Gold and Silver for GB in European Youth Bouldering Championships

The GB Junior Bouldering Team had a stunning competition in L'Argentière-la-Bessée, France last weekend, with Aidan Roberts becoming Britain's first European Champion in bouldering and Hamish Potokar taking 2nd Place. Max Milne came 6th in what was his first international event.

Aidan Roberts: Britain's first European Bouldering Champion, 75 kb
Aidan Roberts: Britain's first European Bouldering Champion
© The Circuit Climbing

The European Youth Championship is a one-off annual event, which this year doubled as the second and final round of the European Youth Cup. Aidan also managed to secure a 3rd place overall in the Cup in addition to his Gold medal, competing in the Youth A category (age 15/16). Aidan told UKC:

"I can't say I ever expected to get a result this high, this early in my climbing career. It's only 6 months ago when making the GB team was the greatest achievement of my life and even then making finals in a European felt like a dream. This was my second European bouldering event and it felt like it made up for my last one where I placed 16th but felt like I climbed well below my ability. I was happy that this event came with few mistakes and I'd say the final blocs suited me well.

Aidan Roberts competing in the finals of the European Youth Championships, 54 kb
Aidan Roberts competing in the finals of the European Youth Championships
© Sheila Farrell McCarron

"The knowledge that I'd won came as a huge surprise but this was added to when I discovered that I'd been placed 3rd overall as well! I look forward to competing in the Worlds and the Europeans next year and I hope I can keep up the form!"

Aidan's reaction upon hearing he'd won...!
© Sheila Farrell McCarron

18 year-old Bristol-based Hamish was competing in the Juniors category in what is his final year as a junior. Having picked up Bronze at the same venue last year, Hamish was pleased to make one step higher on the podium:

"The comp was really fun. In the past I have always climbed well at this venue, partly due to it's more basic style, and I think psychologically this made a big difference going in to the comp. As for the result itself I'm really happy, feels like a great way to end my time competing in EYC's, but also a nice place to be in the lead up to the first ever youth bouldering world championship at the end of august, my last ever competition as part of the junior GB team!" 

Hamish Potokar on his way to 2nd Place, 64 kb
Hamish Potokar on his way to 2nd Place
© The Circuit Climbing

Great Britain finished 5th in the team rankings ahead of top-performing countries such as Germany and Switzerland. The competition also marked an emotional time for team Captain Rachel Carr, in what was her last junior event before moving on to the senior team. A handful of the 16-strong British Team are now preparing for the World Youth Championships in Arco, Italy in August.

The GB Bouldering Team in L'Argentière la Bessée, 115 kb
The GB Bouldering Team in L'Argentière la Bessée
© The Circuit Climbing

British Results:

Female Junior
Rachel Carr - 24th
Tara Hayes - 16th
Male Junior
Alex Waterhouse - 12th
Billy Ridal - 19th
Hamish Potokar - 2nd
Female Youth A
Hannah Slaney - 18th
Silvia Barrett -14th
Male Youth A
Luke Murphy - 32nd
James Mabon -28th
Ed Mabon -31st
Aidan Roberts - 1st
Female Youth B
Gwyneth Uttley - 24th
Eugenie Lee - 25th
Male Youth B
Jack Ramsden - 24th
Max Milne - 6th

Full results here.

Aidan is sponsored by: Eden Rock, Julbo, La Sportiva, Petzl and Tinyclimb Chalkbags

Hamish is sponsored by: Banana Fingers, Moon, Scarpa, Sports Aid and The Climbing Academy

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