Climb Newcastle's eighth Annual Spring Boulder Open took place on 6th/7th May. The first time the event had taken place over 2 days, the new format was a success with 180 scorecards handed in during the qualification round.
Records were broken too; Dave Barrans posted the first ever full house at an ASBO competition, flashing all 30 problems - impressive given the calibre of previous competitors. Just as impressive were high scores from Luke Murphy and Orrin Coley, who joined two-time ASBO champion Nigel Callender and local student Jake Oughton in the final.
GB team member Michaela Tracy impressed in qualification and joined three former ASBO champions: Sid Graham, Alison Gibbings and Karin Magog in the finals on the Saturday afternoon. Issy Orwin, competing as an under-16, posted the fifth highest score but sat out the final due to injury. As the crowd gathered, three tough problems, set by Andy Earl, Suzan Dudink and Chris Graham, awaited the finalists. The first was flashed by all four in impressive style. The second was tough, and whilst Sid and Karin struggled to figure out the starting moves, Alison gained a crucial bonus which would see her finish second. Michaela then unlocked the sequence, flashing again. The final problem crossed the lip of the roof with a big rose move. Sid came close to the bonus but again it was left to Michaela, who brilliantly finished it off to become ASBO 16 champion.
After a brief intermission, during which the setting team frantically tweaked the final problems, the men started off with a (now) extremely tricky groove problem. Luke and Dave topped the first, with Luke flashing to take the lead on attempts starting problem 2. Where problem 1 was technical, problem 2 was the opposite, with some basic dead-pointing between poor holds (an 'Andy Earl Special'). Luke and Orrin both topped, but so too did Dave, in fewer attempts to take the lead back. Problem 3 was outrageous, only Orrin passing the bonus hold with a stupendous backward dyno. It was worthy of a champion, but Orrin couldn't quite finish, leaving Dave with the ASBO title.
1. Michaela Tracy
2. Alison Gibbings
3. Sid Graham
4. Karin Magog
5. Issy Orwin
1. Dave Barrans
2. Luke Murphy
3. Orrin Coley
4. Nigel Callender
5. Jake Oughton
Watch some videos of the finals below: