Sport Climbing Victoria ran the first ever State Speed Titles. The event was hosted by Gravity Worx and sponsored by Bogong and The Wilderness Shop. Arriving early, it was wonderful to see some interstate competitors.
Qualifying rounds were tough given we were running one lane then the other, not concurrently – this meant having to push yourself with an empty line beside you. It was a small number of competitors so we all encouraged each other and everyone seemed to be happy with their first qualifying runs.
Meanwhile on the Youth C and D routes the atmosphere was all nervous excitement. Their qualifying round was noisy and they all climbed the routes easily. Some flew up the route and some were happy just to get to the top.
In most instances the fastest climber from the qualification round went through to finals and those in 2nd and 3rd fought it out for a chance to go up against the first qualifier for 1st place.
This allowed me to have a rest and keep warm for my final. All the females in my Youth A category were also competing in Opens, so we climbed the speed route many times; I did 6 runs in total, two less than my fellow competitor Abi as we met in the final.
Matt Austin, a promising Youth B competitor was unofficially competing in Open A and went into the final in first. He was pipped at the post by Ned Middlehurst, due to an early foot slip, but went away with the fastest time of the day with 10.5 seconds. While Ned’s best time of the day was 10.8 seconds. Douglas officially came 2nd with a time of 13.09 seconds.
Now it was time for my final. We step up to the wall, place our chalky hands on those start holds and look up. Turn to the judges and get attached to the auto belay. Beep.. Beep.. Beep.. and we are off at a run. I’m trying not to look at Abi and stay focused on my own climbing. Bang I hit the button first, with Abi right behind me! My fastest time of the day was 10.9 seconds, Abi’s was 16.3 seconds and Emma’s was 22.9 seconds.
Youth A male had such a tight final they needed to do a re-run. Wara Asahara just beat Tosh Johnsson.
Thanks to all the volunteers and organisers! All in all, it was a fun day.
– Oceana Mackenzie, Australian Open Bouldering Team Member