Report: ROCFest 2012

The ROCFest is a unique event that allows climbers of all ages and abilities to climb alongside one another. This year's event saw folk from 7 to 70 years of age, with beginners competing next to international climbing stars. With 11 categories, including the new Legend category for 55 and over, it was truly an epic event.

ROCFest 2012. Photo courtesy of James Godwin, 140 kb

“It's the only event I have ever been to where all abilities can truly compete together. My son aged 8 got to climb alongside the current number 7 female climber in the world!” Parent of young climber

The finals were electric with both the Junior and Adult finalists competing on routes set by the World Cup route setters Ian Vickers and Jamie Cassidy. As usual the crowd gave their all and blew the roof off, supporting the finalists all the way. This year saw a very strong international field with 8 of the 12 finalists having competed on the World Cup stage.

Shauna Coxsey in the finals. Photo courtesy of James Godwin
© James Godwin

James Kassay in the finals. Photo courtesy of James Godwin, 121 kb
James Kassay in the finals. Photo courtesy of James Godwin
© Rock Over Climbing

Both Male and Female finals were hard fought affairs with Leah Crane and Shauna Coxsey battling it out for the women's title, with only one route separating them. On Problem 3 Leah Crane put in an awesome display of coolness and professionalism after missing the last hold and ending up in the crowd. She knew there was only enough left in the tank for one more try. So watching the clock tick down, and with the crowd holding their breath, she calmly waited and waited. After 2 minutes, and with only 15 seconds left, she pulled on and fought hold by hold, move by move to the top of a desperate problem. Unfortunately this was not enough to beat Shauna Coxsey who put in a flawless display, and showing a spellbound crowd why she is currently ranked No.7 in the world, and No.2 in the 2012 World Cup! A masterclass!

The Men's final was extremely close, with Australian James Kassay just pipping local boy James Garden to the post, by flashing every problem (including Problem 4 – which no-one else managed to do!). Hot on their heels, and putting a great show for the crowd, were Jon Partridge, Ned Feehally and Dave Barrans.

“Hey guys thanks heaps for putting on a great comp! It was lots of fun and great warm up for Vail next week”, James Kassay (World Cup climber, en route to next round of World Cup at Vail, Colorado, USA).

Huge thanks go to Ian Vickers and Jamie Cassidy who surpassed themselves with some masterful route setting, separating the top climbers, and creating quite a spectacle. With the final problems remaining on the wall for up to 6 weeks after the event, you can come and try them!

For the first time the Juniors had their very own final. The format was similar to the adults, and the crowd greeted them with the same furore as the Adult Finalists. Coming out of isolation to climbing in front of a vocal crowd must have been daunting, but it did not show. All of the juniors put in strong performances with Tara Hayes and Sam Roberts coming out on top.

A huge thanks must go to all our customers for your enthusiasm for the event, as well as our sponsors who provided great support and loads of amazing prizes: Core holds,DMM, Cotswold Outdoor, Helly Hansen,Evolv,Metolius, The Deaf Institute, Proper Maid, Vertigo Restaurant,Boreal, Bare Bones Clothing, andBeastmaker.

It was an amazing day, with everyone getting in the spirit of the ROCFest. The Rock Over Climbing team have already started planning next year's ROCFest, aiming to make it bigger, better, more fun and the must-do competition of the year.


For more information on RockOver Climbing visit, email or call 01612881218.

For more information visit Rock Over Climbing
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