Kiwi free diving champ takes a stab at spearfishing

Kiwi free diving champ takes a stab at spearfishing

World free diving champion William Trubridge broke his own world record, with 102 metres on a single breath.

"It's a relief more than anything else to have finally achieved this depth," says Trubridge.

"I don't feel like I've reached my absolute potential or anything so I will carry on training. I will try and go deeper."

But now he has turned his attention from free diving to another favourite sport, spearfishing, and is helping a team raise money for an upcoming world competition.

"The New Zealand spearfishing team is very good. They routinely win competitions here in the Pacific and are made up of some incredible divers," says Trubridge.

A team of "spearos" are about to face off against the world's best in Greece, and hope their time in the wild waters off the North Island will give them the edge.

Two of the team have been spearing together since they were children. 

"Growing up it was every Saturday playing rugby, and every Sunday, it was going diving. That was what it was like," says world spearfishing competitor Dwayne Herbert.

"I met Dwayne when I was 10 years old and he was right into his spearfishing, so I started going out with him and it's been the same ever since," says world spearfishing competitor Julian Hansford.

Dave Mullins says his teammates' ingrained knowledge of fish behaviour and hunting methods will help them stand out in Greece.

"Their ability to pull those fish out to find whatever is in the zone, that's where the edge is I think," says Mullins.

But the overseas contest will involve targeting fish at depths of up to 50 metres - far deeper than they're used to. They'll also need familiarise themselves with various new underwater habitats.

"The Spanish and Portuguese and Italians have already been there for a few months training and learning everything about the area, so there's a lot more to it than just swimming down and spearing a fish," says Hansford.

More than $40,000 has been raised to help the team with kit and accommodation.

"We're just really stoked on what we do have and feel like we've actually got a chance this time," says Hansford.

The competition starts next month. The Kiwi trio say they'll give it their best shot.