Friday, 13 February 2015

Comp scenes back!

First post of the year! Where did January go? Anyway here we are, on the cusp of spring (we hope) and most of us are looking forward to putting the winter behind us and moving on to warmer and longer days. The winter for me has been a bit of a let down so far, it promised good things at first but then sadly it has yet to work out how I imagined. But apart from the odd ascent here and there, the general climbing population in the UK has had the same difficulties this time around. Last winter was so stellar that it was always going to be hard to match up to, let alone beat!

Anyway, last weekend saw the return of the comp scene for me. It was time again for F-BO15. This event last year was a huge success and I was major psyched to hear that it would be back again. I came agonisingly and surprisingly close last time to winning, only to be pipped to the title by the smallest of margins. So maybe this time around could make up for that...

Once again The Foundry put on a really great day for everybody, with a plenty of folk rocking up to do battle with the infamous 'Wave' and enough cake to feed half of Sheffield.
It was cool to see a mix of both climbing veterans and strong, up and coming youngsters, all competing together on some rather whacky problems.

 Mens Problem 2
©Keith Sharples

Qualification went well for me and by lunchtime I had finished which left plenty of time to chill, grab some lunch and be glad that I had arrived early before the holds gradually turned to mush with excessive chalk and grease.
The results were announced and I was pleased to have qualified for the final again in 3rd place alongside a bunch of very strong and good friends. Cailean Harker, Ben Moon, Sam Whittaker, Mike Adams and Stu Littlefair. It was lining up to be an interesting affair!

There is an excellent report up already over on The Foundry website of how everything eventually panned out, but one thing I will say is that the route setters certainly got their creative juices flowing and cooked up a selection of bizarre and sometimes baffling problems for us all. There was a bit of everything from hand jamming and techy wierdness, to swinging Lapis balls and then some good old fashioned pure 'wave' power to finish us all off.

Clear inspiration from the recent 'BIFF' on Mens 3
©Keith Sharples

The eventual winners were Ben Moon, who really turned up the gas and showed us how its done, and Ella Russell for the women. The new King and Queen of The Wave! So big congrats to those guys and throughly deserved!

Check out a more detailed report here:

I ended up finishing the day in 6th place, so while not quite as good a performance as last time out I'm still really pleased and it was another throughly enjoyable day out, full of banter and good laughs. Our crew did end up winning the team event however so that was a bonus! Nice one guys.
Time to step up the training now and get prepared for The CWIF, which is less than 4 weeks away now! These things come around so quickly eh. Psyched!

Big thanks to all the sponsors who helped make the event possible. Mammut, Five Ten, Moon Climbing, The Clinic, Bleaustone/Lapis/Axis, SteepedgeStoneSmith and CragX Climbing Shop. Already looking forward to the next one!

 Big guns Whittaker takes the swing

As I sit here writing this all I can hear is the rain lashing it down on my skylight. It is hardly looking inspriring for the weekend but with a bit of luck something might be dry... I don't really care what, just want to climb outside! 
Have a good weekend everyone, and hope you manage to get something done. 
If not, drink plenty of tea and treat yourself!

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