James Kassay (Vic.) and Claire Langmore (Vic.) won the Open A Men’s and Open A Women’s titles respectively at the Australian National Boulder Championship held at the KCC centre in Katooma 17-19 October as part of the Australian Climbing Festival. The IFSC Oceania International Open 2014 was held in conjunction, with athletes travelling from abroad to compete in New South Wales.
Finishing the qualification round in equal first with Ben Cossey (NSW) and Callum Hyland (Tas.), Kassay took the lead in the semi-final round – the only competitor to top four problems. (Sam Bowman (Qld.) topped two problems and the remaining competitors topped either one or none.) Stretching his lead in the final, 29-year-old Kassay was the only competitor top two problems, taking the win.
In the women’s, Langmore topped five problems in qualifications, entering the semi-final in equal first with Liting Xu (Int.) and Sophie King (NSW). Emma Horan (ACT) topped the most boulders (three) in the semi-final, but it was Langmore who was the only competitor to top a boulder in the final, securing a win.
Karen Allan (NSW) and Phil Staples (NSW) won the Masters Female and Masters Male categories respectively. Junior Female and Junior Male categories were taken by Ali Roush (SA) and Sam Bowman (Qld.). Youth A Female and Male winners were Roxy Perry (Tas.) and Campbell Harrison (Vic.) respectively.
This year is the first time the Australian National Boulder Championship was held outside a climbing gym facility and on purpose-built walls.
Winners Langmore and Kassay were also fresh off the Boulder World Circuit, taking them to places as far-flung as Vail, Colorado, and Baku, Azerbaijan. Kassay made it to finals twice out of six competitions against an international field.
For more Australian National Boulder Championship results, click here.
Photo by Yvette Harrison