The British Lead Climbing Championships, British Speed Climbing Championships and the UK round of the IFSC Paraclimbing Cup took place during the weekend of 24 and 25 September 2016 at Awesome Walls Sheffield.
In a change to the format this year the qualifiers for all categories as well as the IFSC Paracup took place on the Saturday with the frenetic pace of 8 routes being climbed at once. The route setters had done a great job setting some really testing routes, from vertical tech-fests, to big thuggy endurance routes in the main roof at Awesome Walls Sheffield.
IFSC Para Cup
Finals day started quite relaxed but quickly ramped up into a great atmosphere and the competition started with the finals of the IFSC Paracup. There were some fantastic performances but the stand out performance came from the visually impaired climber from Spain - Francisco Aguilar Amoedo who put in the maximum effort and showed some incredible grit and climbing technique as his sight guide talking him through the holds and the moves of all of his routes. A real class performance.
The battles between the competitors in both the male and female leg amputee categories were also fantastic. The male final involved two Spanish and one French climber including the current world champion Albert Guardia Ferrer, and climbing on a highly technical and steep route, the two Spanish climbers failed on a very slopey hold a few moves from the top, whereas Julien Gasc powered through to the next hold before coming off securing him the victory. In the female category the bar was set by a great effort from GB Climber Joanna Waterton climbing in her first international event, following her out was Lucie Jarrige from France who managed to latch the hold that Joanna fell off going for, so it was down to Canadian Kate Sawford to try and get higher, unfortunately she came off at the same point as Joanna giving Lucie the win and securing second place on countback to the qualifiers.
The Paraclimbing Cup results are available on the IFSC website
GB Paraclimbing Team results:
Male AL - Martin Heald - 4th
Female AL - Joanna Waterton - 3rd
Female AU - Isabella Walsh - 1st
Male AU - Matthew Phillips - 1st
Female RP - Hannah Baldwin - 1st
British Lead Climbing Championships
After a short reset we swiftly moved onto BLCC finals with the veteran category out first - Eddie Cooper put on a great show in the main roof of the wall falling off just shy of the headwall to retain his title. Vicky Askew also took an impressive win by topping her final route.
The Youth B, C & A categories followed next with some great efforts from all the competitors - stand out climbs included Hamish McArthur in Youth B making the same high point as Eddie Cooper on the same route falling off the main roof in great style. The male Youth A category also concluded in a very exciting finale with 4 out of the 6 finalists topping the route with an amazing side ways dyno to the finishing jug, with Kieran Forrest coming out on top due to countback to the qualifiers.
The main event was the senior finals with Molly Thompson-Smith rounding out a successful 2016 season with a convincing win talking a massive fall going for the last hold on the route to top a podium of climbers which was exactly the same as the 2015 BLCC podium. The men had a large final of 9 climbers with the usual crop of Junior GB Team members and the blast from the past of Jonathan Stocking - ex GB Team member who as taken time off from competition climbing to start his career as a firefighter. He came back with a bang qualifying for the finals in first place.
In the end he couldn't quite keep up with podium regulars Jim Pope and William Bosi, but he did manage to hang on for third place. Jim's final climb had the spectators raising the roof as he like Molly fell off going for the last hold on the route.
Full BLCC results
British Speed Climbing Championships
The Speed championships was fully under the Olympics effect with most categories having 5 times the number of competitors than in 2015, so it proved to be a lengthy but very exciting affair. There were some very fast time set with the fastest of the day going to Orrin Coley at 8.75 seconds.
A lot of the competitors had obviously been training hard for this event which is great to see if Britain are going to get behind the combined format which will be included in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in four years time. Special mention should go to Kieran Forest and Emily Phillips who did the double winning their respective categories in both lead and speed. Both climber going very fast with impressive times of 10.97 14.00 seconds respectively in their final rounds.
A film showing highlights of the event will follow shortly.
Congratulations to all the new British Climbing Champions and huge thanks from the BMC to the staff at Awesome Walls Sheffield, to the volunteer judges, belayers, scorers, and camera operators, and to our sponsors DMM and Mammut without which the climbing competitions that the BMC runs would simply not be possible.
The BLCC & BSCC podium places can be seen below.
1. Molly Thompson-Smith 2. Flo Tilley 3. Abigail Morris
1. Jim Pope 2. William Bosi 3. Billy Ridal
1. Hannah Slaney 2. Rebecca Kinghorn 3. Jo Neame
1. Kieran Forrest 2. Aiden Dunne 3. Stan Harris
1. Emily Phillips 2. Kitty Morrison 3. Pippa Watkin
1. Hamish McArthur 2. James Bateman 3. Finley Wood
1. Robin Casey 2. Katherine McDougall 3. Emma Futcher
1. Daniel Smith 2. Josh Ibbertson 3. Joseph Xibberas
1. Vicky Askew 2. Phyllis Ryan
1. Eddie Cooper 2. Nigel Leeming 3. Simon Tiley
1. Molly Thompson-Smith 2. Lucy Mitchell 3. Jen Wood
1. Jim Pope 2. William Bosi 3. Jonathan Stocking
British Speed Climbing Championships
1. Emily Phillips 2. Hannah Slaney 3. Kitty Morrison
1. Kieran Forrest 2. Severin Domela 3. Sammy Oakes
1. Jen Wood 2. Flo Tilley 3. Ajda Remskar
1. William Bosi 2. Alex Bosi 3. Orrin Coley
The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland, Berghaus, and Rock Over Climbing, and the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.
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