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 -

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