On Saturday 7th Feb F-BO15 took over the The Foundry's bouldering walls with 100 competitors getting to grips with the 25 problem qualification round.
To make things more spread out and to add some extra spicy problems a section of the main wall was used giving a rather nice 20 degree overhanging section which Rob Napier and Andy Long (the F-BO setters) used with many 'interesting' volumes and features, including an overhanging jamming crack and swinging 'wreckin ball!'
There were 20 junior entries and 80 seniors. The qualification round would decide the Junior champions. 1st place male junior went to Finn Hatton with an impressive score of 193 which gave him 14th overall, second to Alex Hall (182) and a close third to Nathan Whaley with 177. Junior females were very impressive. The top Junior girl was Becki Whaley, second Gracie Martin and third Ellie Bacmeister all into the final as they all came in the top 6 women overall.
Six men and six women went through to the onsight finals. The top men were Sam Whittaker, Mike Adams, Stu Littlefair, Ethan Walker, Ben Moon and Cailean Harker. Female finalists were Ellie Bacmeister, Ella Russell, Gracie Martin, Sarah Pashley, Charlotte Warner and Becki Whaley.
Four problems for the men and four for the women. Chief judge, Graeme Alderson, brought the climbers out, one man and woman, in qualification reverse order. With ongoing commentary by Percy Bishton and Jerry Moffatt, we were set for an entertaining final.
The 'crack' soon sorted out those men who were proficient at jamming (the organiser was feeling kind, tape had been supplied for them to make tape gloves while in isolation) and those who were not. Sam 'The Works' Whittaker and Cailean flashed it and five men got up it. Gracie, Becky and Sarah all flashed their first problem with all the women succeeding second try in their 4 minute+ time limit.
The second problem forced the men to show some impressive leg flexibility - being able to do the splits (well, almost!) was useful and Ben Moon showed how it's done, being the only man to flash this problem. The women on their second problem had another volume-littered mantleshelf/rockover on the main wall. Gracie and Becky again forged ahead with top outs on their second tries. Ella showed excellent tenacity and staying power with success on her fifth attempt.
Halfway through the final and the men had to contend with the 'silliest' (or most creative depending on your view) problem of the day. A spherical 'Lapis rolly ball' on a length of rope hung in the middle of the wave bomb bay. Some swinging fun followed and a higher move stopped all the men.
The women's third problem - up the Wave's central groove, no moving parts to contend with but still, not nice.... Six climbers tried but only one would succeed on this, second try - Ella.
The final showdown for the men. A classic up the Wave face proper. Four men tried it , Stu got super close but only Ben nailed it on his fifth try - he topped out and the crowd went wild. Ben was the winner, King of the Wave!
Next to the men, the women were fighting their own battle on the Wave's main face. Ella was on a roll now and topped it first go, this meant no matter what the others did she could not be beaten as she was the only woman to climb all four problems and was the winner, Queen of the Wave!
A good time was had by all, watch out for the film shot by Rich Heap and Ben Pritchard (Slackjaw) coming very soon. Thanks to all sponsors, competitors, judges, brushers, the audience and anyone else who helped.
Results and full write up here.