Australian Open National Speed and Lead Comp 2017
Roxy Perry (TAS) was the big winner of the night, with gold in both Womens Speed and Lead, narrowly beating out title holder Lucy Stirling in the Lead final, with the difference between a controlled hold and a used hold being the decider, in a nail-biting finish. Emma Horan (QLD) came in at 3rd.
In the Mens Speed comp Jarred Jordan (NSW) took gold, defending his 2016 title. The final was closely contested by Iranian visitor Khosro Hashemzadeh with a slip in the finals giving the victory to Jordan.
2016 Junior Lead Champion Campbell Harrison (VIC) stepped up to take out this year’s senior Lead title, with Khosro Hashemzadeh in competition second place. Tom Tom Farrell (NSW) took the second official podium place, followed by Mattias Braach-Maksvytis (NSW).
Huge shout out to Antoine Moussette and the team at Radest Productions – while it often seems that Ed is everywhere at once, of course he can’t be, so we will increasingly be relying on talented local photographers to help bring all the performance climbing action from around the world. Also special mention to sponsors KAILAS, ClifBar, Edelrid and Red Chili.
The 2017 Australian Lead and Speed National Championships brought me the best results I have ever accomplished at a national, Open A level. The title is something I have been working for tirelessly since I placed 4th at the 2014 Open Lead nationals and caught spark of a potential podium finish.
Being my first year as an open-only competitor I had high hopes of doing well and performing at my best. This is because I wouldn’t be negatively affected physically and mentally by competing in youth and opens simultaneously. I was really happy with how I climbed, not just with how I placed. It’s beginning to feel like my training is paying off and that’s a super exciting feeling.
The routes were really great at this competition. I don’t often walk away liking every route I was assigned to, but this comp was an exception! There was a lot of variation in the styles and this helped with splitting the field. The height of the walls was an additional challenge compared to what I’m used to back at home, which was certainly daunting and I often find myself questioning my abilities when this is the case. This adds extra pressure to control my headspace on the day.
The finals were super intense. The route was full of tricky sequences, with an aggressive, burly finish. I certainly didn’t come off it feeling fresh! The ladies in Open A were very strong and they didn’t make it easy. It’s always difficult competing against good friends, especially when we are all similar in ability. When we’d finished our final, I wasn’t actually sure who had won since it was an extremely close and there was a very stressful half hour that followed whilst the judges deliberated! At this point, I realised that even if I had placed second, it still would have been my best open, national result ever. I couldn’t have been happier to share a podium with Lucy and Emma, who also made up the three podium spots with me last year, although in a different order!
Speed climbing was a lot of fun. I only tried the official wall once a few years ago and I don’t recall being very quick at the time! While training, I have been focusing on power to compensate for not knowing the route and that seemed to have helped! Next, I will definitely try and visit climbing gym’s that have the official speed climb more often, as I need to learn what I’m absolutely capable of!
Although I’ve come away from this competition at the top, I am definitely not resting on my results… I am continuously looking for ways to better my climbing. The idea that I have proved to myself that my training is working, so far, only drives me to push the limits even further!
I have just booked flights to Japan for the boulder World Cup in Hachioji, Tokyo next month and I’m super nervous as it’s my first boulder WC ever! Hopefully I’ll catch a couple of the lead WC’s in Europe later in the year too and I plan to go to the 2017 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia.
I’m very excited to see where this year takes me.
This Lead Nationals was a really special one for me. Last time I won the senior title was in 2015, where I really struggled in the qualifying round, but managed to pull it together in the final. This time, in the lead up to the event, I was suffering with a finger injury that severely impeded my training. As such I was very anxious and stressed when it came to the week of the competition. Despite this, I managed to overcome fear and put in my best climbing in every round of the competition, winning in the final with a climb that I’ll feel proud of for a long time!
The final began in a very typical style with a section of large, but not particularly difficult moves, progressing into a more sloped, dynamic, compression sequence before the transition in the roof. After a dire crux that saw most of the field fall, moving though a series of bad slopers, the roof eased out into a less physical, but far more intricate sequence. From the ground, I was super confused as to what I would have to do, but I managed to figure out the best sequence for me on the fly, and came off pretty tired at the last powerful throw to the final hold.
The routesetters did an awesome job, and even though the Men’s final fell to a bit of a crux, I don’t think that anyone would say that routes weren’t heaps of fun to climb. Even when I stepped onto the wall, I hadn’t yet figured out how I was going to climb the roof section, and so I was surprised, but also pretty happy when I came through to the final move.