This year there was a slight change to the age categories so that there was Junior B (2000-1998), Junior A (1995-1995), Seniors and Masters (Aged 45+). Junior A, Seniors and Masters were all eligible for qualifying to the overall Male and Female Finals. This was also the first year there was some guests from outside of Ireland with a group from the UK over to see if they could take back some of the crowns in 'friendly' retaliation for those that had been won by the Irish contingent at the British Lead Climbing Championships last October!
After a qualifying period covering 17 problems (unlimited attempts), 7 finalists were ranked going into the finals for both genders. Due to an unexpected significant increase in standard at Junior B, a final and a superfinal was required to break the large tie after qualifying, eventually with the Male Junior B going to Jack Flynn, and Female Junior B to Ellie Lawrence.
Following the IFSC 4+ rules for the finals, a brilliant final took place on the Saturday evening and a significant crowd stayed around to cheer on the competitors. In the females, the tie was broken by number of attempts on the problems, with Katie Maxwell retaining the crown with Rachel Carr and Lucy Mitchell following closely behind.
In the Male Senior A's, it stayed relatively close right up to the final problem. Surprising all at the very beginning, Junior A competitor Ciaran Scanlon walked out and proceeded to flash what was meant to have been the hardest problem on the wall, leading many to wonder would there be a surprise upset on the day (or whether the route-setters had been too soft :). The two route-setters, Percy Bishton and Rob Napier, did an excellent job of mixing straight-forward difficulty with interesting 'modern indoor bouldering' moves (one problem starting most easily by facing away from the wall......) and even then, three of the four problems were topped out. Following on from his previous successes at the Irish Lead Climbing Championship (winning both the Senior and Junior A categories), Dominic Burns went onto take the overall title. Not a bad start to the year! Harry Fogg finished 2nd, and John Howard finished 3rd.
All in all, an excellent event, and with the team competition now in play (including fancy dress - one of whom, Peter Linney, even managed to qualify and compete in the finals in fluorescent lycra), there's something for all. Roll on the next batch of competitions!
1st: Katie Maxwell
2nd: Rachel Carr
3rd: Lucy Mitchell
Male Junior B:
1st: Jack Ryan
2nd: Rory Cunnings
3rd: Carson Carduff
Female Junior B:
1st: Ellie Lawrence
2nd: Anna Nelson
3rd (tie): Hannah Burrows, Georgia Begley
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