Just after starting Sixth Form I had to travel across the World to New Caledonia, which was a 9 hour flight south east of Japan so yeah we had quite a lot of travelling time, about 30 hours in fact and we arrived tired, to find that our bags had been left in Helsinki, this left the rather unpleasant experience of wearing the same boxers for four days although I did turn them around!
New Caledonia is probably the most tropical place I have ever been by that I mean there where palm trees, amazing beaches and poisonous animals. I did get a scare when I almost stepped on the third most venomous snake in the world fortunately it was fairly dopey and we decided it would be a good idea to poke it with sticks! The town we stayed in was called Noumea and it was the capital of New Caledonia. It was all very rasta out there with lots of locals having dreads and walking around with speakers playing loud music, I even heard someone playing Shaggy at a ridiculous volume out there car. I had to join in with this chilled out lifestyle so decided to by myself a Hawaiian shirt 2500 francs or 25 quid well spent!
On one of the rest days we went to duck island which didn’t have many ducks on it but instead had some cool snorkelling with colourful fish although we were told we would see turtles so we went exploring around the island, we got told we weren’t meant to snorkel there so left but Alex stayed, soon he was back saying he had seen turtles. We went back to the same spot and found them! The turtles sort of reminded me of the people all laid back like the turtle from Finding Nemo.
Well we weren’t out there for a holiday so soon our minds turned to the competition; the wall was incredible maybe the coolest looking wall I’ve ever climbed on! The opening ceremony was intimidating seeing all the different countries with big teams and us just with 7!
So my first qualifier was through the vert then a massive roof then some simple pulling to the top, looked fun! The sequence through the roof was a couple spins and looked really confusing. On the bottom section I managed to keep it together and made the roof, so basically I went completely wrong handed and ended up doing a swap, so much for beta, and pumped out a couple moves later but still I was in the top 26 so it was good enough.
My second qualifier had a really hard start and many of the juniors hadn’t got past clip 5, I got here and was half way through the move when my foot popped! I thought I’d blown it, honestly I couldn’t believe it and I thought I hadn’t made semi-finals. I thought it was over and I’d let the team down, though thankfully I make it in 23rd place phew stressful!
After a chilled out evening and lazy morning we headed to isolation which is always intimidating because it is so busy, however the atmosphere is amazing so I got psyched! My route was on a similar section to my first qualifier so I thought I could do well. Once again it looked like a really hard route sequence and it had a massive move in it. I returned and got myself ready for my most important route of the year. I came out completely focused and ready to give it my best effort. I climbed the bottom wall easily and made the first couple moves in the roof which were quite hard but I wasn’t that pumped when I hit a jug in the roof. Next was the big move, I eyed up the next hold and let fly but didn’t stick it and dropped. I’d climbed really well so was happy but still knew I could have done better which is annoying.
Will made finals so the next day he was up and we knew he could do well and where so psyched for him but unfortunately he met a stopper move which he didn’t get on with and he finished in 8th. The trip was amazing and totally worth it. I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who helped me get there and the support I had when I was out there, I couldn’t have done it without you!
North Devon Sports Foundation