Reading Climbing Festival: WBL Final blog

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Saturday 12th March saw the culmination of our winter boulder league with a grand finale at Parthian Reading. The finals day comprised of a spilt between the fifth round of WBL and the grand final held on Reading’s boulder competition wall.

The setting team of Luke, Mikey, Tom and Ed got to work on Friday creating some dynamic, techy works of plastic glory. The fifth round was composed of 20 blocs set on all areas of the boulder wall, except the comp wall which was reserved for the grand final blocs. Mikey and Luke set about creating six banging blocs for the male and female finals, a true test of dynamic coordination, balance, and strength.

Saturday started with Swindon DJ setting up early in the morning ready to deliver the tunes to go with the moves. With the 5th round starting at 10am, people trickled in with anticipation ready to get cracking. The atmosphere was full of success. As blocs were ticked off, the final places were yet to be decided.

The day flew by, the scorecard deadline drew close, the finalists were decided!

Mens Finalists

  1. Rajenda Pun
  2. Matt Thorne
  3. Andy Lovegrove
  4. Ranulph Carhill
  5. Matt Savin

Womens Finalists

  1. Isla Blackwell
  2. Ella Moffat
  3. Poppy Bennet
  4. Catherine Bower
  5. Alice Wingfield

The grand final was centre stage with spectators gathering around the comp wall in expectation of a spectacle, they were not disappointed!

Female bloc 1 was a balance showpiece on dual textured Cheeta climbing boomerang holds, with Luke deeming that the upper arete was a no go zone, the tricky stand up proved to be difficult. Only Isla and Ella topped the bloc.

Male 1 was a dynamic affair with a tricky dropdown move to catch an undercut, many valiant attempts were made on this one, with only Matt Thorne and Raj proving successful, Raj with the impressive flash on this one.

Female 2 consisted of a great hold selection using some cool 360 angular holds, with some strong moves through a corner. This one proved tough only Isla managing to snake her way up this one.

Male 2 a steep compression prow using more of the wooden dual texture Cheeta boomerangs, body tension and reading the correct sequence was key to this one. The upper moves proved tough, Raj came closest to boarding the send train but ultimately this time the send was delayed like most British trains until after the contest, where he did conquer the bloc.

Female 3 was a steep, thuggy number starting underneath the cave and after wrestling with a huge macro basin shaped hold to a blancey top. This bloc proved a bridge too far for anyone and it remained unclimbed.

Male 3 was straight of the world cups, a mixture of explosive power and coordination needed to crack this tough nut. Raj being the only competitor to top this with an impressive send.

After the (chalk) dust had settled on the contest, the podiums were confirmed they were as follows:

Male 16+ 

  1. Rajenda Pun
  2. Matt Thorne
  3. Andy Lovegrove
  4. Ranulph Carlill
  5. Matt Savin

Female (16+)

  1. Isla Blackwell
  2. Ella Moffatt
  3. Poppy Bennett
  4. Catherine Bower
  5. Alice Wingfield

Male Jr (Under 16)

  1. Ben Foskett
  2. Daniel Head
  3. Max Hitching
  4. Toby Lovegrove
  5. Joe Godfrey

Female Jr (under 16)

  1. Amelie Jacobs
  2. Olivia Carr
  3. Anna Brigden
  4. Ava Mountford
  5. Amrita Evans

Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for everyone who took part in this year’s WBL, we will see you again in October for WBL 22/23!

Photos by adamtheadrian and alexwalkerphotography

Blog by Ed Mills-Dilkes