drama and dangers. 32 pages of color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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