Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Open Youth Competition

Last weekend Edinburgh International Climbing Arena held another Youth Open competition which showed off ever stronger youth climbers. With some pretty awesome looking routes and Naomi Tilley (my sister) commentating while recovering from a shoulder injury the climbing seemed set to go!
Qualifier 1
My first qualifier was on the comp wall; the climb looked juggy, steep, pumpy and fun! Being 3rd up I didn’t have many people to watch, so, as tied on I watched the first 2 climbers intently. The first climber took it steady and got most the way up getting a couple of moves into the roof before coming off. However, the 2nd climber didn’t reach this far which switched on my nerves, knowing that maybe there were crux moves half the way up. I knew that this couldn’t phase my performance so when my time came to step up and face the climb I kept myself calm, kept breathing deeply, and focused on each move. I stayed positive. The climb was as good as it looked! Most of the holds were positive, with a massive jug before the pull into the roof, perfect to rest on. I knew I had to climb fast through the roof as my energy was fast diminishing. It was going well until I hit a very reachy clip. This drained more of my energy but I carried on. I managed to squeeze in a couple more moves until just before pulling round to the finishing clip. I used my last remaining power for a huge throw which saw me just scraping the hold and the end of my attempt.

The Final
My second qualifier took me to the old comp wall; it was a slabby climb, with no good holds, and no good rests. Less steep and powerful climbs should suit me better; however the long reaches seemed to rock the boat a little too vigorously. After struggling on a dynamic move I began to get pumped and careless and about half way up. I reached out for a clip and missed; I lost most concentration, slipped and fell. I came down knowing this wasn’t the best I could have done but I put this behind me and hoped it would be enough to get me into the final!

I was in luck! I had scraped into the final. Qualifying 6 with only 6 going into the final was a bit close for comfort, but now I had to fully concentrate on the final climb. Running out to route read I found the climb on the far right of the comp wall. They were positive but not huge holds, most of the way up, following the line of the arĂȘte. My psyche had risen! Being 6th into the final meant being 1st out of my category, playing to an advantage for me, as I still have the climb fresh in my head, and a whole set of clean holds!

          As I got on the climb I told my self to be calm and enjoy it. I still felt slightly nervous but I focused the nerves into my climbing, hopefully pushing me up higher. I felt I climbed well and steady, I came off slapping for a hold round a volume with my arms completely boxed!

I came down feeling like I climbed my best but because was first out I didn’t know how I’d fare compared to the others. As it turned out I hadn’t done too bad, in fact I’d done quite well! I come 3rd to Tara and Molly with close competition from Gracie, (finishing 4th) only wining 3rd by climbing a whole 5 seconds faster!
On the podium!
Over all a successful weekend and with even more psyche for my third European (EYC) in Imst, Austria next week!

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