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CLIMBING - BUCS Bouldering Competition

On Saturday the 20th of February six of Cambridge’s strongest climbers made the trek to Sheffield to take part in the BUCS National Bouldering Competition. As usual the qualifiers were split into two sessions and each university was asked to nominate two route judges to judge the session they were not competing in. Jemima and I volunteered to take the hit and made an early start, arriving at The Works climbing wall in good time to be told: “we have enough route judges, you can just hang around until the afternoon session”. Mildly annoyed we did just that. The morning session featured several GB climbers including Billy Ridal, Jen Wood and Tara Hayes and we enjoyed watching them crush the wide variety of problems set: from technical slabs (in which apparently it’s okay to crimp the bolt holes?!) and powerful overhangs to bizarre feats of agility involving swinging bars and dangling boulders.

At around 2pm the rest of our team arrived. Seb is our only competitor who fulfils all the requirements needed to hire a car but had never driven outside of Italy before and so had to be reminded on occasion that the speedo reads in MPH not KPH! We were briefed on the competition format and told that due to some confusion in the morning session crimping bolt holes was entirely allowed and then the afternoon session began. Once the initial nerves and fear of falling off were dealt with three hours proceeded as pleasantly as a session at KK (but with good routes and clean air). Jemima dazzled as usual on the slabs and Dan put his massive wingspan to good use - often skipping moves and simply reaching for the top. Izzy and Clare climbed as a duo and happily worked their way around the room while Seb sent bloc after bloc with his impeccable technique and incredible strength putting him in 1st qualifying position! My own competition went well and I felt weightless on the steep power problems. If it weren't for some silly mistakes on the slabs I would have had a perfect day. When the scores were counted up Cambridge had done exceptionally well. Seb qualified for the finals in 1st place but sadly I think he had worn himself out and placed 4th overall.

Name Rank Score Name Rank Score
Seb 1st (qualifying) 228 Clare 18th (up 15 places from last year) 140
Dan 23rd 197 Izzy 22nd 120
Gwilym 25th (up 44 places from last year) 196 Jemima 25th 116
Total 3rd 621 Total 7th 376

Still a stunning effort and the CUMC could not be more proud. Izzy had to rush off before we managed to take a team photo but from left to right in the image above we have: Seb, Gwilym, Jemima, Clare and Dan.

- by Gwilym Rowbottom