With both of the reigning champions unable to take part, it's an open field at the British Bouldering Championships 2018. Who will be number one this year? There's a horde of strong youths that will be looking to put one past those seasoned competition veterans. Find out who the contenders are for the BBCs 2018!
Female contenders of the BBCs 2018:
Winner of this year’s Junior British Bouldering Championships (BBCs) and the last, nearly a seasoned pro on the IFSC World Cup Circuit, and really coming into her own now. Hannah will certainly be looking to improve on her silver medal last year at the senior BBCs to take the 2018 crown!
From: Lymm, currently based in Sheffield
More often seen on rock than resin, Maddy Cope is looking to translate her prowess outdoors to these comp style blocs. She’s no stranger to climbing hard though, becoming one of a handful of British women to climb sport 8c outdoors last year. We’re looking forward to see how she performs against all these young guns!
Seasoned competition climber Jen Wood has been a stalwart of the GB Climbing Team for many years now. Extremely dedicated and addicted to getting better, Jen is no stranger to the BBCs, making the final in 2013, and is experienced in high pressure situations, especially since she was the sole candidate representing British climbing at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in 2014. Since then, Jen has been improving her comp game on the IFSC World Cup circuit and we're sure she'll come out and crush this weekend.
From: Cowling, Yorkshire
This youngster, the surprise athlete in the senior BBCs finals in 2017, just keeps getting better! She placed silver in the Junior BBCs this year and has been busy training and competing throughout the year. There’s no doubt Holly will have her sights set on the podium this year and we’re psyched to see how much she’s improved!
From: Glasgow, Scotland
It’s been a while since Natalie has graced the comp circuit and we’re psyched to see her at the BBCs 2018! Since leaving comps Natalie has become well versed in hard trad under the tutelage of Dave MacLeod and has been busy as the editor for UK Climbing, but we’re sure her ability to pull hard and crimp harder is more than enough to make her a contender for gold!
From: Bordon, Hampshire
Fresh back from a Rocklands crunch, Imogen is looking to make her mark at the BBCs 2018. She's no stranger to the limelight and you may have already recognised Imy from her starring role on the Honda Civic advert last year, or as a finalist in this year's UK Ninja Warrior series. Imy is part of the GB Climbing Team with years of experience of climbing competitions; can she use those talents to end up on the podium?
From: Based in Sheffield
Another outdoor climber trying her hand at the comp scene once again, Jules has a lot of experience climbing hard sport routes – like Predator 8b at Malham – and we’re sure she’s entered the senior BBCs before. Jules has been out of the spotlight recently and we’re looking forward to seeing if she’s been in secret training to battle for the top spot!
Male contenders of the BBCs 2018:
Winner of the BBCs 2016, Matt was very unlucky to miss out on the podium last year after struggling with the first bloc. Still Matt came in a highly respectable fourth place, but it was not the win he was looking for. He’s struggled with a nagging finger swelling and missed out on part of the World Cup Circuit as a result, but we’re not expecting that to hold him back at the BBCs and we’re sure he’ll come out swinging.
This veteran of the BBCs is back for his 15th appearance! We’re not sure if that’s a record, but it’s incredibly impressive nonetheless. He’s a multiple-time British champion and holds a regular spot in the BBCs finals, can he regain his crown this year?
Since his ankle injury, Aidan burst back onto the comp scene with a vengeance. He’s tried his hand at the BIFF, on the IFSC World Cup Circuit, and even made it into the final of the CWIF 2018 to battle it out on the blocs amongst international rockstars. He’s strong and psyched and we’re sure he’ll come out guns blazing.
He took third place at the BBCs 2016 and just missed out on the final last year. Since then, Orrin has been hard at work training, ticking off hard boulders, and adding even harder links and testpieces at his local crag Forest Rock in Leicestershire. He’ll be chomping at the bit to make it back into the finals this year and looking to secure one of the three podium places.
Back from the USA to crush it at the BBCs, Alex has been studying hard and training harder. Recently climbed sport 8c, finalist in the US Bouldering National Championships in 2016, and 5th place in the US Collegiate Nationals, Alex continues to look in top shape! Will he be able to pull a win out the bag this year?
From: Selston, Nottinghamshire
A last-minute top saw Billy make it into semis in the BBCs 2017 but unfortunately he made it no further despite making finals back in 2016. This strong youth has climbed the big five in Fontainebleau and is a two-time National Champion of the BUCS. Will he once again make the final this year?
Bronze medallist in the BBCs 2017, silver medallist in the BBCs 2016 – there’s one medal missing from Nathan Phillips’s collection and we’re guessing he’ll be looking to swoop it up this weekend. Nathan’s always been a strong youth – he was the first person to flash font 8B on British soil – and it doesn’t look like that’s changed! Keep an eye on him this year, we’re thinking great things might happen.
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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships