"Born to dive"
SQUALE AND VINCENZO FERRI
Vincenzo Ferri, a member of the freediving Italian national team, is regarded as one of the best Italian freedivers. A multi-medalwinner at both European and International level, he is an awe-inspiring athlete who is reviving freediving's glories of the past thanks to his remarkable achievements.
The athlete, born in 1984 in Naples, Campania, currently lives in Rome.
He started spearfishing when he was 15 years old and soon the desire to go deeper into the sea led him to freediving.
His journey started in 2004, when at 20 years old he took his first freediving course and was immediately captivated by this discipline. This set off his freediving career. In 2014 he was called up to Italy's freediving national team for the first time and became a member of the “Azzurri” team.
Freediving has radically changed me, right from the start. I’ve learned to manage fears and anxieties by transforming them into the desire to succeed, not only in sport but also in life.
Thanks Squale for supporting and trusting me.
Looking for new records
During his career he has competed in four European and five world championships. He has placed second twice in the world championships twice and once in the European. He has also placed third in the world championship three times. The last time was in 2019, in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras, where he set a new national record in the Constant Weight Bi-Fins discipline with a 98-meter dive, resetting the Italian record (held by him) by 2 meters.
He has set four Italian records. In 2018 he set the Free Immersion record in the Milazzo waters where he took home the 90 m deep underwater marker. The particular discipline called Free Immersion requires divers to descend underwater without weights, holding their breath and using a guide rope for propulsion.
Ferri is 168 cm tall, weighs 70 kg and has a lung capacity of 6.7 liters.
In 2020 he decided to take a year off from competing to recharge his energy and prepare mentally for an auspicious 2021. His dream is to participate in the 2028 Las Vegas Olympics where the difficult and fascinating discipline of freediving will be included in the official program.
Squale is proud to support his dreams
Interview with Vincenzo Ferri
Hi Vincenzo, tell us a little bit about who "Vincenzo Ferri" is.
Vincenzo Ferri is a professional athlete on the national freediving team. But first of all, he’s a big fan of the sea and the deep.
What titles and records have you achieved?
I’ve set a world record, been runner-up world champion twice, placed third at the world championships twice, been European runner-up champion once and I’ve set four Italian records.
What has been your path? Can you describe your professional career to us?
At the age of twenty, after having spent so much time in the water just for the pleasure of diving or fishing, I decided to attend a freediving course to better learn the techniques of diving and depth compensation. Compared to my classmates, learning was simple and immediate for me, almost natural... as if it had always been in my memory. Having this awareness, I was able to forge ahead and reach significant depths right away. After a few years of competing, I was called up to the Italian national freediving team in 2014. This has given me a strong emotional drive that to this day pushes me to give my best.
Why do you do freediving?
Freediving has radically changed me, right from the start. I’ve learned to manage fears and anxieties by transforming them into the desire to succeed, not only in sport but also in life. I believe that knowing how to manage the physical and mental stress posed by sports challenges can give you the tools to face any adversity.
Some freedivers claim they get to know themselves when they they’re immersed in the darkness of the deep sea. Do you agree? What do you like most about being down there?
Before diving, I always visualize the dive with my eyes closed. The tiniest, most subtle gesture, every immediate sensation and every little action are important to carry out the best performance. Concentration is at its maximum; in those moments my whole being is focused on myself. Then, finally, there is a turning point after which my mind becomes my light. This light guides me into the deep blue and, meter after meter, I feel and perceive I am one with the water. I surrender to gravity effortlessly. It’s as if I were flying, everything seems relative in those moments. When I reach the stated depth and remove the tag, everything changes in an instant: I understand I have to fight for the ascent. Everything depends on me, I never feel as alive as I do in that moment! It's fantastic!
What drives you to seek the depth?
The search for the depth is a challenge with oneself. Seeking to constantly improve myself is the flame that feeds this passion, as if every dive were the first dive of my life.
Do you have a dream, in terms of professional goals, that you want to achieve before reaching the end of your professional career?
I think the dream of every athlete is to participate in the Olympics. FIPSAS and all the bodies in charge are working hard to make this sport part of the five rings and I sincerely hope they (they succeed so I can finish off my competitive career in style.
What has changed in freediving since the 80s?
It's changed so much, from the gear to the spectators, who in the last few years, have managed to follow the athletes even at great depths thanks to specialized systems. In this way, this unique discipline is finally getting the visibility that it deserves.
Are you inspired by anyone when you go underwater?
I try to take the best from every great freediver I know or that I have known, like Maiorca and Pelizzari. They are the ones who have inspired me the most, but teaching made me understand that you can and should learn from everyone.