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2014 Speakers / Authors / Workshop Leaders
Deepest Man on Earth
Herbert became the “deepest man on earth” in 2007 when he set the world record for freediving to an incredible depth of 702 feet in the No Limit discipline. In 2012, he dove to 830 feet but suffered a hit from "decompression sickness". In addition to breaking 33 world records in all of the freediving disciplines, Herbert worked as a pilot for many years and enjoys sailing and spearfishing. His ambitious goals in life have required careful planning, technical innovations, and overcoming mental and physical barriers. He is self taught and developed his own freediving techniques over the years, a methodology that differs from common styles. He has appeared in Men’s Health, GQ, Playboy, 60 Minutes, ESPN, and many others. Currently, he is working hard to raise awareness of the oceans as member of the Board of Advisors of SeaShepherd.org. www.herbertnitsch.com
Survivalist, Spearfisher, Biologist, Exotic Food Lover
Forrest is an extreme adventurer and star of Discovery Channel's primitive survival show "Naked and Afraid", where he was able to thrive in harsh conditions with nothing but a mask. Growing up in the African bush of Zimbabwe, Forrest had a hands-on approach to wildlife. This passion led him to spearfishing, to which he attributes much of his success on the show. As a biologist, he refined his wildlife knowledge on an academic level and put his education to use in real world settings. He has traveled to over 36 countries spearing fish, wrestling anacondas, and encountering hostile natives. His love of spearing and exotic foods prompted him to create www.travelgrub.com. Forrest will share his amazing stories and discuss how dive travel and adventure can can be accomplished on a tight budget and how the right attitude can turn the worst conditions into amazing experiences. www.discovery.com/tv-shows/naked-and-afraid/bios/forrest-galante.htm
Multiple World Record Holder, Instructor
Martin is a freediving pioneer having gone to depths never before – over 400 feet on a single breath of air. He is one of the top freedivers/trainers in the world claiming over 13 World Records. Martin’s passion, dedication, and background in human physiology has pushed his F.I.I. curricula to the forefront of freediving education. A native of Czech Republic, Martin resides in Fort Lauderdale. www.freedivinginstructors.com www.martinstepanek.com
Sheri is a Freedive Spearfishing National Champ, multiple world record holder, and host of "Speargun Hunter" on Outdoor Channel. She is producing/hosting this Expo and wishes to thank all the speakers, exhibitors, and volunteers. She hopes you enjoy the big party -- thrown especially for ocean lovers!
Rob Allen and Jeremy Williams
Rob founded Rob Allen Spearguns. He spent his formative years as a fisherman off the coast of South Africa. While working for the Natal Sharks Board, Rob decided to get in the water…this experience changed his life forever! It answered many questions he had about the habits of fish, their actions and reactions, and the undersea environment. Rob was constantly trying new things and modifying his equipment to perform better and eventually began developing his own guns. During this period, Rob was working as a marine ranger while living at Cape Vidal. Rob’s first guns were much bigger than the norm, but good fish were taken at long range. Eventually, unable to keep up with the two jobs, he decided to take the plunge and went into building spearguns commercially.
Jeremy began spearfishing in 1974 off the KwaZulu-Natal coast. With no “off the shelf” guns available he was forced to build his own. Most of his early diving was skewed towards competitions and his equipment was developed for reef fish and cave diving. In the mid 80s, he was already experimenting with Carbon Fibre and Titanium. First gaining his Provincial Colours in 1979, he went on to represent South Africa in competitions in Chile, Peru and the USA. In recent years, he has acted as Coach and Manager to the South African Spearfishing Team. As Mechanical Engineer, he provides a strong theoretical input during the design and testing of all the Rob Allen products.
Joseba was the World Champion Spearfisherman from 2008-2010 after winning Worlds in Isla Margarita, Venezuela. He also held the Championship title for Spain in 2006, third-place in the Euro-African Championship in 2009 (held in Algeria), and nine championship titles from 1996 to 2010. Joseba was born and raised in Durango, Spain. He was a restless and independent child who loved nature and would escape from parental care to go play in the woods near his home -- climbing trees, trapping and hunting. At 12 years old, during trips to the beach , Joseba began diving and enjoying what today is his greatest passions -- the sea and spearfishing. Joseba is also a traveler. When he was little more than twenty years old, he made his first big trip to America as crew on a sailboat, crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries to the Caribbean. He has since toured the five continents, integrating into the communities and spearfishing with the locals. All these trips have given him vast knowledge of the oceans, marine life, and spearfishing techniques, making him not only a World Champ, but a true man of the sea.
20 world records and counting…for the past 10 years, Andy Ansin has been travelling the world in search of world records. Fishing with friends, Andy has personally shot or witnessed the taking of 20 world record fish, including the Black Marlin, Amberjack, Almaco Jack, both the men’s and women’s mutton snapper and numerous groupers. A member of the IUSA Board of Directors, Andy will share his experiences and review the process of qualifying world records. Pictures, funny stories and common mistakes will highlight the presentation.
Capt Todd Bailey
Todd is a Florida native and all around sportsman specializing in hunting, bow fishing, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, spearfishing, lobstering, and tropical fish collecting. He has a commercial fishing license, USCG Captains license, and operates Aquahunter Dive and Fish Charter. He writes a monthly fishing report for Woods 'N Water, and he started East Coast Aquarium in 1994. His Workshop will show ocean enthusiasts how to start and maintain a saltwater aquarium.
Hunting lobster up and down the east coast of Florida for the past 20 years, Johnoly can find bugs! He is a recognized expert and will share "Reading the Reef" -- how fish can lead you to bugs, when to abandon a nice ledge and move to ugly bottom, using the right tools for different conditions, and ways to get bugs to come to you instead of you going after them. You'll learn how weather plus landside factors both come together to move bug populations around and what to look for before even getting on the boat.
Captain Greg Logue
Capt. Greg Logue started in EMS while serving as a combat medic in the US Army's elite and as a critical care flight medic with LifeFlight at Miami Children's Hospital. Capt. Logue is certified as an Air Deployable Rescue Diver, HazMat Technician, and Haz-Tox Paramedic. He is a Paramedic instructor at , as well as, the Lead Haz-Tox instructor at MDFR. He has most recently been involved in working with the NFL and NCAA, advancing emergency care for injured atheletes. Greg holds a 50-ton captain's license and is an active sailor and boat owner.
Award Winning Cinematographer/Producer
Stan is a five-time Emmy-winning cinematographer. He learned scuba early-on, operated a dive charter in the Bahamas, and filmed a year-long trip with his family in Tahiti as shown on TV by Nat Geo. He was the producer of Blue Water, White Death and many award-winning documentaries. He is the author of Sea Salt and currently leads charters and lectures around the world. www.stanwaterman.com
Shark Wrangler, Swamp Explorer, Sculptor
Manny continues to educate and entertain audiences. His approach is primitive - no cages, tanks, or armor protecting him from encounters with some of the most feared predators in the world. Manny interacts with sharks, faces down black bears, and dives in the swamp with the American alligator. www.mannypuig.com
Dr. Daryl Wong
Dr. Daryl Wong is a dentist from Hawaii and is one of the premier builders of custom-made spearguns used around the world. He is also an accomplished spearo and world record holder, constantly experimenting with different designs and techniques. He enjoys reef and bluewater hunting and loves traveling to meet new friends or hosting them in his own back yard. He is known for his generosity, often sponsoring women and juniors, and for his kind spirit of aloha. www.wongspearguns.com.
Kirk Krack & Mandy-Rae
Kirk Krack is a world-renowned coach, mentor, and teacher of freediving. Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, also an instructor, is a
highly trained athlete, achieving many world records. Their Performance Freediving classes have helped many divers explore their potential and reach their limits in a safe and controlled environment. www.performancefreediving.com
Dan MacMahon is one of the most respected spearfishermen in the state of Florida, due to his skill and character. He has won major tournaments multiple times and has speared the state’s largest Warsaw grouper at 403 pounds and the state's largest black grouper at 134 pounds. He is Spearfishing Magazine’s 2006 Spearo of the Year. He is an accomplished freediver, scuba diver, and technical diver, sometimes going to depths exceeding 400 feet. His passion for spearing comes through in his story-telling and he continues to be a role model and a guiding influence on many other spearos.
Mark Laboccetta and his family business Technosport Inc. have distributed Omer and C4 products in the US since 1997. Mark's been spearfishing since 1987 and was the first to intoduce carbon fiber Freediving fins in the US market, camouflage open cell wetsuits, and carbon fiber spearguns by C4 and Omer. He has written articles for Hawaii Skin Diver, Spearfishing Magazine, International Freediving and Spearfishing, and PescaSub. He's set 11 IUSA world records and helps Omer Italy with developement of products for the US market. www.omerdiving.com
Pioneer, Researcher, Navy Instructor, and in 1967 the first person to freedive beyond 200 feet (the first and only American to break world records in the early days of the sport). Bob was a submariner in the US Navy and worked in submarine bailout training. He pioneered the technique "packing" now used by modern freedivers. The first record on blood shifting in humans was discovered while studying Bob during his dives. He continued to serve as a Navy diver for many more years and is now an ambassador for the sport.
Lt. Dave Bingham
Lt. Dave Bingham has been a Florida conservation law enforcement officer for twenty-one years. He started his profession with the Florida Marine Patrol during the mid 80's and was a dive team leader in the early 90's, conducting underwater crime scene investigations and assisting with reef damage assessments. His agency deals with inland and marine related conservation issues and enforcement, as well as all types of boating safety regulations. He is especially good at clarifying any questions regarding spearfishing regulations in Florida. www.myfwc.com
Diane is an avid scuba diver and award winning underwater videographer with 20 years of experience. She started out shooting video with a Sony High 8 Handy cam video camera and a lighting system that her father hand made for her in the early 1990's and has had a passion for telling stories as seen through her lens ever since. Living in South Florida she enjoys diving in her own back yard location "The Blue Heron Bridge" and traveling into the Caribbean and the Pacific to explore and study the marine life behavior and culture that those destinations offer. She has had the wonderful honor of working with Stan Waterman on several projects and having her videos selected for the high honor of showing at the San Diego Film Festival in 2013. She recently has won 1st and 2nd places in the Beneath the Sea film festival competition.
AMT2 David Hetticher
David is a USCG MH-65C Helicopter Flight Mechanic. He is a Los Angeles local and has been stationed in Astoria Oregon, Los Angeles Califrnia, and currently in Miami Florida. He has responded to numerous distress calls ranging from overdue vessels, open water rescues, to critically injured divers requiring transfer to the hyperbaric chamber. He enjoys museums and spending quality time with his family. You might recognize him from his appearance on CSI Miami.
AST2 Alex Major
Alex is an elite USCG Rescue Swimmer. He has helped to interdict drugs and illegal immigration from South America, attended the USCG Airman Training Program/Rescue Swimmer School in April 2007 and graduated as an Aviation Survival Technician in February 2008. He's been stationed at Air Station Kodiak in Alaska and is currently serving a second tour of duty at Air Station Miami. He holds his Advanced Open Water/Rescue Diver Certifications.
Chad is a veteran diving instructor certified with PADI, TDI, SDI, SSI & NASDS. Since 1977 he has trained thousands of scuba divers, instructors, freedivers, technical divers & spearfisherman. He is also the manager at Florida Freedivers in West Palm Beach, FL, the largest freediving & spearfishing store in the US. www.flfreedivers.com
Also a USCG Captain, Chad has won multiple spearfishing tournaments and trained dozens of winners as well. He has written columns for the St Pete Times and many diving and boating publications. Many of these articles are archived on his website www.floridaskindiver.com, including a diving guide called The Wild West Coast of Florida.
Jim, also known as "Chiefy", is a retired Division Chief with Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue. He is an avid diver and underwater hunter for more than 30 years. He authored Catching the Bug, The Comprehensive Guide to Catching the Florida Spiny Lobster and more recently Catching the Spear-it! The ABC’s of Spearfishing. Chiefy has been written about in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and featuredon the Paul and Young Ron Morning Radio Show. He will be sharing how to Find, Catch and Eat Florida lobster. www.chiefy.net
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