Rudi Castineyra was born in June 26th, 1969 in Cienfuegos, Cuba. He started swimming and freediving at the age of 4 and scuba diving at the age of 7. He became an avid freediver and spearfisher, and by the time he was 14 he had logged thousands of dives. He then became a member of the junior freediving national team, where he started working with several world class divers and trainers and developing the basics of his own training system. At 16 years of age he started working as a professional diver for several organizations including the Havana Seaquarium, The Academy of Sciences and several resorts. During all those years, Rudi kept freediving and developing his very unique and innovative training system.
In 1991, he immigrated to the USA, where he continued to work in the diving field. From 1991 to 1995 he became a technical diver, owned and managed a dive shop, and kept refining his freediving system. In 1995 he started training Alejandro Ravelo, the first diver he guided to several world records. In 1998 he discovered Tanya Streeter, whom he took to three world records that year. During this time, after having been involved in over 15 world record attempts by different freedivers, being unsatisfied with the existing verification organizations, with a group of professionals in the diving field, he created F.R.E.E. (Freediving Regulations & Education Entity), an organization dedicated to regulating freediving records and activities. In 1999, Rudi met Yasemin Dalkilic. Since their first record together in November of 1999, Rudi and Yasemin worked together to achieve a total of 7 free diving world records in various disciplines. Rudi’s last accomplishment has been discovering and training David Lee, a young Jamaican diver who became as dominant in the male field as Yasemin is in the female world. Rudi’s currently runs his own company Medusa Engines as well as being heavily involved in underwater video and photography which he conducts through the company Ideas in Blue.