On Saturday 7th March The Climbing Works welcomed 350 competitors from all over the UK, Europe and the World as they came to compete at The Climbing Works International Festival. This much-anticipated event drew a mixture of competitors - from seasoned world-class boulderers to relative newcomers to the sport. Shauna Coxsey held onto her CWIF crown for her 4th year in a row and Germany's Alex Megos took the men's title after a clean sweep in the finals.
The top 20 competitors from Saturday morning's qualifying round would go on to compete in the semi-finals on Sunday, with Britain's Dave Barrans and Shauna Coxsey coming out on top of the qualifying field.
Twitter followers were treated to live Question & Answer sessions on Saturday with Alex Megos, Shauna and Jorg Verhoeven. Climbers Against Cancer founder John Ellison was also present under the guise of Elvis Presley.
Sunday afternoon saw Shauna leading once again in the semi-finals and Rolands Rugens of Latvia qualified in 1st place for the finals in the men's event.
The finals took place in the evening, attracting a huge crowd of enthusiastic supporters as usual. Competing for the top spot in the men's event were Rolands Rugens (LAT), Thomas Caleyron (FRA), Alex Megos (GER), Baptiste Ometz (SUI), and Britain's very own Ben West and Dave Barrans.
For the women, Shauna was joined by Chloé Caulier (BEL), Klementine Kaiser (FRA), Vera Zijlstra (NED) and GB team members Diane Merrick and Leah Crane.
After a busy barbecue, the spectators took their seats and the finals began. Four problems set by the world-class routesetting team headed by Percy Bishton split the competitors perfectly and provided some entertaining viewing with numerous volumes and dynamic moves.
Shauna completed all four problems in just five attempts, ahead of Klementine Kaiser and Diane Merrick who both achieved two tops in three and five attempts respectively - showing Shauna's form ahead of the 2015 World Cup season. Diane's performance in the final certainly got the British members of the crowd behind her and her 2015 season looks to be off to a very promising start indeed.
She commented: "I was so excited about coming 3rd in CWIF that I couldn't sleep afterwards! The atmosphere was amazing; so much support from the crowd, Climbing Works, competitors and Boreal. I had so much fun climbing and then got to meet Elvis (support CAC)!"
Alex Megos proved his worth by flashing all four problems with ease - unsurprising perhaps for someone who has recently bouldered 8C! Dave Barrans put in a sterling effort to take 2nd place, also topping all four but taking ten attempts to do so. Thomas "Tito" Caleyron followed in 3rd place with flashes of three problems.
As usual the awards ceremony was eccentric, with a hanging volume podium and the wearing of an Elvis quiff made obligatory for the winners.
In the team event, which takes group scores from the qualifying round into account, the unbeatable Team WAD (Shauna Coxsey, Ned Feehally, Thomas Caleyron, Jorg Verhoeven) took the title once again, followed by Team Evolv and Team DMM.
You can rewatch the Finals on the IFSC YouTube page.
Want to get a taste of the whole weekend? Check out The Climbing Works Instagram account (@climbingworks) for more short videos and photos. You can also check out their Twitter account (@climbingworks #CWIF) for photos and reactions from the athletes, the crowd and of course Climbing Works themselves.
Full results are available at www.thecwif.com
The CWIF raised money for both CAC and Mind over the weekend. A big thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets and donated their money to these great charities.
The CWIF is sponsored by Berghaus, Adidas, DMM, Scarpa, Axis & Volx. Thanks also to TDC-AV (lights & sound), Horizion (webcast), Nick Brown Media (filming) and BandofBirds (social media & filming) for their help over the weekend.
Without the support of the above companies The CWIF would not be as much fun.