Archive for November, 2011

25 Nov 2011

Westway Super League Final

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Yesterday was the final round of the Westway Super league. This event took place over three rounds spread out of Sept, Oct and Nov. Each round allowed competitors to test their moves out on 20 purpose built problems for each category.

The final round was really fun and the route setting team of Liam ‘The Hit Man’ Halsey and Yann Genoux had plenty of surprises in store.

I think the most memorable problem (which was aptly named ‘The Saddle’) made competitors sit on top of a volume with basically no hands to finish. This gave a horse riding effect if you could not get in the right position and I certainly rode it for a while!!

I have been struggling with climbing performance over the past few months due to high training intensity and frequency and felt totally wasted on the drive in. I managed to warm up well and treated myself to some Optimum Nutrition Amino energy which helped fuel me and give me some additional focus and awareness. Optimum are one of my sponsors and were also the headline sponsor for the event which was fortunate.

The turn out was great for a local comp on a Friday night and yielded a strong male open field. I had difficulty with two of the boulders, the first a fingery slab with bad grips which i got 4th try and the second a steep burly volume test piece which I managed on my third try.

They were awesome comp problems as I left feeling very frustrated that I had’nt flashed them both. To me that’s the fun part of comp climbing, if you find the right body position and sequence they feel like a path, otherwise utterly desperate!

Anyway I won the round and overall competition and really enjoyed being on top of the unusual podium (Picture). I hope they will run it again next year and its bigger and better, a massive thanks to Rob and all the team at the Westway for making it happen.

Liam Cook has produced a nice little short of the event too, it features my man Grant Bateman depsatching ‘The Saddle’ with considerably more ease than me….

Super League Podium

14 Nov 2011

SIBL Round 2 – The Arch

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I think that Sunday’s second round at The Arch in London should be considered by all a real step forward for the competition series.

It was the first SIBL to my knowledge that used a mini world cup style final format for male and female open categories to close the event.

In my opinion this creates much more of a spectacle for all to enjoy rather than the traditional fun speed head to head route. It also provides a true showcase for the competition as a whole and allows route setters to be extra creative and the days finalists to reap the rewards of a hard days climbing with some amazing blocs in front of the crowd.

Having been a spectator at many finals, I believe it also gives a lot more motivation to those competitors who don’t qualify to go away and train harder so that they can one day be part of it too.

The programme for the day consisted of 20 boulders on a 10, 7, 3 points system with the top 3 from each category going through to the final. There was a great crowd for the finals and the new room at the arch provides a great atmosphere with plenty of space for all to see plus the viewing gantry and comp style boards.

I had a fairly rough day at the office and felt poor throughout making a few silly mistakes and lacking the killer blow to flash key problems. Having said that I did scrape through to the final ahead of the others and sealed the second stage win.

The next stop on the tour is at The Castle Climbing Centre in London on Saturday 10th Dec. Mike and the guys always put on a great day with unimaginable blocs which are impossible to prepare for, I’m already dreading it. Add into the mix the new style finals format (which I hope they will run), Reel Rock Tour films and their Christmas party it is going to be an awesome day / night. Make sure you get down.

As always Ed was there to cover the event and with a remote controlled boom cam from the gantry has created a great edit.