All 6 of the Castle’s Competition Squad members have been training hard throughout 2014 to get the new competition season off to a flying start, and they certainly haven’t disappointed!
The competition squad has being going from strength to strength and if recent ascents and comp results are anything to go by we can expect a stellar season in 2015.
Below is brief round-up of what’s been going on over the summer.
Summer kicked-off with the grand finals of the BMC Youth Climbing Series (YCS) in Ratho which saw Jo Neame, and Stan Harris competing while Jim Pope and Cameron McLoughlin took up demoing duties as GB Junior Team Members. Jo climbed fantastically, taking second place and missing out on the top spot to GB junior team member Hannah Slaney by only 2 points. Stan took a hard fought 10th in a very competitive field, and both athletes made strong contributions to the overall team win for the London and South East Region. Take a look at BMC TV's short film of the BMC Youth Climbing Series Final
While up in Ratho and ahead of the World Championships, Jim took the opportunity to get out to Dumbarton Rock sending Omerta (7c) along with Molly Thompson-Smith and William Bosi.
This was followed by a trip to Portland which saw onsights of Zinc Oxide Mountain (7b+) and Shapeshifter (7c), before some GB Junior team training in August and a win at the Quay Climbing Centre’s DWS competition in Exeter. (Photo courtesy of David Simmonite).
After that, it was on to the World Youth Championships half way around the world in New Caledonia. Although still recovering from injuries, Jim managed to secure 20th place, improving on his performance in 2013.
Cameron and Stan both spent some time in the summer working on their outdoor climbing with James McHaffie, getting exposed on Lord of the Flies (E6 6a) and JubJub Bird (E6 6b). Stan later went back out on the rock with Kathrine Shirrmacher to clip the chains of his first 7c, while Cameron took 12th in the European Youth Lead Climbing Championships. Eugenie Lee spent the summer preparing for her first visit with the GB Junior Bouldering Team to the European Youth Bouldering Championships in Arco where she took 29th place, while Jo and Alex focused on training for the British Lead Climbing Championships (BLCC’s) in October.
The BLCC’s turned out to be a great event for the Squad with Jim and Cameron taking the title in their respective categories (Jim also took 4th in the Seniors the next day), Jo taking a closely fought 3rd – missing out on the title by 1 point! – and Alex taking 12th in only his second visit to the event.
Now the Squad are back from the summer and have completed their initial round of conditioning ahead of the new season, they are building on the good form shown at the BLCC’s.
Jim recently turned his focus to Raven Tor in Peak District where he secured quick ascents of Jerry Moffatt’s 80’s classic Revelations (8b) and the well-known route Mecca (8b+). To see more of what Jim has been up to you can visit his blog
Eugenie has been re-selected for the GB Junior Bouldering Team and recently took the win at the first round of Blokfest, and everyone is stepping up their training for the upcoming national and international events.
In summary, this year is going to be HUGE for the Castle Squad, and none of it would be possible without the support and encouragement of YOU, the Castle members. The team and its coaching staff appreciate the kind comments we often receive when training (and the patience provided when running laps on the lead walls)!
Look out for our new uniform, designed by our friend Samuel Costello on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
If you’re interested in getting into youth competititon climbing please see the ‘Youth & Kids Climbing’ section of our website.