Monday, 7 April 2014

Winter Training and the SYBC 2014

Since my last blog I've been training really hard with Tom Randall and I'm feeling stronger than ever. I have had to travel down to Sheffield a lot for coaching and GB Team training events.
Working with Tom at his Lattice Board
Over the winter months I took part in my local wall's (Alien Rock) winter bouldering series, which I was pleased to win for the second year running. It's always great fun to take part in this competition.
Being presented with the Alien Rock trophy
My family also had a holiday in Ireland, during February half-term, where I competed at the Irish Youth Bouldering Championship. This was held at Gravity wall, Dublin, and I finished 2nd to Dominic Burns. We also travelled to Belfast and visited Eddie Cooper's new wall "Boulder World." It was great to meet up with all the Irish climbers and train at this fantastic new wall.

On Saturday 5th April, at TCA Glasgow, I took part in the Scottish Youth Bouldering Championship, in Youth A. It was a tough competition with some tricky problems, and I was competing against Dominic Burns again. After the qualifiers I was in first place but I knew the final would be intense. In the final I was pleased to top 2 out of the 3 problems, which meant I won by a top. The problems were all really hard and different styles. I was delighted to keep the Scottish Champion title for another year.
Youth A boys podium at the SYBC

I am now looking forward to a trip down to Malham, Yorkshire and a training trip, with the GB team, to Innsbruck and Imst walls in Austria.

Monday, 18 November 2013

SYCC 2013 and Commonwealth Games Dinner - Saturday 9th November 2013

I have been very busy in the last couple of weeks - so I am cheating with my blog (a little) by linking to some other reports.

On Saturday 9th November I competed at the Scottish Youth Climbing Championhip at EICA, Ratho. It was freezing cold,  probably colder than normal as they are working on replacing the roof. I climbed well, topping all my routes, even the techy slabs that route-setter Neil McGeachy loves to set and climb! After climbing my final route I quickly went to the changing rooms to shower and change into my DJ before heading to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games Dinner. This meant that I wasn't able take part in the Speed comp, but well done to my brother, Alexander, for winning the Boys 16-19 years.

I had been invited to the dinner in Glasgow to receive one of 5 Scottish Sports Aid Trust merit awards. So I was really surprised when, at the dinner, it was announced that I had won the Miquel trophy for Most Improved Young Sportsperson 2013. I was really excited to win this award and it was great to meet Sir Chris Hoy!
With Sir Chris Hoy
How awesome for Sport Climbing to be recognised alongside more mainstream sports!
Ready for the Dinner - but still climbing!

Scottish Sports Aid Trust

MCofS Report

Wildcountry news

In summary I am thrilled to have retained my Scottish Champion title and to have won the Scottish Sports Aid Trust Miquel trophy. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Bouldering EYC Laval, France, 12th/13th October 2013

I was psyched to be attending my first Bouldering EYC. I flew to Manchester on Thursday morning with fellow team member, Rachel Carr, to meet up with the rest of the team. From there we flew on to Paris and then drove to Laval.

On the Friday there was an Opening Ceremony and registration. The comp started on the Saturday with the youth A and junior female qualification and then youth A and junior male qualification. The youth B qualification was on the Sunday so youth B climbers were able to support everyone else on the Saturday, which was great fun. The whole team climbed well with Nathan Phillips qualifying for the final in 5th place.
It was amazing to watch Nathan crush the final and finish in 1st place!

On the Sunday it was an early start as my qualifiers were being held at a different wall in another town 30 minutes away. The youth B girls were first so this gave me and the rest of the GB Youth B boys time to warm up. When Qualification started I first got on problem 2, a very crimpy and powerful boulder, but messed it up twice, so moved onto problem 1, a really awkward problem where you needed to get your feet sorted, which I flashed. I then tried problem 5, a big slopery problem, which I flashed. I flashed three more of the problems and then got stuck on the last 3. I finally managed problem 7, which was a really awkward one hand dyno press, on my fourth go. Problem 2 and 3 eluded me. I was a bit surprised when Pete Dawson told me that we were both in the final. I had qualified in 6th place and Pete in 5th.

The Finals were held later that day. In the Final there were three problems. We came out for presentation and then observation. It was a great feeling being introduced to a very large crowd of hundreds of people. Looking at the problems with the other finalists I thought they looked desperate and didn't think I would top any.
In the Final - Photo by Brieuc Deleage
The first problem, was not my style at all being big pinch slopers and powerful, but I managed to get to the 2nd last hold - getting the bonus on my 5th attempt. Only one climber, Stefano Carnati from Italy, managed to top this. The 2nd problem had an awkward and tricky sequence but somehow I managed to pull through and flash this. This put me in 2nd place, although I did not know that. The final problem was a really awkward dyno, which I could not catch and ripped my finger open. However, although other climbers managed to catch the dyno and get the bonus hold they failed to top. Stefano and a French climber, Matteo Rousseau, managed to top out this problem, which put me in 3rd place.

I was sitting in isolation when Tom Greenall, GB manager, came in to congratulate me. I hadn't realised until that point that I was in 3rd place. Tom was rewarded with a very big smile!

Youth B Boys podium 

I really enjoyed my first Bouldering EYC - well done to all the team and especially Nathan.

BMC report here -