Tim Emmett and Angelika Rainer were crowned Red Bull White Cliffs champions on the Isle of Wight last week, after speed-climbing the 115m chalk cliff in just over 16 and 21 minutes respectively. This is the second year that the unique drytooling event has taken place, held at Scratchell's Bay and attracting an international group of ice, winter and alpine climbers.
Now based in Canada, Britain's Tim Emmett was competing for the first time in the event and fought-off some stiff competition from France's Jeff Mercier and top competition ice climber Aleksei Tomilov.
Commenting on his win, Tim told UKC:
"An unusual but very enjoyable event that was well organised by Scott Muir and his team. The climbing itself was superb, very athletic and exciting at times! It also brought together some of the best climbers in the World. Great Fun!"
In the women's event, Italian athlete Angelika Rainer set a time of 21:33:75 to take the win ahead of HaNaRai Song of Korea and Canada's Sarah Hueniken.
This year the competitors were leading the routes, rather than top-roping, making the competition even more exciting for climbers and spectators alike.
Regarding the logistics for the competition, event organiser Scott Muir told UKC:
"Chalk is predictably unpredictable and requires a cautious approach to complete the routes in as fast a time as possible. With protection well placed but still suspect (drive in warthogs – not bolts) athletes need to fight the voices in the head that protection could pull out in monster falls, whilst dragging the weight and friction in 100m of twin rope (200m on one’s harness). The nagging gravity of an unrelentingly overhanging cliff, the sea below and the rope disappearing below over roofs and cave lips and the never ending view of draws swinging in space above makes this event very special. Surrounded by flint this is no place to fall. All athletes top out physically spent and all confirm the event as an amazing way to kick off the mixed and competition season ahead."
"The event wouldn’t be possible without permission and guidance from the National Trust, Coastguard, the Isle of White Tourist Board and a mega safety team consisting of AMI and BMG members."
White Cliffs 2015: The Results
1st) Tim Emmett (UK) – 16:48:71
2nd) Jeff Mercier (FRA) – 16:51:90
3rd) Aleksei Tomilov (RUS) – 16:59:80
1st) Angelika Rainer (ITA) – 21:33:75
2nd) HanNaRai Song (KOR) – 24:05:69
3rd) Sarah Hueniken (CAN) – 29:36:43