British Titles for Quickdraw Climbers

Saturday - newly introduced IFSC categories for the Junior event saw 70 competitors turn out for the 2010 British Lead Climbing Championships Junior competition.  While Quickdraw’s mentor Natalie Berry is used to being in a league of her own this time it was literal as well as figurative as she was the only 18/19 girl competing.  This didn’t stop her from giving it her all with 2 tops on her qualifying routes and time beating her on her final climb.

We didn’t have anyone climbing in Youth A girls which was won by the amazing Kitty Wallace from Westway, London, but we had 4 girls in the Youth B competition.  Abby and Alexandra climbed well in what was a tough field.  Abby out-climbed her sister on the 7b first qualifier route on the Old Comp Wall, while Alexandra turned the tables on the 7b+ second qualifier on the Hanger Wall so that they shared 10th place.  Eleanor made the final six and was the first to make the grey volume on the 7c final route but unfortunately couldn’t hold on and finished third.  Rachel made the leap to big cheers from the audience, kept her grip, then made her way through several more moves only just missing out on her third top of the day to take the Youth B title.   

Eilidh and Megan were representing the Quickdraws in the Youth C girls and came a respectable 10th and 8th respectively in their first BLCC competition.

In the boys groups we had no climbers in the Junior (won by Ed Hamer), Youth A (won by Luke Tilley with EICA climber Jonathan Field in third place) or Youth B (won by Jonny White).  However Angus and William more than made up for this by taking first and second place in the Youth C, William missing out by the narrowest of margins on the top spot.

The next competition for many of these climbers is the Youth Open/GB Team selection event at Liverpool’s Awesome Walls at the end of November.  We wish them all the best

Sunday – the Senior event has in the past incorporated anyone over the age of 16 but his year was extended to include the Youth A and Junior categories.  This saw several climbers who had taken part in Saturday’s competition turning out again on the Sunday to test themselves against older climbers and members of the Senior GB team.  They stepped up and took the top 4 spots.   The same route (part of which had formed the Youth C and Veterans final the day before) was used for both finals.  Natalie Berry was chased the whole way by Kitty Wallace but retained her title, while Ed Hamer put on a brilliant final performance to pip Luke Tilley by a touch.  Jonny Field put in a powerful climb to take 4th place. 

In all the BLCC was a great event that has left us some amazing routes courtesy of Neil McGeachy and friends (including a super-final route that wasn’t tested).  And the small number of men and lack of any lady competitors in the Veterans class has also thrown down the gauntlet to Quickdraw parents for next year’s competition. Any takers?