Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ratho European Championships

Qualifier 2
This weekend many climbers from all over Europe travelled to Ratho for a shot at becoming European champion. This is probably the second biggest competition of the year after the World Championships so everyone was looking very serious and focussed. On the other hand I was feeling pretty relaxed because after a poor performance in Imst it was going to be easy to improve but I still wanted to feel like I'd done my best. To be honest all I wanted was to come off pumped without making silly mistakes.

I competed on the Saturday morning and I was on 5th. Warm-up went well and I was confident I could do well on the route after working through the sequence. It was a line of big, bright pink, blobs up the wall so looked athletic and powerful, a typical indoor route which wouldn't look out of place in a showy American comp. Once again the nervous hit as I was sitting on the preparation chairs watching someone fall of really low. Take a deep breath, go! The lower wall was easy just moving on good edges, about 7b then came a big slot. after some funky moves around this I came to a big cross-over move at about the fifth clip, I went for it and stuck the hold but I was loads worse than I expected and I couldn't unwind and I fell. I all seemed like a flash I barely got any time on the wall. This annoyed me because just after a new sequence appeared where you matched and missed the desperate cross move which looked loads easier! I knew I could have done loads better.

The second qualifier was on the stepped roofs of the old competition wall which was one of my favourite parts of the wall. I got on the route feeling confident and strong, I was comfortable on every move which is unusual. At the first roof though I almost fell because there was a massive move! Thinking about it now I still don't know how I stuck it. I then went on to climb really well, I got into the second roof super pumped but managed to stick the moves across it but then fell at the desperate slap for a crimp over the lip. I came of boxed which was all I wanted so I was happy.

I found I had finished in 24th place which was ok but in the worlds I'm sure I can do better and hopefully make top twenty. The next day was the finals and we had Molly and Will competing. Will was out first and got really high but fell which was surprising seeing as he was strong enough to do a crowd raiser. Next was Molly and she got really high and was in first until the very last person who got to the same place and beat her on count back so close!

I'm still feeling really psyched and am really excited for a mega trip to Europe hopefully getting some classic routes in. In Frankenjura I want to repeat some of Jerry Moffat's route like Bastard 8b, Ekel 7c+ and then hopefully some bouldering in Austria where I'd like to get another 8A!

Thanks to my Sponsors
Sports Aid
North Devon Sports Foundation

Flexibility paying off!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Imst European Cup

This weekend I travelled with the team to the beautiful country of Austria for my first international competition of the year. The Euro was to be held on the outdoor wall in Imst, 23 metres and insanely overhanging in the second half this was one of the best walls to hold it. I'd trained hard through-out the winter and the work had been paying of with good outdoor accents on my trip to Spain so I was fairly confident I would get a good result so I was aiming for the top twenty even though it was my first year in Youth A. Going into youth A I knew would be a jump but I didn't expect the increase in ability that I found, there was no difference in distance up the route that everyone was getting and the routes were more like 8b or 8b+!

I did everything normally and climbed well, there was just one catch, I found every move I did hard and it involved pulling. Nothing was a give away however everyone else seemed to make it look easy! The first route was hell for me, not my anti-style but just a really horrendous route, not one good hold and I full crimped everything like a nutter. I got stretched out on every move, reaching as far as I could and just being tall enough to complete the sequence, having to move out of this stretched position was even harder and into the next one. This eventually took its toll and I couldn't complete this crazy high step while at full span but quite a few people dropped it here so I wasn't too upset.

The second qualifier wasn't any easier as well! However it was a lot more fun with massive moves on open handed holds which was really fun but wasn't situated to me so much. However I did get higher on this route and my attempt ended in a foot slip where I should have just kept my feet low and gone big. However I came down once again feeling like I had done alright. I feel like blaming my height but I don't think that will help me at all, just hoping for a more powerful and less stretched out route will be a waste of time because I have a feeling that big moves is the style that I am going to keep getting and I have to work to overcome this weakness anyway Sascha Lehmann who is shorter than me came second!

I thought with my performance I'd be in the low twenties or high teen's but that wasn't to be after my first route I was 32nd and finally I came 37th, I was just disappointed that I had got so much worse in comparison to everyone else, but one thing that I'm sure of is that this is the a good result because it allows me to build on it. This was a fluff up, I didn't realise how good I had to be and how much harder I should have worked to be competitive. Hopefully soon I will be back into fighting for a place in the final even though there are a ridiculous number of absolute monsters that I'm going to have to start beating to have a chance!

This performance was a set back, and with a big trip planned for the summer I'm not sure how much training I will get in but hopefully I'll do lots of climbing and it'll get me stronger. In the short run though I've got Ratho in a couple weeks so I'll hopefully do some intensive training to get a little bit more to give and fingers crossed improve my result. However I wasn't too worried because I was busy being happy for Molly and Hannah who both made finals and were really impressive oh yeah almost forgot Molly won boom go GB!

Sponsors: Dewerstone
North Devon sport foundation
Sports Aid