The second round of this year's Southern Indoor Bouldering League (SIBL) took place on the 28th November at Evolution Climbing Centre and was attended by over 140 competitors. The previous evening saw the team behind the SIBL, along with the staff from Evolution and professional route setter Andy Perrin, work long into the small hours of Sunday morning creating the usual mix of fun problems ready to put the competitors to the test.
At 11am when head organiser Sam rallied everyone together the competition started and the competitors were unleashed on what looked set to be a great day, with a mix of the usual problems you would expect at a competition as well as a few you wouldn't. One of the stand-out problems which sent everyone away smiling, weather completed or not, was problem 1. Competitors had to start by going feet first up the wall into a handstand position to hook onto two big jugs with their toes. If you got this far, then the next move proved to be the crux, having to perform an upside down sit up to grab the jugs which led to hard campus moves to the finish. It certainly proved interesting to watch!
The regulars once again put in a good performance with the ever-strong Westway Team climbing very well. The Evolution Squad also made the most of being on their home ground and soon started to work out some of the more tricky problems. With the extra time that had been allowed for the competition, the atmosphere seemed relaxed and, although record numbers had turned out, by 4.30pm everyone had finished and were ready to see who had managed to get podium position points.
Before the winners were announced and the prizes given out, there was still one more treat in store for all the competitors, the Head-to-Head. Each round the top five scores from the Open category are selected to battle it on one final timed problem just for fun. This round saw Jon Partridge, Sam Cox, Peter Wycislk and Duncan Campbell all called up for the challenge which involved more caving than climbing. The route traversed across the recently built competition wall leading to Evolution's tunnel system where competitors had to crawl into the entrance and make there way along to emerge at the other end underneath the 45 degree wall. At this point the route got harder with an interesting set of moves needed to get out of the tunnel and onto the wall again, where upon a set of sloping holds lead to the finish. The route was also used to separate a tie between the Male Juniors for second and third place with Sebastian Powderham and Jez Etherton both finishing the competition on 188 points. When Sebastian missed a foot hold just before the tunnel and fell off, Jez took full advantage and came very close to finishing the problem.
The final results for the competition were:
Head to head winner
Jon Partridge 1min 12sec
This year's SIBL series is also being covered by Ed Ratcliff and his media company, Slender Films. Check out the Evolution Video below.
SIBL would like to thank all of the competitors who turned out despite the cold and especially Evolution for letting us take over the place all day. The next round is on the 11th December at The Castle in London were we are once again laying on a full days worth of activities including speed competitions, food, lectures and films. We have also teamed up for the third year running with the Castle to bring you the Castle/SIBL annual Christmas Party which will be going on upstairs in the café area, with DJ's and dancing till 3am. For more information please visit the SIBL site - www.sibl.co.uk