Saturday March 5th saw the culmination of the six rounds of the SNBL; the first national league in Scotland. Round six was held at EICA Ratho.
In the end there were over 110 competitors taking part in the League. The biggest category was predictably the Adult Male with 69 entrants, but the Adult Female category attracted 20. The big surprise was the number in the Veteran Male category (12) and members of this group were undoubtedly the keenest, traveling across Scotland to most of the rounds. The scoring was based on the best four results from a possible six rounds, with the positions achieved at each round ranked, with the winner receiving 100 SNBL points and decreasing points thereafter. To be in with the best chance of gaining the highest position at the end of the league, competitors had to do at least four rounds, if not more if they felt they could increase their ranking by trying a different venue; there were definitely some tactics involved in deciding which rounds to compete at.
In the junior Female category Gemma Robertson came 3rd with GB Team member Rebecca Kinghorn being pipped to 2nd by Kirsten Taylor; whilst in the Junior Male Jack Mckechnie scored the maximum 400 points in each of his four competed rounds to take 1st place beating William Bosi (2nd) and Eadan Cunningham (3rd).
The Adult Female category was very strong and the winner, Ajda Remskar, also scored an impressive 100 points for each of her four rounds. 2nd and 3rd place was hotly contested with Alison Macdougall and Laura Ann Begbie neck and neck after three rounds, with just the final round at Ratho splitting them, Alison taking 2nd place.
The Adult Male category was huge, with large numbers attending the southern rounds, although less so the rounds in the north. There were a few notable big names missing with the likes of Robbie Phillips only managing one round (and still managing to get equal 11th place), but that was not to say that there was no contest. The top four contenders were pretty keen, with their positions swapping back and forth; however in the end, Wayne Murphy took 3rd place, Alexander Bosi 2nd and Luke Fairweather 1st.
Finally, but by no means least, the Veteran categories were very interesting. In the Female’s competition it was really down to a fight between Avril Gall and Helen Rowlands, competing different events for half their rounds but with Avril just managing those few extra problems at the rounds where they were head to head to take 1st place and Helen getting 2nd. The surprise was a joint 3rd place being snatched in the final round by Debbie Riley. In the Male category the competition was most fiercely fought between a group of five climbers. In the end Dave Eadie took 3rd, Brendan Pollitt 2nd and Gareth Yardley 1st.
“Thanks for organizing the SNBL - I really enjoyed taking part and it kept my motivation going through the winter! The problems on Saturday were especially good and a beer afterwards always helps! Hopefully the series will gather momentum - I know that there are many out there who could give me a run for my money and come along next year to grab the title! Off to Fontainebleau in the Easter holidays so hopefully the training will pay off”
Gareth Yardley (Veteran Male Winner)
“I enjoyed taking part in SNBL not least because it took me to some new walls, I met new climbers and I pushed myself on some brilliant problems. Helen and I would like to thank the setters for taking pity on us and letting us compete alongside the younger climbers so our scores were respectable in the final round. I hope more mature ladies join us next year and thanks to all the sponsors for their support.”
Avril Gall (Vet Ladies Winner)
We would like to thank the Host Walls for making the league possible and to MCofS Competitions Coordinator, John Donaldson, for designing the scoring spreadsheet and inputting scores and presenting the prizes at Round 6. The prizes were generously donated by Allcord and included Climb X boulder matts and Camp winners T Shirts for 1st place, Camp Boulder Buckets and Trangoworld Trousers for 2nd and Tendon Beanies and Camp Chalk Bags for 3rd.
SNBL Host Walls were:
Alien Rock, Edinburgh
Transition Extreme, Aberdeen
Avertical World, Dundee
If you wish to get some beta on the new-look problems at Ratho, see the videos of their setters demonstrating how easy they were (!) on the EICA Setters Facebook Page.
Full scores can be found on the MCofS website.