This year, competitors can choose between two formats: the “Pumpfest” and “Boulder Jam”.
For recreational, social and first-time competitiors, the “Pumpfest” format gives participants two hours to attempt as many boulder problems as they wish. Climbers’ final scores are determined by their top six hardest climbs.
The “Boulder Jam” is a new format this year for Open A category competitors. Participants are given three hours to attempt boulder problems. Athletes are ranked according to the number of “tops” and “bonuses” as well as the number of attempts taken to achieve them. The six highest ranked males and six highest ranked females will compete in a World Cup–style final, consisting of four boulder problems, where each finalist is allocated four minutes to attempt each problem.
It’s a format similar to that employed for the 2014 Victorian State Boulder Championship, which was also held at Bayside Rock Climbing Gym and organised by gym owner and World Cup boulderer James Kassay.
“For the state titles, we had climbers from every state and territory in Australia travel over to compete,” says Kassay. “If people are considering travelling down for the Boulder Bash too, I decided to make it worth their while by introducing World Cup–style finals.”
The chance to compete in World Cup–style finals isn’t the only drawcard for aspiring athletes – Open A competitors compete for cash prizes.
What’s more, the competition is an opportunity for participants looking ahead toward qualifying for the Victorian State Boulder Championship and beyond.
“For anyone who plans to compete at Nationals, the Bayside Boulder Bash is good preparation,” advises Kassay.
Still, the event isn’t just for rising athletes wanting to test themselves against a World Cup–style format.
“The idea behind the Bayside Boulder Bash is it’s supposed to be a fun, social event,” James insists. For instance, placegetters in the Pumpfest category aren’t awarded prizes – instead, everyone who enters stands a chance to win spot prizes, simply for participating.
“It’s all about getting people to compete for the first time, and just having a lot of fun,” he says.
Every year, Bayside Boulder Bash is a fun day of varied, well-set boulder problems. Kassay, who is also head routesetter brings with him World Cup experience and an understanding of the nuances in creating thought-provoking, movement-based routesetting.
“A competition of this style is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding,” says Kassay. “And it’s an excuse for us to set a whole new bouldering cave of problems.”
Bayside Boulder Bash was launched in 2009, the year Bayside Rock Climbing Gym first opened it doors. Last year the competition attracted 80-100 participants.
Registration is open: http://goo.gl/forms/ISXDp9Cvhg
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Photo by James Kassay