Friday, 18 October 2013

Laval EYC

My first and the last European bouldering cup of 2013 was last weekend, and I think it was one of the highlights of my year, also a great way to end it. It was held in a massive arena with temporary boulders, but our qualifying was in a different place which was a bit strange. We arrived and had a good rest day which involve some awesome French practice with the help of Alexia, but it was worth it for the chocolate.

The team was ready and everyone was so excited for the youth A and Junior competition the next day. The music blared as we arrived already there was a great atmosphere and they hadn't even started yet. Competing in it was Nathan, Hamish, Alex, Gracie, Molly, Tara, Jen and Rachael. I was defiantly nervous for them. It was really good to watch them climb and cheer them on without having the stress of competing myself although I really wanted to get on the wall at the end of it. The whole team was cheering so loudly for everyone and it felt fantastic. Everyone climbed really well and Nathan made the final as excepted. After a quick pre-comp meal with Tom and the youth b's: James, Ed, Will, Sid and Alexia we rushed back to watch Nathan. It was electric as we entered, and we all screamed as loud as we could when Nathan came out! He flashed the first problem, with ease and did the next quickly too. So now he had to do the last one, we were cheering so loudly when he managed to get the top, my throat was really hoarse. We were the loudest team by far. Now the only person who could beat him was this Italian and we all thought he would win, but he fell from the problem lots and on his last go we thought maybe Nathan could win! He kept fighting and our fingers were crossed. Finally he fell and we all cheered for Nathan's win! That moment was unforgettable.

So the next day was us. We drove to the wall, it was nowhere near as cool as the main arena but still the problems looked awesome and there was quite a lot of dirty problems so I was looking forward to getting suck in. Alexia and Sid both did really well, and it was now our turn to prove ourselves. I decided to try a white problem first and it really wasn't that hard but after I saw a lot of people struggling so I was happy I got it. The problems went quickly and I soon had five flashes! I need one more though and it was a black problem. I tried it but fell on a massive dyno move! It was crazy! On my third go I got it! With six tops in 8 attempts I was really pleased with my performance. I waited for the results. They came and I saw I'd made final in 5th position, with Will in 6th! I was amazed first competition first final, although gutted for Ed who came 7th. I almost straight away had to go to isolation so we headed there, everything was happening a bit fast, it was crazy. I intimidated the Austrians by cracking an apple in half, good start. We had a intense warm-up with Tom which worked really well and I was buzzing when we left for the wall.

The music was loud and the room was dark, we walked out and the crowd roared. I stepped forward and waved when the commentator called my name. The fun was over now, we had to climb. The first problem was really slopey and powerful. I crushed but not enough and fell off slapping the last hold twice! I still couldn't do it even with a crowd raiser which was something I have wanted to do for ages. So back behind the wall listening to the crowd cheering for Will, who is back really soon which means he topped either first or second go! So the pressure was on, I fell off a lot! but always got back on straight away because I wasn't getting tired. Time was running out and I was on my last go! I got the powerful  press start and walked along the volume, then came the moment, a massive dyno which I'd fallen on last go! I set up and place my foot in a cheeky bolt hole to get some extra push. I stuck it and topped out! It was such a good feeling, having the crowd cheering and knowing you had succeeded. I still had one to go so I could still make the podium if I topped it so it was all to play for. This wasn't to be though because there was a massive dyno in it that I just couldn't do. On the positive I did take some pretty cool falls but in the end I finished in 5th position and Will came in 3rd.

The competition was defiantly the best run this year the French know how to make a show. It was so fun and probably the best time I've had this year. The support was incredible and I really want to do more next year and maybe make a podium.

So next I'm going to St Leger for a route trip and I really want to do 8b+ so fingers crossed. The next competitions are the opens in Sheffield so excited for them.
Cheers Peter
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