01 May 2013

The season begins

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So my first two world cups of the year have been and gone and it as always it has been an incredible experience. Our team this year is great and everyone is very motivated and desperate to succeed.

This year I am lucky to have my girlfriend Victoria traveling with me to all of the European comps and it has been a real boost. Comps are incredibly stressful and difficult environments to be in so having her there has brought a real sense of normality and support which I am thankful for.

As a team we have already had some fantastic results, Shauna is leading from the front and dominating things with what are becoming routine world class performances. Mina and Leah have both been consistent semi finalists and are pushing hard for finals (I am sure this is imminent for both of them). Diane has been climbing well and has also been a semi finalist this year. Michaela had a great qualifying round just missing out on semi’s finishing 24th securing her first world cup points.

As for us guys it has been a somewhat different affair. Ned, Dave, James and myself have all been having a fairly rough time and so far none of us have made a semi final this year. In fairness though it has been extremely close!

Millau Bloc 1In terms of my own climbing I do feel like I have had a good start to the year coming 31st in Millau and 29th in Kitzbühel beating all of last seasons result by some distance. Having said that, I am disappointed not to have made a semi final yet but I do think that I am climbing much more consistently and close to qualifying.

Coming 29th in Kitzbühel was a huge relief as I have now secured some crucial world cup points which in turn have given me a world ranking. This means that I will now be seeded for the rest of the year and my qualifying isolation times will be shorter. This means less stress, less greasy holds and hopefully more chance of qualifying. This is a great feeling and I hope to build on it at the next round in Slovenia next weekend.

I’ve said it before but I do feel really privileged to be traveling the world competing for my country, the first two events have been in amazing places and even if the climbing has not gone totally to plan I have enjoyed the views!

The CastleFinally I am also incredibly excited that I am now acting as a brand ambassador for the Castle Climbing centre. The Castle has always been a favourite training venue of mine and I look forward to becoming even more of a regular face down there. I will also be working with their junior competition squad coaching the next generation of GB boulderers. Competing on the world cup stage with limited support is difficult and I am extremely thankful for their support.

As a team we’ve also set ourselves the task of creating human place names for each competition we attend this year. As you can see so far so good but I have a feeling Log-Dragomer is going to be tricky!


Anyway that’s all for now back to the training; lot’s to work on. Stretching, power and onsite practice are on the agenda.

28 Mar 2013

1st World Cup of 2013 – Chongqing

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The first round of the IFSC Climbing World Cup 2013 series took place in Chongqing last week.

I was unable to attend due to work commitments but I will be at every other event this year.

Mina, Shauna and Diane all went out to represent and made it through to semi’s. Shauna had a great first comp coming back from injury making finals and coming 5th overall.

Here is the highlights video; can’t wait to be at the next one in France next week!

11 Mar 2013

Blocfest Final

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I’m really going to miss Blocfest, it has been such a great series and super fun!

I can’t wait for next year to see what the guys will do with it, national… international, who knows.

Ben Grubb has been hard at work again putting together an awesome video of the last round.

Great event at the Biscuit Factory with all the key ingredients; funky blocs, strong competitor field, tunes, lights and a huge crowd.

Oh and very happy to become the first ever Blocfest series winner, finishing off with the final round win too.

10 Mar 2013

Round Up

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It has been some time since my last blog, mainly due to the fact that the past few months I have been training heavily and more recently competing in a long run of events;

  • 19th Jan – Blocfest, Reading
  • 2nd Feb – Rocover ROCfest, Manchester
  • 9th Feb – GB team selection event, Biscuit Factory London
  • 16th Feb – Blocfest, Bristol
  • 23rd Feb – Biscuit Boulder Bash, London
  • 2nd & 3rd March – CWIF, Sheffield
  • 9th March – Blocfest, Biscuit Factory London

The majority of these events are put on by walls and takes a huge amount of commitment in terms of organisation, time and money. For people to think that these events are purely commercial ventures is very misguided, sure they make some money on entry from competitors on the day, get a few blogs, videos and news articles in the climbing press but this does not cover the overheads. There are always an army of volunteers and extensive support from sponsors for prizes required in addition to the walls.

So why do they do it? They do it because like us all they love the sport and want it to grow. From my perspective as a competition climber, although tiring mentally and physically, it is great to have so many comps to take part in. There is no better training for comps than comps. To simulate the stresses and strains that a competition brings is nearly impossible (although I am working hard on this). So to all the walls, organisers, volunteers and sponsors – thank you.

In terms of the competitions themselves it seems the standard and depth of competitors this season has really grown. This is no more apparent than on the British Team. We have 20 men & women who are all capable of performing and getting results on the world stage. This is hugely exciting and there is a real buzz amongst the team.

This year the World Cup circuit visits some amazing places;

  • Chongqing, China.
  • Millau, France.
  • Kitzbuehel, Austria.
  • Log-Dragomer, Slovenia.
  • Innsbruck, Austria.
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vail, USA
  • Munich, Germany.

Due to a tightening of IFSC regulations this year we are only able to send four men and four women to each international event. This has meant that we have undergone a lengthy selection process.

It must have been a very difficult decision for the management team to decide who would be sent to compete this year and having been recently told that I have made the cut, I am thankful and proud to have been chosen.

I now have 4 weeks to prepare for my first World Cup of the year in Millau, France. I wholeheartedly appreciate this opportunity and I will be giving everything to make the most of it. I feel positive and excited about what is to come.

23 Feb 2013

Big Biscuit Boulder Comp

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16 Feb 2013

Blocfest Round 4 – Bristol

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09 Feb 2013

Best of British Team Trials

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02 Feb 2013

Rocover Rocfest Comp

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19 Jan 2013

Blocfest Round 3 – Reading

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12 Sep 2012

Paris World Championships

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