A weekend of action was kick-started with a new British Speed Climbing Record and culminated in a fantastic day seeing many athletes vie for the title of British Champion. Here are the results of the British Lead, Speed and Paraclimbing Championships 2023:
From Friday until Sunday all kinds of climbers converged on the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) for a dazzling array of competitions. First up, on Friday, we saw the Speed athletes race to the top of the 15m high wall to record some blisteringly fast times – and that was just the warm up too.
Saturday saw all three disciplines on show, and what a whirlwind it was! Spectators were treated to the qualifiers of Paraclimbing, the semi-finals of Lead, and the hotly anticipated Speed final.
On the last day, the atmosphere in the arena buzzed with anticipation for the finals of both Paraclimbing and Lead.
British Speed Climbing Championships 2023
While the Speed athletes were just warming up for qualifiers on Friday, spectators were treated to one of the highlights of the weekend when Rafe Stokes sprinted to the top in 5.588 seconds, a new British Speed Climbing Record.
Two other athletes posted times under six seconds, Josh Bruyns and Andrew Goodall, and Matthew Fall also came close to breaking the six second barrier with a time of 6.001 seconds.
On Saturday it was time for Finals – and it was all over in a flash.
Rafe Stokes kept his momentum and speed going to win and over in the women’s Louise Flockhart just pipped Ava Hamilton to the top in just under 10 seconds in what was one of the most finales we’ve seen. Congratulations to both Stokes and Flockhart on becoming the British Speed Climbing Champions 2023.
British Paraclimbing Championships 2023
The Para athletes were definitely tested on the tricky and tough routes created for them by the expert team of routesetters, but they always give it their all and always with a smile too. Finals were held on Sunday in front of a huge crowd who all cheered them up the wall. We saw many fine efforts and a number of tops too, which certainly had the crowd roaring. Huge congratulations to all the new British Champions!
British Lead Climbing Championships 2023
Competition in the field was fierce, as many of our up-and-coming young athletes had turned up to try and claim the title of British Champion. And the routesetters didn’t make it easy either, as while there were a few tops in the qualification round, none of the athletes in the men’s or women’s managed to clip the chains in the Semi-Final.
The Lead Final was the highlight of the weekend, and it didn’t disappoint. The men’s route instantly raised the average heart-rate in the room by starting with a jump move, and then shortly after a sideways dyno – albeit Daniel Smith managed to reach through the dyno instead! Then the moves through the roof were so tough they spat off all but the fittest!
Meanwhile the women’s route gradually built up steam with little margin for error and no decent rests. Many failed just below the roof as a number of hard sustained moves proved too much for many of the competitors. Those that made it to the roof were rewarded with a brief shake-out before instantly having to switch back into fight mode for a series of steep lunges for good holds that led into setting up for a spectacular dyno finish, which both Zoe Peetermans and Erin McNiece came agonisingly close to latching.
After a weekend of battling tough routes, the two new British Lead Climbing Champions are Daniel Smith and Erin McNiece. Huge congratulations to the both of them!
Our highlight of the Lead Final was when McNiece went full Beast mode (now we understand that Instagram handle) holding a ridiculous one arm lock off in the roof and then still nearly nailing the dyno. She definitely deserved the win after a performance like that!
RESULTS: British Lead, Speed and Paraclimbing Championships 2023
4th Russel Forrest
5th Gerard Mcpeake
We want to say the biggest thank you to all the volunteers that make comps like these possible to run. You are our heroes!
The routesetters were led by Yann Genoux and worked long hours to craft some stunning routes that were enjoyed by all the competitors.
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