The British Bouldering Championships (BBCs), organised by the BMC, proved to be a star attraction at Cliffhanger festival this weekend, with the bouldering marquee buzzing with crowds, cameras and action.
The Cliffhanger festival itself attracted a record number of visitors, with some 20,000 people enjoying the outdoor activities on offer in Millhouses Park, Sheffield.
Over 80 young boulderers battled it out on Saturday in the junior competition. Shauna Coxey took the female title for the third year running. Jonathan Stocking also proved his continuing form by winning the boys championships for the second year running.
On Sunday, the spotlight was literally on the seniors. Reigning women's champion Audrey Seguy went out with an injury in the qualifiers leaving the woman's title wide open. Leah Crane gave the crowds a fantastic performance of strong, agile climbing to take the women's title ahead of Katy Whittaker and Diane Merrick. Meanwhile Audrey joined Ian Smith in the commentary box.
It was all go in the men's qualifiers with 45 competitors taking part. The final promised to be exciting, with a line-up including Dave Barrans fresh from taking bronze in the World Bouldering Championships in China, reigning champion Ned Feehally, and multiple winner Gaz Parry. It all came down to the very last problem and in a nail-biting finish Ned Feehally successfully defended his title by confidently bagging the finishing hold.
All the action of the championship was filmed to be screened on Sky Sports in the autumn.
The championships formed part of the selection process for the British Bouldering Team 2010. The team will be announced in the next few weeks.
Next summer, Britain will play host to a prestigious IFSC Bouldering World Cup event which is due to take place at the Cliffhanger festival, provisionally on 3 -4 July 2010.
Podium results for 2009 are as follows:
Leah Crane - 1st
Katy Whittaker - 2nd
Diane Merrick - 3rd
Ned Feehally - 1st
Dave Barrans - 2nd
Gaz Parry - 3rd
Shauna Coxsey - 1st
Caitlin Wallace - 2nd
Suzie Zitter - 3rd
Jonathan Stocking - 1st
Jonathan Field - 2nd
Nathan Phillips - 3rd
Download full results
Image gallery - British Bouldering Championships
Image gallery - Cliffhanger festival
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