On the final day of the British Bouldering Championships in Sheffield, I put my camera (and my life) on the line to capture behind-the-scenes footage of the world's top athletes pushing their mental and physical strength for a place on the finishers podium. Here is my report from the field...
Early on in the day, Devonshire Green was starting to fill with anticipation for the semi-finals of the BBC’s. Along with various other Cliffhanger events in the city centre of Sheffield, there was an amazing atmosphere (the good weather certainly helping). At 10:30am, the semi-finals started. Forty competitors (twenty men, twenty women) fighting for the top six spots in their divisions, all vying for a chance to be crowned the British Bouldering Champion. The competition was fierce, but clearly coming out on top for the women was Charlotte Garden with four flashes (completing the routes in one attempt), despite only just making the cut for the semis. The men’s however was much more heated with four competitors flashing all of their routes, including veteran climber - Dave Barrans.
In the few hours before the finals took place, Devonshire Green was alive with activities, food stalls and big name brands. Even the kids were able to test their strength and problem solving with a mobile wall, dead hang and pull-up challenge.
There was also a special signing by World Cup Champion Shauna Coxsey who despite pulling-out of the competition still showed-up to support her fellow climbers.
The real buzz and building of the crowd however was in anticipation for the finals, where a good few thousand people turned up to spectate.
They kicked off with the observation period (all climbers getting a chance to look at the four routes) before being led to isolation. One by one taking on their respective genders’ boulder problems, and proceeding to give the crowd an amazing show.
One of the best things about the sport, regardless of who you want to win, is that you want every single competitor to make it to the top. The elation of the crowd when Hannah Slaney stuck the last hold on problem four were incredible.
Overall, there could only be two winners though; Leah Crane and Tyler Landman. Both putting up an incredible display of strength, skill and determination. A brilliant day out in the sun to watch an amazing competition.
Here's the full results from the day:
Congratulations to everyone taking part in the British Bouldering Championships 2017. See you next year Sheffield!