On the 17th October 2010, Mile End Climbing wall in London hosted the first round of this year's Southern Indoor Bouldering Series (SIBL), opening its doors at 10am to over 200 competitors. The SIBL, the UK's biggest and longest running bouldering league was back, and bigger than ever!
This year, the SIBL is offering hundreds of pounds worth of prizes at every round, not just to those who finish on the podium but also on the spot prizes awarded by Sam and his judges to any one who they decide deserves them. The first round saw 15 goody bags handed out worth over £50 each to competitors who had tried hard and competed in the true spirit of the SIBL, acting in a fair and friendly way. On top of this, Jin from Igor&Frankie- the clothing company specialising in fair trade clothing, who had created and supplied all of this year's SIBL clothing - was about all day and was on hand to draw the winning names from the raffle at the end of the day with the lucky winners walking away with custom made Igor&Frankie Climb T Shirts.
Once the competition started, each competitor had 20 problems to go at, spanning the grade range to suit everyone, from the beginner to the seasoned pro. The problems cover a great variety of styles and competitors had to dig deep to overcome and top out on the hardest ones. The route setting team had used a new feature wall to great effect, setting one of the hardest problems of the competition on it. This threw off plenty of the strong climbers but eventually the sequence was worked out and a lucky few grabbed some welcome points. In the main room the atmosphere was great, with hundreds of climbers enjoying the problems as well as taking in the advise of Mark Bridgham-Smith from Wild Country and Red Chili who was running a free boot demo for all competitors.
At 3pm the final seconds were counted down and the first round came to a close. Tired but happy, the competitors started handing in their score cards and eagerly awaited the results. The Mile End Team then put the finishing touches to the head-to-head route and the top five open scores were called up to battle it out. The first of this year's head-to-head routes was a long one, a low start heading upwards to a tricky traverse section above the cave and dropping back down again to finish up the tricky sequence of the main slabs.
The final results for the competition were:
- Jon Partridge 205
- Ben Read 191
- Peter Wycislik 188
- Kitty Wallace 174
- Tiffany Soithongsuk 149
- Alison Banwell 145
- Jonny White 181
- Jez Etherton 180
- Seb Ponderham 177
- Lily Rosengard 157
- Molly Thompson Smith 154
- Micky Banert-Lucas 143
Head to head winner
SIBL would like to thank everyone involved especially all the staff at Mile End and their route setting team. A massive thanks to Mark Bridgham Smith and Wild Country and Red Chili for sponsoring the round and making an appearance on the day.
The next round is on 28th November 2010 at Evolution Climbing Centre in Tunbridge Wells. For more information on the SIBL and to see photos from the first round visit www.sibl.co.uk