Greats of diving honoured

The diving world in all its glory
is revealed on Cayman this weekend with two major international events.
Pioneers of the world beneath the seas will be recognised for their outstanding
work over the years.

The International Underwater Film
Festival, 2010, takes place tonight, Friday 29 January at Harquail Theatre. It
will feature presentations from luminaries including Ron and Val Taylor, Kirk
Krack and Hans Haas.

Presented by Cayman Islands Tourism
Association, the evening’s festivities also comprise a silent auction
fundraiser for CITA and marine conservation projects.

Pioneers

At the film festival a series of
early pioneers will be honoured including Louis Boutain, Yves Le Prier, Benoit
Rouquayrol, Augueste Denayrouze and Henry Fluess.

Films by Kirk Krack, Ron & Val
Taylor, Carl Ross & Leslie Leaney and Wyland will be shown at the event,
which begins at 6.30pm with films beginning at 7.30pm.

Ron and Valerie Taylor are
multi-award winning Australian filmmakers. They present Shadow of the Shark.
Carl Ross & Leslie Leaney present a condensed version of Hans Haas’
underwater movie Under the Red Sea, Kirk Krack will be introducing Performance
Freediving in the Cayman Islands and marine artist Wyland’s Earth Day movie won
best San Diego Film at the Californian city’s Film Festival.

Tickets are $25 at the door and
more information can be gathered from CITA on 959-8522.

Hall of fame

Saturday 30 January’ sees the tenth
International Scuba Diving Hall Of Fame and there are inductees of some
standing.

Dr. Eugenie Clark is a
world-renowned ichthyologist and authority of sharks who is a recipient of
three honorary D.Sc degrees and many, many awards.

In 1969, Nick Icorn became the first
executive director of Professional Association of Diving Instructors. He is a
leader in commercial and technical diving.

Blue corner

Francis Toribiong discovered the
world-famous Blue Corner dive site as well as thirty Japanese World War II
wrecks, alongside Klaus Lindemann. In 1996 he was the star of the Academy
Award-nominated documentary The Living Sea.

 Robert Wyland is a scuba diver,
conservationist and artist. Official US Olympic artist Wyland is a
painter, sculptor, photographer, writer and SCUBA diver.

A series of events are happening
both in the gallery and restaurant to coincide including the announcement of
the winners of the Best of Cayman Underwater Digital Photo Competition.

Awards

Every year the Ministry of Tourism
honours Caymanians, paying tribute to the role that they have played in
transforming Cayman into an outstanding dive and snorkelling destination.

This year Charles ‘Captain Chuckie’
Ebanks and Patrick Evans will be honoured by Premier McKeeva Bush.

Captain Chuckie ran a fishing and
snorkelling charter business for over two decades in his 40-foot boat, Black
Princess.

He is a member of the boards of the
International Scuba Diving Hall Of Fame, Marine Conservation, an ex-Fisheries
Officer and president of the National Water Sports Association.

Patrick Evans, already a snorkeller
and spear fisherman, took to diving at age 23 with his brother Atles before the
pair established a successful dive operation.

After retiring in 1999, Patrick
bought a 34-foot houseboat on which he took snorkellers from Treasure Island to
a number of sites including Stingray
City. Now retired to the
Brac, Patrick rates the North Wall and Bloody Bay
as the best diving he’s ever seen.

The Scuba Diving Hall
of Fame induction ceremony takes place at Pedro St. James. More information: scubahalloffame.com

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Patrick Weir won last year’s Underwater Digital Photo Competition with superb shots like this.
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