Underwater Orienteering

Even before organising Fin-swimming competitions, Ferraro invented another speciality, known as Underwater Orienteering, in which the athlete, in addition to swimming, needed to be able to use a compass. In 1949, the first competition of this kind took place in Genoa: this involved departing from land, wearing a rebreather 7 meters below the water level, following an itinerary that consisted of three different directions and then returning to the starting point. The experience Ferraro gained as a member of the X Mas Group, during his swimming lessons and underwater orienteering, obviously played a significant role.
The modern Underwater Orienteering discipline, in fact, took its roots from this. This comprises a navigation technique that enables divers to go through an underwater course following a pre-marked route using a map, a compass and a high precision counter meter to measure the distance covered.
Under Ferraro's influence, the sport evolved and in 1960, the first two Underwater Orienteering competitions took place. The first one happened in Italy and involved a two-way underwater crossing of Lake Maggiore (Angera-Arona-Angera) and the second one in Austria, in Worthersee.
In 1967, in Angera, the first European Championships took place, which saw 10 nation teams participating. Italy obtained excellent rankings, thanks to the significant contribution of athletes from the Società Sub Bologna, which was coached and directed by Franco Pavone, who himself used to be an X Mas member.
The first World Championship was held in Yugoslavia in 1973 and drew 150 athletes from 15 different countries.