A cliffhanger of a bouldering contest

Posted by Tony Ryan on 14/07/2008
The Senior Male podium. Photo: BMC.

The British Bouldering Championships were held over the weekend of 12-13 July at the Cliffhanger festival in Sheffield, and the competition certainly lived up to the festival’s name.

On Saturday the juniors (aged 11-15) entertained a large and appreciative audience under the multi-coloured big top in Sheffield’s Millhouses Park. But the competitors weren’t clowning around. Over 40 boys and girls attempted the 10 qualifier problems in the morning. In the girls event 2007 champion Shauna Coxsey topped all 10 problems, to head a field of six climbers who qualified for the final. Jonathan Stocking headed up the field of 10 boys who made it through to final.

Shauna and Jonathan maintained their form in the afternoon finals, with Shauna completing all five problems. Suzie Zitter took second place, with Rebecca Hall in third.  Jonathan was pushed hard by Nathan Phillips and Luke Tilley, all three climbers topping out on four of the five problems, with Jonathan winning by virtue of completing them in the fewest attempts.

With their victories in the bouldering championships Shauna and Jonathan completed an impressive double, having won the junior categories of the British Lead Climbing Championships in May.

The senior competitors entered the arena on Sunday. A field of more than 70 competitors made for a busy qualifying round, with lots of action to entertain an even bigger audience than Saturday’s. 2007 champions Audrey Seguy and Gaz Parry qualified in first place, although Audrey was matched by Leah Crane in the womens event. The finals would be contested by six women and eight men.

In the womens final Audrey held off a strong challenge from Diane Merrick and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, taking the title by completing the last of the five final problems. Like Shauna and Jonathan in the juniors, Audrey did the double of bouldering and lead climbing championships. Gaz Parry was looking to do the same in the mens event, but couldn’t match his impressive qualifying form. In a closely fought battle 21-year old Ned Feehally topped the final problem to snatch the title and become the youngest climber to win the senior male category of the national bouldering championships. Stewart Watson and Dave Barrans completed the podium places.

Full results - Juniors

Full results - Seniors



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