SIBL 2010/11 Round 5 Report

A competitor on one of the harder Male Open problems  © SIBL
A competitor on one of the harder Male Open problems
Last Sunday (13th Feb) saw the fifth round of this year's Southern Indoor Bouldering League (SIBL) take place at the newly refurbished and extended Arch Climbing Wall in London.

Liam Halsey won the Male open, Abi Heath won the female open.

The venue is now almost three times as a big as before, with a unique roof section that drops the climber off into one of two spectator areas. The Arch is housed in old railway tunnels, shaped perfectly for great bouldering with almost endless expansion possibilities.

The task of route setting for the round was given to The Arch's very own Yann with help from visiting climber and professional route setter Jamie Cassidy. By Saturday evening the problems had been set and all that was left was to check the tape and await the arrival of the competitors in the morning.

Sunday morning dawned at and 10 o'clock the doors were opened and registration for the day began. This year the SIBL has seen a huge increase in numbers from previous years and has started to implement split start times. This meant that the juniors got underway at 11 0 clock with the Open category starting an hour later. The juniors would then finish at four whilst the Open category climbed on till five allowing both Junior and Open an hour on there own amongst the problems. This seemed to work very well with the competition never seeming crowded despite more than 150 competitors turning up.

Baranby Ventham on the hadest of the Male Open problems  © SIBL
Baranby Ventham on the hadest of the Male Open problems
As usual the league title chasers were in action trying desperately to walk away from Yann's V9 problem 6 with some points, with Ben Read making light work of the problem on his second attempt. Local walls in the region had also entered their teams into the event with strong performances from the Westway Team and Evolution's squad of youngsters. The tricky 'Prana' slab problem only allowed those competitors with precise footwork and good balance to grab the final hold despite the route setters confidence that with the right technique and sequence the problem is only V4.

Over the next five hours competitors made their way through the problems which included the chance to try out the Arch's new competition wall. The friendly atmosphere gave the day a very pleasant feel to it and its great to see the old competition pro's willing to stop and mark or give advise to the next generation. The competition was brought to an end when the final call for the Open category to hand in their score cards was given at five o clock. Whilst the judges finalised the scores the competitors gathered in the new section of the Arch to await to hear who had made it into the head to head. At each round the top five scores from the Open category get to battle it out with only a quick inspection of the route for preparation. This time, the crux proved to be a sidewards dyno from a very slopey hold which proved to much for all but Rob Garjand and Liam Halsey who managed to hold on to complete the route. Liam Halsey took the win with an impressive time of 42.6 seconds.

SIBL Round 5 - The Arch  © SIBL
SIBL Round 5 - The Arch

The final results for the competition were:

Male Open

  • Liam Halsey 188
  • Rob Gajland 188 (joint 1st)
  • Ben Read 187

Female Open

  • Abi Heath 148
  • Tiffany Soithongsuk 146
  • Emily Garrod 131

Male Junior

  • Jez Etherton 181
  • Max Wright 181 (joint 1st)
  • Buster Martin 171

Female Junior

  • Lily Rosengard 157
  • Micky Barnet Lucas 151
  • Ellie Bacmeister 150

Head to head winner

Liam Halsey (42.6 Seconds)

This year's SIBL series is also being covered by Ed Ratcliff and his media company, Slender Films. Check out the Arch Video below.

SIBL would like to thank all of the competitors who turned out and especially The Arch climbing wall for letting us take over the place all day. A special thanks to Yann and Jamie Cassidy for their hard work route setting and Moon for sponsoring the event.

The next round is on the 19th March 2011 at Craggy Island 2 – Sutton.

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