Newly introduced IFSC categories for the Junior event saw 70 competitors turn out for the 2010 British Lead Climbing Championships Junior competition at EICA: Ratho on Saturday 9th October.
While Natalie Berry is used to being in a league of her own, this time it was literal as well as figurative as she was the only 18/19 girl competing. This didn’t stop her from giving it her all with 2 tops on her qualifying routes and time beating her on her final climb.
Although there were four competitors in the Junior Boys Ed Hamer never looked in trouble on his way to the title ahead of Robert Mackenzie and Christopher Gee.
Kitty Wallace, fresh from her EYS win in Bulgaria the weekend before, scored the perfect 1 in the Youth A girls with three great tops including an unconventional, but effective finish to her final route. Luke Tilley in the boys couldn’t quite get the triumvirate, but again was streets ahead of the rest of his group.
In Youth B Rachel Carr had the crowd cheering with an impressive leap onto the grey ‘elephant trunk’ volume on the final route that saw her take the title. The move had the route setters shaking their heads as it ‘just wasn’t how it was meant to be done’. The Youth B boys saw the biggest upset of the day with winner Jonny White being the only GB team member on the podium. Sam Brannigan and Joe Swales put in impressive climbs to take their 2nd and 3rd places.
Youth C girls group was once again dominated by Tara Hayes and Molly Thompson-Smith and this time it was Molly who came out on top. While in the boys Angus Davidson was chased all the way by fellow Scot William Bosi who finished ahead of Billy Ridal.
The next competition for many of these young climbers is the Youth Open/GB Team selection event at Liverpool’s Awesome Walls at the end of November and judging by this weekend’s performances it is going to be an exciting competition.
Sunday was the Senior event which has, in the past, included anyone over the age of 16, but his year was extended to incorporate the Youth A (16/17) and Junior (18/19) categories. This saw several climbers who had taken part in Saturday’s competition turning out again on the Sunday to test themselves against older climbers and members of the Senior GB team. They stepped up and took the top 4 spots. It was great to see many of the previous day’s routes being used again (some untouched, some tweaked) especially the finals route where the first part had formed the Youth C and Veterans final the day before. The route snaked up the right hand side of the Hanger Wall then all the way along the front with some 360s thrown in for good measure. Natalie Berry was chased the whole way by Kitty Wallace but retained her title on count back, while Ed Hamer put on a brilliant final performance to pip Luke Tilley by a touch. Dave Barrans, fresh from picking up a Bouldering win the day before, had to settle for third, while Jonny Field put in a powerful climb to take 4th place.
In all the BLCC was a great event that has left us some amazing routes at EICA: Ratho courtesy of Neil McGeachy, Tom Randall and Zippy (including a super-final route that wasn’t tested).
And the small number of male (and lack of any female) competitors in the Veterans (45+) class has thrown down the gauntlet for next year’s competition. The category was won by Ireland’s Eddie Cooper with Scotland’s Robert Durran taking 2nd place in his first ever competition. Mike Mowbray continued his run of previous years by ably supporting the rest of the field (i.e. finishing last). But given the talent on display at our many walls throughout the year the field could be bigger. Any takers? Why should the kids have all the fun?
Full results here
By Avril Gall
This article has been read
Click on the tags to explore more