Tim Emmett and Angelika Rainer were crowned Red Bull White Cliffs champions on the Isle of Wight last week, after lead-climbing the 115m chalk cliff in 6 and 21 minutes respectively. This is the second year that the unique drytooling event has taken place, held at Scratchell's Bay and attracting an international group of ice, winter and alpine climbers.
Perhaps this event would be more popular with the public if they allowed spectators and open to more climbers and not just an elite. Although it did look fun for the elite that got to go and got to climb the chalk without having to go through the terrifying experience of equipping a decomposing cliff (I have, not recommended). As per Redbull, yes of course it's a publicity stunt like everything else they do, but they might as well share a bit of their wealth with the incredibly talented team (Scott Muir, Cubby et al) that worked down in the Isle of White for a week. They could have spend it on some motorsport event or similar.
Yes would agree. The lack of audience does make this feel like a publicity stunt rather than an 'event'. Probably difficult for the public to view though. It's a long abseil to the base of the cliff, I think its tidal, and difficult to escape, so any audience would probably need to arrive by boat. I imagine it would be a logistical headache. Not much to see from the top either.