This year we have worked really hard to make sure the 2009/10 series of the Southern Indoor Bouldering League (SIBL) is one of the best yet and judging by the first round it looks like we might just of got things right.
The first round was held at Craggy Island Sutton on Saturday 26th September. As usual I think I might have been more nervous than the competitors but after seeing the quality of the problems that had been set I knew we were in for a good round. It had been set by two talented resident route setters - Mark Croxall and Danie Rushmer. The problems ranged from jug-fests to mega-hard sloping nightmares and everything in between. As usual with the SIBL we threw in some weird and wonderful problems with a front-facing dyno and a feet first problem providing many laughs from both spectators and competitors alike.
At 11am the competition started and the bouldering rooms, which were all re surfaced the week before with a super sticky paint, started to fill up with competitor's eager to get going. Before long some of the harder problems were being worked out and walking the floor I was impressed to see the high level of talent some of the youngsters were showing. These guys would burn me off any day!!
Highlights included the power screams provided by Julian Chape and the impressive Westway and Evolution Squads, with both these walls offering up some crazily talented climbers. All of the guys and girls put in a fantastic effort with some very impressive scores and as usual the fun and friendly atmosphere shone through all day with competitors marking each other and some of the older guys offering tips to climbers just venturing out into the world of competition climbing. Our sponsors for the round were Lyon Equipment who distributes the likes of La Sportiva, Beal and Julbo and through out the day they held a shoe demo for anyone wishing to try out shoes from the La Sportiva range.
Three o'clock came round too soon and the final whistle blew. As usual with the SIBL we offered the top climbers out of the open categories the chance to battle it out on a head to head problem. This round saw a timed event with Ben Read, Peter Wycislik, Kitty Wallace, Suzie Zitter, Laura Ashley, Saoirse Harris and Barnaby Ventham as a wild card entry. These guys were timed on a traverse route with a fiendish Dyno half way through proving just too far for some of the competitors. Kitty Wallace put in an amazing display of problem solving to reach the end hold in just over one minute twenty but the winner was local climber Ben Read managing to complete the route in an amazing 12.56 seconds!
Once the crowd had settled down after watching the head to head it was time to announce the winners which were:
SIBL would like to thank the truly awesome guys at Craggy Island Sutton with special thanks going to Mark Croxall and Danie Rushmer, our two champion route setters, and Rob Mitchell and Gareth Squire for letting us use their fantastic venue. I'd also like to thank John Samways and Martin Kirton from Lyon Equipment.
The opening round could not of gone better so a massive thanks to everyone who turned up and I look forward to everyone at Evolution on the 18th October where your routes are being set by Gaz Parry.
The rest of the dates are listed here on thr SIBL web site.
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