Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Bouldering EYC Laval, France, 12th/13th October 2013

I was psyched to be attending my first Bouldering EYC. I flew to Manchester on Thursday morning with fellow team member, Rachel Carr, to meet up with the rest of the team. From there we flew on to Paris and then drove to Laval.

On the Friday there was an Opening Ceremony and registration. The comp started on the Saturday with the youth A and junior female qualification and then youth A and junior male qualification. The youth B qualification was on the Sunday so youth B climbers were able to support everyone else on the Saturday, which was great fun. The whole team climbed well with Nathan Phillips qualifying for the final in 5th place.
It was amazing to watch Nathan crush the final and finish in 1st place!

On the Sunday it was an early start as my qualifiers were being held at a different wall in another town 30 minutes away. The youth B girls were first so this gave me and the rest of the GB Youth B boys time to warm up. When Qualification started I first got on problem 2, a very crimpy and powerful boulder, but messed it up twice, so moved onto problem 1, a really awkward problem where you needed to get your feet sorted, which I flashed. I then tried problem 5, a big slopery problem, which I flashed. I flashed three more of the problems and then got stuck on the last 3. I finally managed problem 7, which was a really awkward one hand dyno press, on my fourth go. Problem 2 and 3 eluded me. I was a bit surprised when Pete Dawson told me that we were both in the final. I had qualified in 6th place and Pete in 5th.

The Finals were held later that day. In the Final there were three problems. We came out for presentation and then observation. It was a great feeling being introduced to a very large crowd of hundreds of people. Looking at the problems with the other finalists I thought they looked desperate and didn't think I would top any.
In the Final - Photo by Brieuc Deleage
The first problem, was not my style at all being big pinch slopers and powerful, but I managed to get to the 2nd last hold - getting the bonus on my 5th attempt. Only one climber, Stefano Carnati from Italy, managed to top this. The 2nd problem had an awkward and tricky sequence but somehow I managed to pull through and flash this. This put me in 2nd place, although I did not know that. The final problem was a really awkward dyno, which I could not catch and ripped my finger open. However, although other climbers managed to catch the dyno and get the bonus hold they failed to top. Stefano and a French climber, Matteo Rousseau, managed to top out this problem, which put me in 3rd place.

I was sitting in isolation when Tom Greenall, GB manager, came in to congratulate me. I hadn't realised until that point that I was in 3rd place. Tom was rewarded with a very big smile!

Youth B Boys podium 

I really enjoyed my first Bouldering EYC - well done to all the team and especially Nathan.

BMC report here -

BLCC and BSCC, Sheffield, 5th/6th Oct 2013

I competed at the British Lead Climbing Championship on the Saturday and the British Speed on the Sunday, at the new Awesome Walls in Sheffield.

My first qualifier on the Saturday did not go to plan, as my hand ripped off about three quarters of the way up the route. This meant that I had to top my next route to guarantee I made the final. Both Jim Pope and Peter Dawson topped both the first route and then the second, so the pressure was really on. However, by managing to top the second qualifier I went through to the final in 4th place.

Our final route was around 8b/8b+ which went through the longest and hardest section of the wall. Three boys categories were on this route (so Youth B, A and Juniors.) Youth B climbed first, as we were the youngest. I had a good climb and managed to get into the roof, where I realised that I had misread the sequence. I managed to quickly correct myself, but this left me very pumped, so I was able to make a couple more moves before falling off. I wasn't sure if this would be enough to make the podium as there was still 3 more GB team members to climb - Angus Davidson, Jim Pope and Peter Dawson. However, it turned out that across all categories everyone had misread the roof sequence and I was the only one to get past that point, meaning I had won Youth B and got further than the older boys too!
Youth B Podium - looking smart!

On Sunday I entered the British Junior Speed Climbing Championship for fun. This was a good day with a great atmosphere and I climbed well getting into the final and posting a personal best of 10.90s in the semi-final. In the final round I was up against my brother, Alexander. We both found the pressure got to us and had slips and mistakes all the way up the route! In the end Alexander hung on to win and I had to settle for 2nd. We did speak to each other on the way home - honest!    

Junior Speed Podium