Report: British Lead and Speed Climbing Championships 2018

Posted by Peter Burnside on 08/10/2018
All smiles between Will, Hamish and Jim at the BLCC. Photo: Zoe Spriggins

Another weekend of amazing action saw strong climbers from all over the country gathered at EICA Ratho in order to battle it out and claim the title of British Lead Climbing Champion and British Speed Climbing Champion.

Qualifiers

Day one of the British Lead Climbing Championship (BLCC) started with all the qualifications for all categories and also the British Speed Climbing Championship (BSCC) qualification runs, all taking place at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena: Ratho.

Each category had two qualification routes, created to test every aspect of the technical ability from the crowd of climbers vying for the title. Trickery and cunning was required, as well as buckets of strength and power, to surmount each climb thanks to the excellent route setting team for 2018: chief setter Yann Genoux, accompanied by Andy Long, Gavin Symonds, Max Ayrton, and Emma Twyford.

The route-setting team had all the necessary tools to create the thrilling test-pieces thanks to Beta Climbing Designs, who supplied enough world-class, next generation crimps, slopers, pockets and jugs to satisfy even the most jaded setter. You name a hold, we had it!

Each climber was tested to the limit of their abilities, and once the chalk had settled the top climbers from each category went through to the finals held on Sunday.

Lead Climbing and Speed Climbing Finals

Sunday morning was buzzing with energy, isolation opened, the tension was electric!

First out to tackle their final routes was the Female Youth C category, who were climbing a sustained and long yellow route, and Male Youth B, who were on a tricky orange number.

Willow claimed the first high point of the day, laying down the gauntlet for the rest of Female Youth C. Several strong performances followed and the high point finally fell to Gwen who claimed top spot on this category.

Male Youth B were on a steep orange route with slopers, dynos and a technical volume section. The athletes made light work of the lower section but many were confounded by the volumes. However, Daniel found a way and went on to complete the route while Alfie tantilisingly came close to the top.

Next out, Male Youth C were on a yellow steep number while Female Youth B had a blue brute of a route to contend with. The girls battled upwards with several strong performances and an almost too-close-to-call moment of who would win the category. In the end Katherine claimed the top spot, with Tilly and Louise nipping at her heels.

The boys headed up a technical yellow number, with crimps, slopey holds and rails. A strong battle ensued between Oscar and Tom, but Jack managed to top the route and take the win.

Not to be outdone by the younger competitors, Female and Male Youth A categories stepped up to the plate. Female Youth A were also on the blue brute and cruised the bottom section, with the first high point claimed by Martha. Emma and Hannah followed in an intense battle where both topped the routes! Fantastic efforts from both but Hannah’s stronger performance in the qualification round saw her take the Youth A title.

Male Youth A were tested on a technical purple number on the right hand arête. Samuel and Stephen put in fine performances, but the cool and collected climbing of Finley saw his way to the top of this route and the win.

Finally, the Seniors and Veterans were waiting in the wings. Alex Waterhouse was on the mic as compere and the wait was over as these powerhouses showed us how it’s all done!

The veterans were climbing the long, technical yellow; strong performances from Koon and Liu saw them claim the women’s and the men’s titles respectively.

Meanwhile, the Male Senior route caused biceps to bulge on fierce undercuts and fingers to bleed on micro crimps. A tough battle ensued between Hamish and Will. Both were agonisingly close to grasping the top hold, but in the end Will claimed the top on count back. Jim Pope claimed the bronze medal. A great watch.

In the Women’s, Emily had the crowd on the edge of their seats when she dropped the second to last hold to claim the first high point. Hannah and Molly came next to battle it out. Both climbed fluidly and swiftly to the top of the route with ease, which meant the title would be decided via count-back. Molly secured the win as she topped both qualification routes.

And if that wasn’t enough, the speed finals started; there were trips, slips, and falls, missed pads and some super close races. What a great end to a weekend of competition! Find the full results of the BLCC 2018 and the BMC Lead Cup 2018 below.

FULL RESULTS: Of the BLCCs 2018 

FULL RESULTS: Of the BMC Lead Cup 2018

Special thanks:

Must go to everyone that helped create yet another world-class competition amongst Britain's top athletes. 

  • All the volunteers: judges, belayers, bringers of tea
  • Allan and Scott for running the speed competition
  • Simon for being an excellent Jury President
  • The awesome route-setting team
  • Our sponsors: Beta Climbing Designs, Berghaus, Rock Over
  • The amazing competitors 
  • And anyone else I may have forgotten at this late hour.

See you for the next one! Zoe Spriggins, BMC competitions programme manager.

Results: BLCC

DOWNLOAD: The full BLCC 2018 results here

Senior Category

1. Will Bosi
2. Hamish McArthur
3. Jim Pope

1. Molly Thompson-Smith
2. Hannah Slaney
3. Emily Phillips

Youth A Category

1. Finley Wood
2. Stephen Keir
3. Samuel Butterworth

1. Hannah Smith
2. Emma Davidson
3. Martha Lubczynskyj

Youth B Category

1. Daniel Smith
2. Alfie Duckworth
3. Tai Tewkesbury

1. Katherine MacDougall
2. Tily Vasic
3. Louise Flockhart

Youth C Category

1. Jack MacDougall
2. Tom Healy
3. Oscar Phillips

1. Gwen Morgan
2. Willow Petrobelli
3. Katie Roberts

Veterans Category

1. Liu Yi-De
2. Neil Shepherd
3. Simon Tilley

1. Koon Morris
2.
3.

Results: BSCC

Senior Category

1. Will Bosi
2. Max Milne
3. Alex Waterhouse

1. Jen Wood
2. Emily Phillips
3. Pippa Watkin

Junior Category

1. Samuel Butterworth
2. Stephen Keir
3. Hamish McArthur

1. Louise Flockhart
2. Emma Davidson
3. Tilly Vasic

 


The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering ScotlandClif BarDuco and Rock Over Climbing.

 
The GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.

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Anonymous User
08/10/2018
Full results?
Alex Messenger(staff comment)
08/10/2018
Full results will be linked as soon as we have them.
Anonymous User
08/10/2018
What is happening about the Lead Cup?
Peter Burnside(author comment)
09/10/2018
Full results of the BLCCs and the rankings of the BMC Lead Cup have now been linked in the article. Cheers
Anonymous User
09/10/2018
Is the times for the BSCC going to be published.

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