Live Report: CMAS World Underwater Photo and Video Championships

Today was day one of the Championship proper here in Porto Santo. The spring tides caused some issues with current on some of the allocated dive sites yesterday, so the start time was brought forward to allow the dives to be timed to minimise their impact. In addition, most of the procedural and equipment issues that became apparent during the dress rehearsal were ironed out, making for a super efficient start.

The image makers had to format their memory cards while under the watchful eyes of the judges, and to reset their cameras’ dates. In addition, once the cards had been formatted, the housings were sealed. Lastly, each contestant had to shoot a picture or a short video clip of a printed sign on a nearby wall.

These procedures are necessary to ensure that the contest’s rules are followed, which are designed to award the best image makers during the two days of the Championship.

The boats all left by 10 o’clock. Once they got out of the harbor, they encountered some quite rough conditions and the large boat carrying the video teams was struggling to maintain station on the dive site. This lead to some rapid reorganisation, and the boat changed to a site that was less exposed.

After the first dive, the contestants returned and if they needed to change lenses, did so under the watchful eye of the judges.

Pedro Vasconcelos, Kerim Sabuncuoglu and Cenk Ceylanoğlu enforcing the rules!

Modern technology has made the organisers’ job somewhat harder . The ability to transfer images to mobile devices via Bluetooth or WiFi creates a potential for people to edit their images ons these devices. Hence, the rules forbid people from having these devices near their cameras during the contest. Given that most of us tend to have such devices with us much of the time, many contestants had overlooked this rule.

Pedro was forced to call a meeting with the team captains reminding them that having or using a mobile device near their cameras would cause them to be disqualified.

The Head of the photography judging panel, Renee Grinnell Capozzola, arrived today and joined the head of the video panel, Julie Ouimet.

It was Julie’s birthday, so the contestants surprised her with a rendition of Happy Birthday!

Pedro Vasconcelos, Renee Grinnell Capozzola, Kerim Sabuncuoglu and Cenk Ceylanoğlu

After lunch, the teams all left for a second dive. Due to the time lost due to the conditions, the video teams actually has a packed lunch brought to them. Given that the video contestants have the added burden of editing and rendering their video, the time saved by doing this meant that they were able to get on with their edits.

The day concluded with the breaking of the seals on the contestant’s cameras and the collection of memory cards. The cards were downloaded formatted, and returned so that they could be used on the next day.

As is perhaps inevitable, there were several reports of contestants having breached rules during the dives. In fact one team was observed sharing air in order to extend their time underwater. The result was that the judges disallowed the images from that dive.

As mentioned yesterday, the Championship has huge support from an army of local dive center owners and employees, students and members of the local CMAS federation. they are the unsung heroes of the whole event!

Tomorrow will largely be a mirror image of today, with the teams rotating through the allowed dive sites. Check back later for more updates!

Pre-Competition Warm Up
Day 1: Registration and Parades
Day 2: Dress Rehearsal
Day 3: Contest day one
Day 4: Contest day two
Still Image Results
Video Results
Awards ceremonies and celebrations