The upcoming Euro-African Spearfishing Championship 2019, which will be held in Svendborg, Denmark, sees the participation of 19 national men teams for 89 spearos and also additional 15 women teams made of total 19 spearos. We will now start to present briefly each team with short interviews to team Captains. In a sea with water temperature below 20°C and down to 14°C deeper under, and visibility of a few meters, so very different conditions from the Mediteranean sea, we have decided to hear the first reactions of tipical Mediterranean team starting with Technical Director of the Italian Team Marco Bardi.

ApneaPassion: Euro-African 2019: special situation with non-traditional fishing compared to warmer waters and also fishing starting from the shore…how did you choose the team and please present briefly each athlete?

Marco Bardi: We knew it would have been a very tough championship due to the different conditions compared to Mediterranean, and I confirm now, after two days in the sea, that the difficulties are even more than expected, even though we are just at the start. I agree in competing in different conditions though, as we must be able to adapt to change, which will be the key aspect for this competition.

I tried to choose the athletes that were more adequate to these conditions, especially physical, and that could train correctly during Summer, where in the Mediterranean sea you tend to dive very deep and so do the opposite needed here, and also with the right motivation, also able to accept very bad results which can be a risk in such different conditions to the ones Italian athletes are used to.

Choice has started so from the athletes that has the will and wish of being in this tough competition, and this is something you do not find in all spearos, and I found in all 4 athletes, Claut, De Mola, Losito and Ascione. At the same time I found all of them ready to compete in a very different championship, while many Italian athletes tend to have difficulties at even minor changes in rules (no boat support for example) and competition field conditions. International experience has also been important, where Claut and De Mola have it, less Losito, but he is young and needs to make experience and deserved it after many years he has come as support to other athletes. A comment on De Mola could be seen as a deep diver, but is also one of the most motivated athletes, and who every year competes in different international competitions.

AP: Expectations for this competition?

MB: Expectations are always the same, to do best possible, and to make good experience and grow. This competition does not open up to dreams for us Italians, but surely is an opportunity for a great experience and possibility to grow, especially on the international field. Many comment that competitions that shuld count for selection of the team should be only the Italian ones, but this is not true at all. Last time in these kind of waters we did a final 10th as team with 14th, 25th and 26th as individual ranking. So easy to do better, but much work must be done to grow.

AP: Key elements to be strong in this competition (physical, tactical, experience in these waters..)?

MB: In order of importance it will be key to have the right experience, linked to capacitiy to recognize these kind of fish and linked to this kind of sea floor. Athletic characteristics come after as you need to swim often against strong current. Finally the tactical part is key, as if you go against current and go to your zone hoping to do a good result and then find many other athletes, so your plans faild, yu need a backup solution. Currect aspect is key, as there can be much or less, and understanding what to expect will be the strong advantage of local spearos.

Interesting aspect is the fact that fish are very easy to catch, compared to our (Italian) conditions, once of cours eyou find the fish. Once seen, 99% fish is caught.

AP: strongest teams and athletes to look at?

MC: Strongest teams are difficult to identify in this sea, but they are the ones that adapt better in these conditions. If one is strong phisically and technically, but does not find the right spot for fish there is no chance to do well. I cannot say a name of the team because I really do not know, but surely many local teams and athletes will fianlly be in the first 10 positions.