The Scottish Youth Bouldering Championship (SYBC) was a single day event held at Transition Extreme climbing wall in Aberdeen.
The event was initially open to the top five finishers form each category of last year's competition, but was later opened to 'wild card' competitors who could enter on the day. The SYBC is an annual event.
The competition had a qualifying round with bonus holds then semi finals and the much awaited finals.
The music DJ's created a brilliant party atmosphere, giving the kids building entry music when they came out to compete.
The twenty nine problems ranged from V0 to V6/7, mostly set by local developer Tim Tankin and centre manager Duncan Paterson.
Ryan Slater - Transition Extreme
The event got off to a smooth start and continued in that manner throughout the day.
The qualifying round consisted of ten routes for each age category. After three hours of exciting and challenging competition the top four from each category were put forward to the semi final stages.
It was encouraging to see kids from different geographical areas in competition with each other, but at the same time supporting and encouraging one another and sharing information on how to climb the problems.
The semi-finals were fought over two routes for each category, using points for holds/moves.
For the finals new pre-set problems were unveiled and the lights in the climbing arena dimmed.
A spotlight illuminated the climber and problem from high on the raised platform in the middle of the arena; the position from where the two DJ's and the event compare had kept us entertained throughout the day.
The atmospheric lighting and suitably stirring music added to the tension as the first of the young climbers emerged and paved the way for the drama to unfold.
First out, the girls 8 – 10 final contested between Rachel Tennant from the Quickdraw Climbing Club and Rebecca Kinghorn from Aberdeen's Granite City Rock Stars (GCRS). They had four minutes and only one attempt at one particularly tricky problem.
The 11 – 13 girls saw Dawn Longworth (Inverness) and Sofie Hvide (GCRS) have the closest of battles on a series of desperate slopers which saw Dawn victorious by the closest of margins, only one point separating the girls. To Dawn's credit she requested a super final climb off as they had been so close but the judges were in agreement that yes it was close but we did have a clear winner so the result stood.
Four talented young climbers hotly contested the final in the 11 – 13 boys category. William Bossi, Scott Donaldson (GCRS) and Angus Davidson. On the same problem as as the girls battled over we saw Scott and Euan peel off at 54 points, Angus coming off just before and William with a magnificent display of technique and sheer determination narrowly missing the top out.
Abbey Niven (GCRS) and Abi Beautyman dramatically battled out the 14- 16 girls final giving us the only super final climb off of the day after both came off a particularly gnarly crimpy problem at exactly the same point. As the tension in the arena rose Abbey came out to shouts of encouragement from all sections of the crowd. Looking calm under the spotlights glare Abbey took her time and composed her self before commencing. She climbed confidently to the crux of the problem and made a valiant effort to gain the next hold but failed to hold it and came off. Abi appeared to similar encouragement and after a strong challenge failed to move from the hold that Abbey had moments earlier progresses from. We had a clear winner.
The 14 – 16 boys Rhys Maslen and Chris Mathews both from Aberdeen gave us fantastic conclusion to the competition. Chris was first out and following a strong determined effort he just failed to make it through the crux move. A brilliant display in what was his first competition of this sort. Rhys Maslen had it all to do if he was to secure the title. He strode out confidently and kept the tension high as he took his time, studied the problem before committing 100% to the challenge. Rhys powered through the crux topping out in style to the acclaim of the gathered crowd. We had our winner. Minutes after the competition Chris was back on the problem topping out on his next attempt.
Special thanks to Duncan Paterson and Tim Tankin for setting. Johannes Felter for his dedication. Doug Niven for his support. And all who turned up to make the day.
- See the Transition climbing blog for the full results and scores.