The British Lead Climbing Championships (BLCCs) and British Speed Climbing Championships (BSCCs) took place at Awesome Walls Sheffield over the weekend of 4-5 October 2014 with the final round of the IFSC Paraclimbing Cup also running at the same venue.
It was an action packed weekend in Sheffield with over 150 competitors in total, including some of the best paraclimbers in the world competing in the final round the 2014 IFSC Paraclimbing Cup.
British Junior & Veteran Lead Climbing Championships, and IFSC Paraclimbing Cup qualifiers
Saturday got off to a great start with the qualifiers for the Junior & Veteran Lead Climbing events giving a good idea of who to watch in the finals, with most of the categories being very close. This was swiftly followed by the qualifiers for the Paraclimbing Cup.
This was the first opportunity that many of the regular competition crowd had to watch a paraclimbing competition and they were awed and inspired by the incredible climbers. The Visually Impairment categories especially providing a stark contrast to the noisy cheers of the other categories, as the whole audience falls silent to allow the climber's caller to direct the climber up the route. The tenacity, grit and determination that the paraclimbers portray has to be seen to be believed.
The afternoon proved an electric showdown between the Junior lead finalists, with suprises in some of the categories. The girls in Youth C showed that the route setters had underestimated their talent, with three of the finalists topping the final route and having to be split on time.
There was also a changing of the guard in the Youth A category, with Jim Pope and Tara Hayes knocking last years champions William Bosi and Molly Thompson-Smith off their top spots. Would William and Molly be beaten for long though?
Scroll down for the full results
Sunday dawned with some leaden eyelids, and even more leaden arms for the Juniors who had also signed up for the Senior event. Qualifiers were relatively straight forward with the ususal mix of strong Seniors and a healthy helping of Youth A and Junior climbers making it to the final.
IFSC Paraclimbing Cup Final
First up though was the IFSC Paraclimbing Cup final. This time the paraclimbers were in the main arena, on the same routes used in the lead climbing qualifications. Every finalist in this event gave their all and did not fail to inspire those watching and cheering. The stand out performance was Mani Kumar from India who, despite struggling with some of the qualifiers, in the final came within one hold of topping out on the final route - a fantastic effort.
Full results from the IFSC Paraclimbing Cup can be found here.
British Senior Lead Climbing Final
The Senior lead finals followed on from the inspiring paraclimbing final, and only added to the amazing atmosphere that it had created. Some sterling efforts from the lower placed qualifiers set the bar very high, on what were some incredibly dynamic and impressive final routes running straight through the main overhang of Awesome Walls Sheffield's massive roof. The male routes especially featured a large dyno and then an impressive inverted knee bar rest - where the climbers could get a brief respite by wedging their knees behind a large hold and hanging hands free upside down.
In the female Senior category Molly Thompson-Smith restored order by narrowly beating Lucy Mitchell and her usual rival Tara Hayes. In the male event Ed Hamer set an impressive high point from low down the starting order, with only Dave Barrans gainiing one move higher. It then was down to the young William Bosi in his first year as a senior to show the older men how to do it, and that is exactly what he did, only falling off the very last move of the route, and securing a well deserved victory.
British Speed Climbing Championships
Finally it was onto the Speed event, and with a good size field in all categories this event has now established itself as part of the National Championships. Also noticable this year was the fact that the competitors are getting faster, with more sub-10-second times compared to previous years' results. It was a fantastic event with some fast climbing and worthy winners.
Scroll down for the full results and full replay videos of both days of the competition
Take a look at our gallery of images from the weekend on the BMC Facebook page:
British Lead Climbing Championships - Junior and Veteran categories
1. Sarah Pashley 2. Phoebe Nelson
1. Connor Byrne 2. Luke Dawson 3. Orrin Coley
1. Tara Hayes 2. Molly Thompson-Smith 3. Ellissa Bryant
1. Jim Pope 2. William Bosi 3. Peter Dawson
1. Rebecca Kinghorn 2. Hannah Slaney 3. Jo Neame
1. Cameron McLoughlin 2. Alex Norton 3. Aiden Dunne
1. Kitty Morrison 2. Emily Phillips 3. Pippa Watkin
1. Hamish McArthur 2. Sam Bullock 3. Ollie Graham
1. Joanna Goorney 2. Vicky Askew
1. Eddie Cooper 2. Nigel Leeming 3. Chris Forrest
Full BLCC Junior and Veteran category results can be found here.
British Lead Climbing Championships - Senior categories
1. Molly Thompson-Smith 2. Lucy Mitchell 3. Tara Hayes
1. William Bosi 2. Dave Barrans 3. Edward Hamer
Full BLCC Senior category results can be found here.
British Speed Climbing Championships
1. Emily Phillips 2. Flo Tilley 3. Pippa Watkin
1. Ian Bownes 2. William Bosi 3. Angus Davidson
1. Sarah Pashley 2. Anna Wells 3. Julia Littlefair
1. Orrin Coley 2. Alex Bosi 3. Dominic Proctor
Missed all the action? Watch the replays now:
The whole event was webcast live on IFSC.tv by Hub.tv who did a fantastic job of providing a great service for climbing fans who could not make it to the event themselves. They broadcast for 9 hours each day, so a huge vote of thanks to the guys at Hub.tv.
Day 1 - British Junior & Veteran Lead Championships and IFSC Paraclimbing Cup Qualifiers
Day 2 - British Senior Lead Climbing Championships, British Senior & Junior Speed Climbing Championships, and IFSC Paraclimbing Cup Finals
The BMC would also like to thank all the volunteers involved in runing this event, without whom the championships simply would not be possible. We would also like to thank the event hosts Awesome Walls, and the event sponsors - DMM, Mammut, Five Finger Thing, and Entre-Prises.