On Saturday 6th Feb, F-BO16 entertained and challenged 120 climbers. This year there were two new categories , juniors 10-13 years and vets 50 and over adding to youth 14-17 years and seniors 18-49.
In the qualification all the climbers had 25 blocs except for the lower juniors who had 20, with 5 of these just for them! For the junior categories this was also the deciding round for the junior champions. Winners of the lower junior 10-13yrs were Grace Trenchard and Dayan Akhtar. 14 to 17's Joe Czumkowski and Sidonie Graham. Sidonie climbed really well, achieving a place in top 6 women for the senior final.
After 5 hours grappling with the 25 blocs we had the top six men and six women through to the final onsight with no ties. Men were Billy Ridal, Orin Coley, Nathan Phillips, James Noble, Ned Feehally and Ben Moon. Women were Sidonie Graham, Jo Allen, Diane Merrick, Michaela Tracy, Tara Hayes and Flo Tilley.
After 2 minutes to observe each of their 4 problems the first man and woman are brought out of isolation to climb their first problems in 4 minutes. All the men flashed theirs and 4 out of the 6 women with Joe and Sidonie missing out. The men’s second problem was on the right edge of ‘the wave’. Really mean this one. No ascents, Ned and Nathan getting to ticking distance on the finish hold. It was beginning to look like just the effort required to reach the bonus holds on these problems was going to separate them rather than successful ascents. The women have to get over the roof of the wave with a big top out move – Jo gets this first go, Michaela and Tara on their second attempts with no others ticking it.
The men’s third problem is on a series of poor volumes up a 20 degree section. Sloping and open handed cusping and grappling gets Ned to the top on his second go, but no others make it. The women have a swinging ball on a rope to take a ride on to reach the start of the more standard climbing on their classic central wave problem – Michaela is so close to hanging the finish but no one will top out.
Final problem – for the men it's their turn on the main wave, steep and nasty, not nice after 25 qualifying and 3 final blocs – it wasn't going to be beaten, or was it….Ned again, on his fifth attempt, tops it – the only finalist to complete 3 problems and deservedly making him the new King of the Wave! Second is James and Nathan in third – the two only split by their qualifying result.
The women have an easier time of it on their final bloc. Set on the 10 degree section on volumes – there’s almost a hands off rest on it – have the setters eased the difficulty on this one – Tara, Michaela and Diane top it first time. Tara and Michaela are the only two to do 3 blocs, but the victory goes to Michaela having got to bonus holds in fewer attempts than Tara. Michaela is the new Queen of the Wave, Tara in second and Diane takes third.
Thank you to all sponsors (Mammut, FiveTen, Moon Climbing, The Clinic, Bleaustone/Lapis/Axis, and CragX Climbing Shop).
1st Ned Feehally, Michaela Tracy – F-BO16 Champions
2nd James Noble, Tara Hayes
3rd Nathan Philips, Diane Merrick
4th Billy Ridal, Flo Tilley
5th Ben Moon, Jo Allen
6th Orrin Coley, Sidonie Graham
Watch the short film of the event by Rich Heap and Ben Pritchard (Slackjaw films).