On Sunday 28th February 2010, Mile End Climbing Wall hosted the Final of the 2009/10 SIBL series and what a Round it turned out to be. This was the second year in a row Mile End had held the final round and yet again they didn't disappoint.
The route setters at Mile End had worked hard to create some brilliantly thought out problems using their experience to test the skills of the competitors. Routes were set in all of the main rooms including the training areas with the monkey room providing some of the harder problems. The usual faces were in attendance with another strong show from the Evolution squad as well as a whole bunch of new faces that turned out to either watch or join in the fun.
Over 130 competitors across all four categories beginning to tackle the problems with the usual friendliness that the SIBL is renowned for. It didn't take long before competitors began to work out the moves on some of the harder problems with Ben Read flashing the super-hard blue volume problem in the main room. Some of the problems however required a gentler approach where brute strength was of little use. One such problem was the expertly created chimney problem in the main room. This managed to spit out a few competitors but again was soon being sent using some cunning foot work and general squirming and smearing to the top.
Barnaby Ventham, competing in the Male Juniors category, made a great effort on the hardest problem (Font7c/+) in the training room falling two moves from the top hold on his first attempt. This problem proved the hardest of the day seeing very few people reaching the top hold. Even the height of Mile End wall didn't put off the climbers with some impressive high ball climbing being done by even the smallest of competitors.
In addition to the competition, Wild Country held a Red Chili shoe demo in the main climbing area so when in need of a rest competitors could try out the latest offerings as well as get professional advice about correct shoe fittings. This proved hugely popular with all competitors, especially climbers new to the sport who had their eyes open to the importance of good fitting shoes, and the difference it makes their climbing. Red Bull were also on hand all day giving away free merchandise to competitors as well as joining in on some of the problems. Mile End had also laid on free food all day to everyone which went down a treat.
Since this was the final Final we had to sets of winners to announce: The Mile End round winners, and the overall Series Winners.
The final results for the Mile End Round were:
- Ben Read 183
- Bodley Zhang 180
- Richard Bartlett 177
- Suzie Zitter 147
- Emily Garrod 133
- Clara Vergaz 131
- Barnaby Ventham 169
- Jonny White 161
- Sebastian Powderham 153
- Kitty Wallace 170
- Storme Biggs 150
- Abi Heath 144
The overall winners of the 2009/10 Series were:
- Bodley Zhang 885
- Richard Bartlett 845
- Sam Cox 835
- Suzie Zitter 847
- Clara Vergaz 759
- Tiffany Soithongsuk 681
- Barnaby Ventham 901
- George Upson 883
- Ed Ratcliff 860
- Kitty Wallace 902
- Storme Biggs 808
- Isabelle Cooke 689
We also had two very special prizes to give away. As announced at the beginning of the series we had two coaching holidays to give away courtesy of Gaz Parry and his new coaching company, Epic adventures based in Gandia near Costa Blanc in Spain. These were to be awarded to the overall winners of both the Male and Female open categories. The winners were:
Bodley Zhang and Suzie Zitter.
SIBL would like to thank all the hard working staff at Mile End Climbing Wall especially their routes setters for setting a great round. Id also like to thank Mark Bridgman-Smith from Wild Country and Red Chili for all his hard efforts on the day running the demo for everyone, along with the Red Bull team for getting into the spirit of the day and competing.
So another series finished and what a great one it's been. This year saw our highest level of attendance with rounds hitting the 170 mark. Route setting and sponsorship has been better than ever before providing quality rounds at every venue. Id like to thank everyone who has been involved in this year's series including all our sponsors and walls. Without this level of support the SIBL would not be known for what it is today:
The UK's longest running and biggest bouldering competition.
I hope to see you all again later in the year and keep your eyes peeled on our website for details of the 2010/11 series. Were aiming even bigger next year!!!