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Topic - Deep water soloing comp in Exeter

John Alcock - on 18 Mar 2014
Just had this press release in my inbox from the Quay in Exeter

On 30th and 31st August 2014 Exeter will play host to the UK’s first artificial Deep Water Solo Climbing Competition. The event is being staged by Exeter's Quay Climbing Centre who, with the help of leading climbing wall manufacturer Entre-Prises UK, will erect a large climbing wall across the city's canal basin. Approximately 200 competitors will attempt to navigate climbing routes upwards and across the wall without the aid of ropes, using the water beneath them as their drop point when they can no longer climb. The Quay Climbing Centre is in the unique position of being the only indoor climbing wall in the UK that is situated next to a body of water suitable for this type of outdoor climbing event: "the canal basin provides the perfect water space and the large open area of the Piazza Terracina offers a great arena for spectators to view the competition up close” said Paul Russell, Centre Manager for the Quay Climbing Centre.

The Quay Climbing Centre and Entre-Prises UK have unveiled their design for the competition wall. It will measure 12 metres wide by 7 metres tall and overhang by 3 metres. The climbs will been graded to challenge some the UK's top climbers and structured so that up to 3 competitors are able to climb simultaneously in timed rounds – adding to the excitement for the audience in the piazza. The event will bring the elite of the international climbing community to the city to participate in one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas of the sport. Hundreds of spectators are expected to attend the event, which will also attract national and international sports media coverage. The world’s first artificial Deep Water Solo competition was staged in Spain in 2010 and attracted over 4,000 spectators as well as the elite of the climbing community.

Neil Gresham, one of the UK’s leading climbers, said: “this event is one of the most exciting things to happen on the UK climbing scene in years. Deep Water Solo climbing is one of the most visual and free forms of climbing you can experience. This will not only be fantastic for the sport of climbing in general but will do wonders to promote it locally in a region that has a lot to offer those looking for a Deep Water Solo adventure. I can’t wait for my chance to go to head to head with Britain’s best climbers!”

This is a great coup for Exeter. The city council has provided strong backing for the event since it’s conception, recognising the huge boost it could bring to the city’s tourism economy . Councillor Rosie Denham, Portfolio Holder for Economy, said: “It is really exciting to have the UK’s first Deep Water Solo Climbing competition in Exeter bringing top international climbers of all ages to our city. The event is set to become a major event in the city’s cultural calendar.”

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