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Speed Climbing in Victoria

Victoria is home to some ‘Speedy Climbers.’  Both Oceana Mackenzie and Ned Middlehurst have set some recent Australian records with their speed times in IFSC international competitions.  Where do they go to get so speedy?

Lead and speed gym Gravity Worx has Victoria’s only speed wall, which serves as a key feature for our Victorian speed athletes who compete nationally and internationally.  While there is usually only one speed wall up for training purposes (with IFSC sanctioned holds), for the second year, Gravity Worx hosted the Victorian State Speed Titles on Saturday 11 May, 2019.  Rock Hardware sponsored the event providing some excellent prizes for competitors.

For full results, click here.

The Gravity Worx speed wall is the only wall in Australia equivalent to the angle and height of an internationally certified speed wall, and is a hub for state and national speed training. Gravity Worx hosts Team Aus training camps, open training camps, and camps specifically for local youth athletes.  Recently, Gravity Worx donated half of the funds raised at a recent youth speed training back to Sport Climbing Victoria so that we can continue to offer training camps to our youth and open members.

– Karen Powell, SCV Board Member

2019 Australian Youth National Championships

Over a massive three days, youth climbers across Australia flocked to NSW to compete in the Youth National Championships from the 24 – 26 May, 2019. Victoria sent a large team to compete at the elite level with all categories represented.

All three disciplines were showcased including Lead, Speed and Boulder and a combined result calculated for those who competed in all three disciplines.

Congratulations to all the Victorian competitors who made the podium:

Combined

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Zoe Puglisi, 3rd, Youth C Female

Boulder

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female

Lead

  • Ned Middlehurst, 3rd, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Jaime Wong, 3rd, Youth D Female

Speed

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Alana Frankland, 2nd, Junior Female
  • Oliver Burch, 2nd, Youth A Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Sora Asahara, 1st, Youth C Male
  • Zoe Puglisi, 1st, Youth C Female

We would also like to say a massive thank you to our Coach Sarah McKenzie and Assistant Coach Deryl Ng for making the trip up to NSW and coaching our youth competitors, to Ned Middlehurst as Team Captain and to all the volunteers that helped out!

Congratulations to all those athletes who competed over the weekend!

For full Boulder results, click here.

For full Lead results, click here.

For full Speed results, click here.

For full Combined results, click here.

Photos by Jason Wong

Victorian Russell Harrison Heads to New Zealand

Paraclimbing has been seen at numerous state and national climbing competitions in Australia for a number of years now, but in 2019, Sport Climbing Australia selected a Paraclimbing team for international competition for the first time. Three athletes are heading to Briançon, France to represent Australia at the IFSC World Paraclimbing Championships in July: Eddie Sparks, Marc Altmann and myself.

On the 18-19 May, I competed at the Climbing New Zealand National Championships in Auckland. The format was two qualification rounds and an onsight final, all climbed on top rope. With only four paraclimbers competing, I was guaranteed to have three routes to climb. The other competitors in the category consisted of a marathon running ice climber, a Paralympian and a climber that finished one spot off the podium at last year’s Paraclimbing World Championships in Innsbruck.

After viewing the forerunning videos, I went through my warm up which seemed to add to my nervousness. I was climbing second on the first qualification route and watched the first climber top. As I tied in and pulled onto the wall, I began to feel a little more at ease with each move. I climbed the bottom section easily but fell off a small crimp a few holds from the top. Although a little disappointed, my climbing felt controlled and efficient.

Qualification 2 saw me climb last and I watched 2 of the 3 climbers before me top the route. This route consisted of a difficult traverse across a steep wall and then up into a hard sequence as the wall angle tapered off for the last few moves to the top. I again climbed reasonably well until I lost my feet as I tried to move into the final section. I fought hard to regain an effective position but was unable to recover and fell.

The final looked to be a few grades harder and finished on what seemed from the ground to be a very thin horizontal edge. It was going to be a very difficult finish for anyone who managed to get there. Second out, I fell a dozen moves in as I threw my left hand up trying to latch a small jug. I didn’t hit the hold cleanly and slipped off. My finish was a long way from the eventual high point and the final route remained un-topped. But, with two climbers getting within a couple of holds from the top, I think the setters got it right with the final they set.

Overall, I had a really great time and am looking forward to my next two competitions, the Imst (Austria) Paraclimbing Masters and the Paraclimbing World Championships in Briançon during July. I’d like to sincerely thank Sport Climbing Victoria, Sport Climbing Australia and Climbing New Zealand for their support of adaptive sports and paraclimbing.

 

– Russell Harrison, Australian Paraclimbing Team Member

International Competition Results

Victorian athletes have been busy in April and May heading to China and Germany to represent Australia on the world cup stage.

First stop for our athletes was Chongqing, China held from 26 – 28 April, 2019.  We had athletes competing in both Boulder and Speed disciplines.  In Speed, Victorians demonstrated their hard work setting Australian Speed records.  Ned Middlehurst has set the official men’s time at 8.83 seconds and Oceana Mackenzie set the womens with a time of 9.642 seconds.

In Boulder we had Ned Middlehurst, Campbell Harrison and Oceana Mackenzie representing Victoria coming 69th, 86th and 45th respectively competing in harsh whether conditions.

For full results, click here.

Next stop was Wujiang, China held from 3 – 5 May, 2019 where Mackenzie beat her own Chongqing speed record to reset the record at 9.589 seconds. In an ever growing team, we also had Grace Crowley attend her very first Speed competition finishing with a time of 14.878. Finally in speed, Middlehurst finished with a time of 9.289 which wasn’t enough to beat his previous record.

In Boulder, Victoria was represented by Harrison and Middlehurst who tied in 67th and Mackenzie who finished in 33rd.

For full results, click here.

The last stop for our Victorian athletes was Munich, Germany from 18 – 19 May, 2019.  We had one athlete, Mackenzie, make the trip to Europe with boulder the only discipline. Mackenzie continued her stellar performance for 2019 making it into Semi’s for her second time this year.  Mackenzie finished in 17th after a tough semi final round that saw only 5 tops total – four were from the extremely talented Janja Garnbret and the only other athlete to get a top was Ievgniia Kazbekova on women’s problem two.

For full results, click here.

Congratulations to all our Victorian athletes! Making the transition to the international stage is an amazing achievement! While there is one more boulder world cup to be held in Vail, USA, the Victorian athletes are now turning their attention to the 2019 lead season starting in July.

 

Sport Climbing Victoria’s Proposal to Get Organised

On Tuesday 1 May, Sport Climbing Victoria’s (SCV) President Phil Goebel put pen to paper to publish our views on the current Grampians Access issues being discussed within the climbing community and a potential way forward.

To view the full article, click here.

While there are many opinions on how it should be done, it is abundantly clear that climbers believe there should be a unified community to help bolster our voice in this issue and future issues that may be presented to us.

Regardless of if you are an indoor climber, an outdoor climber, boulderer or lead climber, we are one community and now is the time to band together.

Oceana Mackenzie has done it again!

Oceana Mackenzie has continued to impress making the final round at the recent IFSC Boulder World Cup held in Meiringen Switzerland from 5-6 April, 2019. Mackenzie becomes only the second female to make finals (Sam Berry has completed this feat 3 times) and joins only a handful of Australians (male or female) to do the same.

Mackenzie qualified for semi-finals in 10th place in her heat just scraping in with the top 10 from each heat progressing.  In semi-finals, being one of the first climbers to start, Mackenzie endured a long wait to see if she would qualify for finals.  After a nervous wait, Mackenzie made it through with 3 tops and 3 zones.

The climbing community back in Victoria were thrilled sending well wishes to the already very successful Mackenzie.  Many stayed up through the night to watch her compete in finals at 3am local time.  Mackenzie finished in 6th place in only her second bouldering world cup.

We are very excited to see what Oceana Mackenzie will achieve in the next 12 months!

Mackenzie will be back representing Australia this weekend at the Chongqing World Cup alongside fellow Victorians Campbell Harrison and Ned Middlehurst.

Good luck to all the athletes competing this weekend!

*Thank you to Sytse van Slooten for the images.

 

Upcoming Events

Get excited for the competitions to continue in May!

For all Victorian athletes we have the 2019 Victorian State Speed Titles:

Event Details

Where: Gravity Worx, 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale, Victoria
When:  Saturday 11 May, 2019
Time:   Competitor registration opens at 3pm

To register for the event, click here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

If you are unable to compete but still want to help out please click here to register to volunteer: https://forms.gle/FyKw7ZgcYpz6ddnP7.

 

For our Youth Athletes there is the 2019 Youth National Championships:

Event Details

Where: SICG Villawood, 5/850 Woodville Road, Villawood NSW
When:  Friday 24 May – Sunday 26 May, 2019

To register for the event, click here.

Please note: You have to qualify to compete in nationals.  If you have automatically qualified you will have received an email offering you a place on the team.  If you have not heard from SCV and wish to compete, please contact us at contact@sportclimbingvictoria.com.au

 

Good luck to all the competitors!

Climb for Grampians!

CliffCare needs your help! You will have heard the discussions regarding the recent changes to access within the Grampians.  CliffCare are currently working tirelessly with Parks Victoria to ensure climbers continue to have access to the national park. CliffCare is run exclusively by volunteers and therefore need all the help they can get.

On Wednesday 8 May, 2019 for every person who climbs at one of the participating gyms^ $5 will be donated to CliffCare and any purchases made at participating retailers* 10% of retail revenue will be donated. A massive thank you to all the gyms and stores participating.

Adelaide’s Bouldering Club^
Bayside Rock^
Bogong Equipment*
Cliffhanger Indoor Rock Climbing Gym^
Climbing Anchors*
Gravity Worx^
The Lactic Factory^
Northside Boulders^
North Walls Indoor Climbing^
The Rock Adventure Centre^
Urban Climb Collingwood^
The Wilderness Shop*

To register your interest and to find out more, click here.

Please ensure you respect all the bans currently in place as they will be enforced.  You can keep track of the bans and access through the CliffCare website.

We hope all members continue to leave no trace when heading to the Grampians and respect the Traditional Owners of the Gariwerd region and their cultural sites and heritage.

Adaptive Climbing Victoria

February saw Adaptive Climbing Victoria run its first  Come-and-Try event, open to people of all abilities. Adaptive climbing is rock climbing that is adapted to the needs of the participant, for example using harnesses that offer upper body support or an extra pair of helping hands on the wall.

There was a lot of interest from people keen to climb, as well as from volunteers, which made for an exciting first event. Everyone picked up new skills on the day. Some participants had climbed before whereas others were taking the leap, supported by friends and family, experienced climbers, coaches and allied health professionals.

Adaptive Climbing Victoria look forward to offering future events in a similar format and we are looking for volunteers with skills in administration, project management and web-based communications to help enable us to roll this out to everyone interested.

Please contact Katie at adaptive@sportclimbingvictoria.com.au if you’re interested!