By Asya Kleshchevnikova

On June 30th, 2023, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, Alexey Molchanov dived 133m (436ft) deep with a monofin and set a new absolute CWT World Record according to CMAS rules.

Where and how?

The massive dive was performed during the CMAS 10th Outdoor Freediving French Championship in the legendary place where modern freediving began. Here, in a small city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the first freediving courses took place in the 1990s: in 1996, Villefranche-sur-Mer hosted the first AIDA Freediving Championship and later the 26th AIDA World Championship in 2019. The site is also home to the French National team, who regularly trains and arranges National Championships there.

This may make you think that the location offers perfect conditions for freediving - and sometimes it does. But on June 30th, the air temperature was +20°C (68°F), the water temperature was +24°C (75°F), and there was a thermocline at 15m (49ft).

And yet, all of this didn't stop Alexey. The conditions didn't even make him think twice about using a warmer wetsuit. Alexey dived in a Molchanovs 1.5mm PRO Wetsuit Inside-Lined (coming soon!) and, of course, with his signature gold PRO Monofin 4 Carbon (in foot pockets 4 sizes smaller than his shoe size for more control - can you imagine?)

The dive to 133m and back lasted for 4 minutes and 25 seconds and was captured by Diveye - enjoy!

And Guillaume Néry - famous French freediver and former world record holder - even assisted Alexey on the dive.

The deepest man in the world is back!

Alexey's new record is 2m (7ft) deeper than his previous world-best dive in CWT of 131m (430ft), performed at Vertical Blue 2021. Alexey’s first world record in CWT was set in June 2012 with a dive to 125m (410ft) in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt. Since then, all CWT world records in the past 11 years have belonged only to him.

But Alexey was the deepest man among competitive freedivers for only 10 out of the 11 years. Due to AIDA and CMAS banning Russian and Belarusian freediving athletes from participating in competitions at the beginning of 2022, Alexey was unable to perform in the 2022 competition season.

And Alexey's competitors didn't miss their chance to beat his records: in 2022, Petar Klovar (HRV) stole the title of the deepest man in the world by diving to 132m (433ft). However, he did so in the Free Immersion discipline (FIM).

But now it’s 2023, Alexey is back, and he seems more determined than ever to return to his position at the top. Alexey started the season with 2 new world records of 153m (502ft) and 156m (512ft) in the non-competitive discipline Variable Weight (VWT), then set a new absolute world record in CWTB with a 121m (397ft) dive with bifins. And now, at last, the golden man dived 133m deep with monofin and became the deepest man in the world again.

Congratulations, Alexey - we couldn't be more proud and happy to witness your outstanding performance. You are pure motivation and inspiration!

Stay tuned for more

And it's not just a formal phrase. Perhaps the most exciting freediving news this year so far is that Alexey and Petar Klovar (and 40 of the other strongest freedivers) will be competing at Vertical Blue 2023! The rivals are absolutely worthy of each other, and we are afraid to imagine how deep they will go in the perfect conditions of Dean's Blue Hole, challenging the limits of the impossible and chasing the title of the deepest man in the world. We're excited and getting ready - so stay tuned!

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