Growing up on a sailboat, William’s playground was the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. One of the things he loved doing most was snorkeling and diving with his older brother Sam, whom he always tried to emulate in their daily aquatic adventures. By the ages of eight and ten, inspired by their father and several semi-mythical encounters with pearl divers, the two brothers were diving down to astonishing depths of 15 meters. As William grew up, so did his passion for challenging the depths. When he first heard that freediving was an official sport, William was already 22-years-old but this did not stop him from trying to go at it professionally. He initially trained at the Italian Apnea Academy where he was mentored by the legendary freediver Umberto Pellizzari. In order to freedive great distances and push the boundaries of his body to extremes, William had to learn to master the physical and mental obstacles that come with the sport. “It is thanks to my mother, that I believe in myself and the infinitude of our capacity at whatever we set our minds to and it is thanks to my father, that I have never reneged on a training session, or quit when results were discouraging.” Three years of hard training later, William became the first man to dive at Dean’s Blue Hole – the world’s deepest known seawater sinkhole, located in the Bahamas. It is in that exact spot, where he broke his first world record and reached a depth of 81 meters with no propulsive assistance. William has since beaten that performance several times and in 2010 combined his record attempt with an environmental cause. He reached the current world record of 101 meters during ‘Project Hector’, an event he set up to raise awareness of the plight of New Zealand’s critically endangered Hector dolphin species.
Today, William runs a diving academy named Vertical Blue where he teaches and inspires aspiring freedivers and continues to advocate his conservational message. He currently holds 15 world records yet continues to explore his limits, dedicating his time to his unique passion: challenging the depths.