TecFest 2013

Tec Fest 2013: 10th – 12th May

Late last year Brent McFadden sent me an email with an idea that he had been mulling on for some time. This idea grew into the inaugural TecFest event held at Motutere, Lake Taupo last weekend.

Divers from all around the country were invited to attend presentations, complete TDI Intro to Tec Courses, try drysuits, twin and sidemount gear configurations, go diving and generally chat and share information on a variety of dive techniques, dive sites and gear.

A group of us headed up to Taupo on Thursday so that we could complete a drift dive down the Waikato before the event kicked off. For most this was their first drift dive and a lot of fun!007

The event began with Brent’s introduction and an overview of what we might expect in the days to come. Then Richard and Troy from TDI introduced us the range of courses that they offer to both sport and technical divers. TDI had sponsored 14 FREE Intro to Tec courses and 5 of our divers were lucky enough to be doing this course over the weekend.

It was then time to walk across the road for the first dives… there were several options to pick from including boat dives at the Island, Sidemount try dives with Chris, Intro to Tec Dives or even (heaven forbid) FUN dives!
The students entertained us as they practiced different fin techniques on the beach…
Finning Techniques

Joining Chris at the beach were divers interested in trying sidemount diving – after an introduction to the Hollis sidemount systems and how to use them they were off diving!
Sidemount Briefing

Back at the campground it was time to cook dinner – the only time it rained over the entire weekend. After dinner we had some more presentations – Brent gave an overview of Gas Blending techniques while Paul Trainor discussed Closed Circuit and Semi-Closed Rebreathers.

The students headed down early to get ready for their next course dives where they were to keep practicing finning techniques and deploy a SMB – Surface Marker Buoy. They also had the opportunity to try a drysuit – thanks to the guys from Ocean Dry who were down for the day and twin tank setups.

After a more leisurely start to the morning the rest of us headed out for some fun dives while I took some drysuit try divers out for a splash and got buzzed by divers with scooters!

With the sun shining and a quick break for lunch it was back diving and enjoying what the lake has to offer – some trout and koura and a nice stepped drop off – to 45m according to some of the divers who got that far!

Another BBQ followed by some more presentations. These were right up my alley with talks on Cave Diving here and in Australia and then Advanced Wreck Diving – particularly on the Mikhail Lermontov with some of our divers having starring roles during the presentation.
We have divers are heading down to the Lermontov next month ( 3rd – 9th June) for their Deep and Wreck Specialty courses so if you are tempted to join them give us a call 

And then sadly enough it was all over – time to say goodbye and thank you to all the divers who made this inaugural event some a fun and interesting weekend. We all left having learnt something and dreaming about that next course – trip – or piece of equipment on our wish list!

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