This weekend a novel competition format will take place simultaneously in four climbing walls around the world: The MoonBoard Masters. Wannabes can compete alongside system board WADS on the standardised MoonBoard, thanks to the wonder of livestreaming. Pro climbers are teaming up to compete against other teams at designated walls:
...and you can try to beat them!
We asked event organisers Ben Moon and Matt Wild at Moon Climbing a few questions about this unique event...
How did the idea for the MoonBoard Masters come about?
Ben: The concept was my idea.The MoonBoard is a standardised training board that can be replicated the world over. This puts it in a unique position and allows any climber with access to a MoonBoard to climb on the same problems as each other. I have wanted to have a MoonBoard competition for several years now and I like the idea of being able to invite some of the strongest climbers in the world to compete against each other without them having to travel half way around the world. Obviously it's new territory and amongst other things we are heavily reliant on technology, but hopefully we can pull it off!
Explain the concept: for those who are unfamiliar with the MoonBoard itself, how does it work? How will the format and the scoring for the Masters event work?
Matt: The MoonBoard is a standardised climbing wall, built to exact specifications. The MoonBoard is linked to a mobile app that contains over 15,000 problems, created by MoonBoard users all around the world.
Due to its standardised format it makes a multi location competition relatively simple to manage, and we have made the format and scoring as simple as possible.
The competition format
The day before the event (8th December) the MoonBoard is reset, with the MoonBoard 2018 setup, this is the first time anyone will have seen this setup, it will also become visible on the MoonBoard App and website for all users around the world. Each team will have one hour to set two problems, one for the male athlete and one for the female athlete. Each team's problems will be classed as a single round in the MoonBoard Masters competition.
9 December: Competition Day
Teams at each location will take it in turns to climb a round of problems. Only when a team has completed the round, or reached their time limit, will the next team's attempt begin. The male athlete will attempt the male problem and the female athlete will attempt the female problem.
The Moon Board has 18 rows, each row is worth 10 points, if a climber gets to row 13, for example, they would get 130 points, if a climber gets to the top row and fails they would get 180 points. A climber gets an additional 20 points for completing the route, and if they flash it they get an additional 20 points.
Watch the trailer:
Four climbing gyms around the world will be livestreaming their pro teams' efforts. Who's your money on?
Matt: That's a tough one… The Japanese teams are so incredibly strong I do think they will take some beating, but I think that it could be Alex and Margo, just because of the time zone which possibly gives the UK team a bit of an advantage.
Are there any rules with regard to the setting - do both members of the team have to be able to climb their own problems?
Matt: You would hope that each climber would set a problem that best suits their ability, and that they should be able to at least climb their own problem and preferably flash their own problem.
How can the general public take part in the event?
Matt: Get to your local MoonBoard and climb the same problems set by the MoonBoard Masters. There is a list of participating gyms on the MoonBoardMasters.com site, if you do climb the MoonBoard Masters problems then TELL US on the usual social media sites. If you can film it, then that's even better. We will be monitoring Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the event. Can YOU beat the MoonBoard Masters?
Do you see this kind of homologated, global event as something that will catch on in the future? Do you plan to do more of this kind of competition?
Matt: We really hope so, the MoonBoard and the masters comp has been embraced by gyms all over the world, and we are already planning next year's competitions, so watch this space…..
Or tune in to the livestream here: