Here Rob Haigh gives us a run down of the Battle of Britain Bouldering Competition.
The comp was won by (split in to age categories): Leah Crane and Adam Watson (Senior), Jane Dalton and Rob Calver (Vets), Gabriella Stewart and Ed Mabon (Age 12-15), Kitty Morrison and Jack Goodyear/Josh Ibbertson (Age 7-11)
Saturday the 19th October saw the crowds gather at the New Climbing Depot Nottingham for the 2013 Battle of Britain. Competitors had travelled from all over the country for the 4th annual event, indeed 40 had travelled from the climbing mecca of Brighouse, another coach load from The Depot Leeds.
Each age category had 30 problems to work through of increasing difficulty from V0 to V10. The youngest had to complete 10 of their own problems before getting stuck into some of the adults circuit.
At 4 o'clock qualification ended and scores were calculated. In the senior category Nathan Phillips managed to flash every problem, with the next 14 men each perfectly separated with unique score. Mina Leslie-Wujastyk led the ladies with 3 British Junior Team members, Tara Hayes, Molly Thompson-Smith and Jenny Wood along with Leah Crane making up the top 5.
The other age groups were decided by the qualifiers alone. Jane Dalton and Rob Calver did Leeds proud with 1st places in the veterans, whilst in the 12-15 Female age group Gabriella Stewart won a very contested close girls category.
Veteran Female Podium
Veteran Male Podium
12-15 Girls Podium
The 12-15 Male saw both Ed and James Mabon take 1st and 2nd respectively from Luke Murphy in 3rd place. Depot Leeds Summer League winner Tommy Matthews came 4th. The 7-11 youngsters field was equally strong with every child completing between 10 and 23 problems. Perennial joint winner Jack Goodyear again shared the spoils, this time with Josh Ibbertson of the clan Ibbertson.
12-15 Boys Podium
7-11 Boys Podium
The girls title was taken by Kitty Morrison. Kitty, Jack and Josh all completed 13 of the adult problems which in itself was a fantastic achievement.
7-11 Girls Podium
As the senior finalists were ushered into isolation whispers of pizza circulated…the rumours were true, free pizza for everyone! Except me, apparently. Beer o'clock came and went and Steve took to the floor to distribute a lorry load raffle goodies provided by our generous sponsors Scarpa, Grivel and Outdoor Research.
The crowd awaiting the Senior Finals
At 6 we saw the finalists back under the final 3 problems for a brief observation before they all disappeared back into isolation to start sweating. After a brief foray on the mic Tom passed it to Steve like a hot potato. Perfectly in time for the first competitors coming out!
The Senior Females observing the final problems
First out came Will Buck, the 7 foot tall lankmeister from Leeds. It's essentially just a dyno and Will gets the crowd going with a top at the 3rd attempt. Second up is Angry Dan Turner who goes one better and ticks after 2 goes. Adam Watson is up next and crikey, if he doesn't tower over Will! The Geordie Giant flashes the dyno and the roof comes off! Ned Feehally and Nathan Phillips follow after a couple of attempts each.
Ned on Problem 1
Dan Turner Tops Problem 1
Over on girls problem Jenny Wood, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Tara Hayes reached the bonus on their first attempt but got no further. Leah Crane topped after dropping the top move first go and then Molly Thompson-Smith flashed it to go to the top of the leaderboard.
Leah getting to grips with Problem 1
Mina on Problem 1
Leah on the final moves of Problem 1
Womens problem 2 looked hard to start and 3 of the girls, Jenny, Molly and Tara each failed to reach the bonus hold. A triumph of experience over age saw Leah and Mina both flashing it though and, true to form, put them temporarily in 1st and 2nd.
Leah on problem 1
Mens problem 2 took in the right side of the huge comp wall involving lots of jumping between poor holds, screaming and falling off. Only Ned made the Bonus hold which put him into 1st place going onto the last problem.
Nathan on Problem 2
Dan Turner on Problem 2
Watson on problem 2
Womens problem 3 started at the back of the big roof and came straight out via a couple of volumes. Each competitor seemed to get a little further and Mina slapped at the bonus but with no change in the order our Champion for the second year running was Leah Crane closely followed by her fellow British Team Member Mina Leslie-Wujastyk. 3rd, 4th and 5th were the 3 Junior British Team Members Molly Thompson-Smith, Tara Hayes and Jenny Wood.
Jenny on problem 3
Molly hanging out on problem 3
Leah working out the volume section on problem 3
Tara on problem 3
With everything still to play for we reached the final problem. Mens 3 looked very difficult to read with the bonus hold way up the wall after loads of desperate scrabbling. Big Will huffed and puffed but his house blew down slapping the bonus. The heavily moustachioed Dan Turner had similar issues, but with more fuming! Adam came out 3rd and on his second go he got a big handful of bonus which put him in front. Ned would win if he reached the same point but it was not to be. Nathan also struggled which left Adam Watson Battle of Britain Champion 2013 with Ned Feehally second and Dan Turner third.
Will Buck tackling problem 3
Nathan reaching towards the bonus on Problem 3
Adam on the decider, problem 3
Adam Watson gets the bonus hold on Problem 3 to take the title!
Womens Seniors on the Podium
Adam collects his prize for 1st place
Mens Seniors on the Podium
More photos available here:
Thanks must go to our sponsors: Grivel, Outdoor Research and Scarpa without the generosity of which the event would not have taken place. Thank you also to all the competitors and parents thereof for making the event another outstanding success.