New champs take the titles by storm at the long-awaited return of the La Sportiva BMC British Bouldering Championships 2021 in Sheffield. Big congratulations to Emily Phillips and Max Milne, watch them crush in the replays of the livestreams and get the full results below.
What a weekend – we’ve really missed seeing competitions live in action and the British Bouldering Championships 2021 did not disappoint! A crowd of enthused spectators came down to watch our young guns take to the mats once more to vie for the gold medal and title of British Bouldering Champion. The atmosphere was buzzing and the athletes hit the mats running, would Nathan Phillips make it a hat-trick and would Holly Toothill stand on top again?
The BBCs was only given the go ahead a few weeks ago and its roaring success was down to the work of the GB Climbing staff, with big thanks to the volunteers and judges, the routesetters for making the challenging and crowd-pleasing problems, our presenters that made the livestream fun and informative, Sheffield City Council and of course our sponsors La Sportiva, Rubicon and Beta Setting for providing the holds. Big thanks to everyone that helped.
Saturday saw a lot of action in the qualification round, where finger tips were trashed and biceps bulged as new and upcoming talent bumped shoulders with the experienced veterans of the BBCs. In each category, 20 athletes made it through to the semi-finals on Sunday. The women’s blocs proved tougher than the men’s in the semi-final with only four women achieving more than one top, meaning number of zones and top attempts decided the 5th and 6th positions. Meanwhile in the men’s four athletes topped all four problems but one boulder proved too tricky for the rest of the competitors to even reach the zone, so the field was split by the number of attempts to top the other three problems. Unfortunately, GB Climbing athlete Alex Waterhouse missed out on finals by one attempt and came in 7th place for the second year running.
Emily Phillips on her way to the top of W2. Photo: Alex Messenger
Finally, it was time for finals. The crowd cheered the athletes as they took turns attempting to top each boulder to take home the win. Again, the women’s problems proved more challenging than the men’s, with a tricky finish on W1 that spat off everyone that got there and a deceptive and challenging start on W2 stopping all but Tara Hayes and Emily Phillips from reaching the top. With two problems down and two to go, Emily Phillips was electrified from working out W2 and raced to the top of W3 on her first try and Holly Toothill came so close to flashing the problem too, having to settle for a top on her second attempt. On W4 there was still all to play for, but with two tops already and just needing one more to secure the title, Emily Phillips quickly and decisively put her stamp on the competition by reaching the top of the final boulder to take the title of British Bouldering Champion.
In the men’s comp, we saw a lot of tops in not many attempts. M1 had a delicate start on a slippy volume but once the teetering was over all the competitors found their way to the top. M2 was the hardest bloc of all, with powerful compression moves leading to a dynamic coordination jump but the holds proved too vague for any competitor to complete. M3 was fun to watch, with a subtle jump leading to a flamboyant finish which only two competitors struggled to reach. So with four athletes, Nathan Phillips, Matt Cousins, Max Milne and Billy Ridal already having two tops from the three blocs, it all came down to M4. Once Billy Ridal had flashed the problem, he knew he had a strong chance of taking the title as he’d also flashed M1 and M3. Reigning champ Nathan Phillips needed a flash to stay in the running but unfortunately took a few attempts to finish. So it all came down to the last competitor out, Max Milne. If he flashed it, he’d match Billy’s score and win on countback to the results of the semi-final. If he took more than one attempt, Billy would win. The pressure was on, and you could see Max taking his time to clear his mind and make his first attempt really count, and he did it with ease and took the title of British Bouldering Champion.
Zoe Spriggins, BMC Competitions Programme Manager, Said: “What a weekend! It was great to be back in Sheffield on Devonshire Green, at the BBCs 2021. It takes a team to pull off the spectacular and without the Sheffield BID, Sheffield City Council, the wall builders, the route setters and all the volunteers, the event would not have gone ahead. Congratulations to all the competitors for leaving nothing on the mats, we’re looking forward to the next event already!”
Watch the replays of the BBCs 2021
Semi-Finals of the La Sportiva BMC British Bouldering Championships 2021
Finals of the La Sportiva BMC British Bouldering Championships 2021
RESULTS: La Sportiva BMC British Bouldering Championships 2021
1. Max Milne
2. Billy Ridal
3. Nathan Phillips
4. Matt Cousins
5. Nathan Whaley
6. Ben Preston
1. Emily Phillips
2. Holly Toothill
3. Tara Hayes
4. Jen Wood
5. Gwen Morgan
6. Gwyneth Uttley
Thanks to our sponsors
Thanks to our headline sponsors La Sportiva and supporting sponsors Rubicon RAW.
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