The second round of the 2014 BMC/MCofS Junior British Bouldering Championships took place on Saturday 26 April at The Climbing Academy Glasgow. Avril Gall reports on an action-packed day of high standard climbing.
Just three weeks after a very successful Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships, The Climbing Academy (TCA) in Glasgow once more played host to some of Britain's best young boulderers for the second round of the JBBC 2014.
Although the Easter holidays meant that this time we had no climbers from Ireland, there were 110 entries, with 102 scorecards returned (59 boys and 43 girls).
The day kicked off at 9am with registration and the climbers in Youth C and Youth B started their two-hour qualification round at 10am. With only eight problems and three attempts in the qualifier round there was no opportunity for complacency. Many of the problems, set by Alan Cassidy, Gary Vincent and Jacquie Sequeira, were created with in-house developed StoneSmith holds which were new to everyone and added an extra element of challenge as climbers attempted to find available edges and pockets.
A goal of the route setters is to ensure that the problems are challenging enough to split the field and select six finalists, and they did this in all but the Youth C Boys category where seven climbers went through. As our finals had all categories out on the amazing TCA competition wall at once, this left newcomer Scott Coulter in the unfortunate position of first out with no one for company, but he coped well with the limelight to get a flash bonus and keep his joint 6th place.
Youth C Boys was our biggest field so it was no surprise that our first scorecard came from this group. Nathan Whaley retained his top spot through qualifier and final, managing two tops in two attempts to take the title. He was closely followed by Euan Farmer with one flash top. Ewan Walker achieved two bonuses in three attempts to take third.
In Youth C Girls Kitty Morrison qualified in first place with five flash tops but an extra couple of attempts to achieve her two finals tops meant that Holly Toothill (two tops in four attempts) took the title. Emily Philips took third with a top in two attempts.
Youth C category climbers are not selected for the GB Youth Bouldering Team as there are no international competitions for this age group. However the team members in their new team vests took many of the final slots and podium places in the older age categories.
In Youth B Boys Dominic Vincent’s single flash top was enough for him to take the title over fellow teammate Tommy Mathews who took an extra attempt. This was matched by Toby Chan, but Tommy managed three bonuses in seven attempts compared to Toby’s three in nine.
In Youth B Girls Hannah Slaney was the only climber in the competition to top all three of her final problems. She finished ahead of Alexia Basch (two flash tops) and Silvia Koeck (one top in four attempts).
Youth A Boys is always an exciting final as there is a large pool of very talented climbers in this group. Team member William Bosi was the only climber in the competition to top all eight of his qualifiers and very nearly made the clean sweep in the finals, only failing near the top of his final climb. No one else in this category was able to secure even a bonus, so on countback Ed Mabon took second ahead of Luke Murphy in third; Luke and James Mabon in fourth did enough to regain their places on the boulder team for 2014.
Youth A Girls saw GB Youth Lead Team captain and boulder team member Molly Thompson-Smith take the top slot with two tops ahead of Ellissa Bryant (one top in four attempts) and Tara Hayes (one flash bonus).
Junior Boys saw three climbers qualify with seven flash tops, but Joe Swales triumphed with two tops in three attempts ahead of team member Max Ayrton and Fraser McIlwraith (both one flash top). This success, on top of previous competition results, secured Joe a Boulder Team slot.
Junior Girls didn’t see any tops in their finals, but GB Youth Boulder Team captain Rachel Carr achieved two bonuses in five attempts to take the podium ahead of Eleanor Hopkins (one flash bonus) and Beth Garratt.
The day finished with the presentation of medals and certificates and prizes courtesy of Armaid and Beta Climbing Designs.
View the full results, including current series rankings
The GB Youth Bouldering Team and some invited guests were back at the wall for an intense training session early Sunday morning. As well as another go at the competition problems they had an interesting nutrition talk and had their flexibility tested by the team management. An exhausting weekend but one which provided an excellent benchmark for the Team.
A massive thank you to the organisers, volunteers, route setters, TCA staff, climbers, parents and sponsors.
The first round of the IFSC European Youth Bouldering Cup takes place in L’Argentiere, France on 22/23 July, just ahead of the final round of the BMC/MCofS Junior British Bouldering Championships on Sunday 27 July, which takes place at The Arch Climbing Wall in London.
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