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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
Dr. Eugenie Clark:
Scientist, Author, Shark Lady
Eugenie Clark, also known as Shark Lady, is a world-renowned ichthyologist and authority on sharks. She is currently a Senior Research Scientist and Founding Director at Mote Marine Laboratory. She has won many awards, authored three books, written over 160 articles (some for Nat'l Geographic), and conducted 71 deep submersible dives. www.sharklady.com www.mote.org
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.
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. www.aqua-hunter.com
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.
Jim is an award-winning underwater photographer, filmmaker, author, and pioneer in shark encounters, without a cage. Starting at a young age, scuba diving served as an inspiration for his life’s mission as a conservationist and has enabled him to interact with some of the most notorious sharks. For decades, he has been running photography/video expeditions to engage with the world’s largest predatory sharks. Jim lives at sea, in the Bahamas, running shark expeditions and wild dolphin encounters year round on his boat, “Shear Water.” He has hosted many of the world’s top nature filmmakers and magazines such as IMAX, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Animal Planet, and the Discovery Channel. He owns the “Marine Life Art Gallery” in West Palm Beach, FL, where his captivating images and educational books are available. It’s his unique ability to bring divers up close to some of the world’s largest predatory sharks, turning them into strong passionate ambassadors to save them, which sets him apart from all others.
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.
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.
Dr. Jose Castro
Dr. Castro is a recognized shark expert and NOAA scientist from Mote Marine Labs. Dr. Castro's first comprehensive guide to
sharks is still used by researchers across the globe. He published an updated version of his book recently. He likes to share his knowledge of each species, including unique characteristics, interesting facts, and misconceptions. He will be signing books at the Expo
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
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.
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