News 2015

Title: 2015 Senior Irish Lead Climbing Championship
Type: Climbing - competitions
Date: 30/11/2015
System Date: 30/11/2015
The 2015 Senior Irish Lead Climbing Championship took place at Awesome Walls Dublin on Saturday 28th of November. The competition attracted 42 climbers from all over Ireland. The competitors competed in four separate categories: Senior Male, Senior Female, Masters Male and Veterans Male. The format of the lead climbing championship is that each competitor attempts the two qualification routes for their category. The top ranked competitors in each category then goes on to climb in the final round.

The competition route setters Brian Hall and Yann Genoux spent two days setting and testing a range of routes to test the competitors. Brian and Yann set the competition routes on the DMM wall and the prow at Awesome Walls Dublin. Brian and Yann were able to set some really impressive looking routes using the brand new Makak holds and Savage volumes thanks to sponsorship of team at Savage Outdoors.
The initial route for the Senior Male category was a pumpy and technical route on the fin just left of the DMM wall. This first route quickly engaged the climbers with some intricate footwork and challenging route reading. The first route for Senior Female climbed the right-hand corner of the DMM wall and included a dramatic bridging finish. The Masters Male category were given a steep and pumpy opening route. The Veterans Male climbed an imposing look line of yellow holds on the side wall of the prow.

The second qualifying route for the Senior Male took them up a powerful line on the left of the prow. This route saw only three climbers reach the top, with Andrew Mawhinney looking particularly strong. The second Senior Female route was an excellent looking face route going straight up the middle of the DMM wall. This route was technical and powerful with a challenging move about half way which separated the field. True to form Lucy Mitchell looked very much in control on this route. The Masters Male second qualifying route was the route on the fin, already climbed by the Senior Male. Dave Hunt put in a massive performance on this route, delivering a shot across the bows of the other competitors. The Veterans Male second qualifier was the steep and pumpy route on the right hand side of the prow. The ‘younger’ climbers fared better on this route with Gerry Fogg and Terence O Neil tying in first place. 

For the final round of the competition the finalists wait in an isolation room so as not to gain an advantage by watching the other climbers. The Veterans Male final route was a physical and technical climb straight up the middle of the DMM wall. Sean Barrett set a good pace and reached about a three quarters way up the wall before his arms gave in. Next out was the irrepressible Calvin Torrans. Watching Calvin climb the final route was like watching a NASA space shuttle blast off; he was going up, all boosters ignited. Defending champion Terence O Neill matched Calvin’s highpoint but his rockets came off at the some point. Gerry Fogg, a first time participant in the championship climbed with exceptional form to get higher than the other and in doing so winning the Veterans Male category.

The Masters Male final climb took a steep line on the Awesome Walls prow. Tom O Neill put in a great fight through the steepness to set a high bar for the following climbers. Conor O Connor was looking strong until a sequencing error led to an uncomfortable dismount. Dark-horse of the day Dave Hunt passed the previous high-points with comfort, getting full six holds than the earlier climbers. The final climber in the category Eamon Riain climbed smoothly through the steep section and set up well for the next moves only to come undone at the exact same point as Dave Hunt. The top place on the podium went to Eamon on count-back as he had a better score from the qualifying round.

The Senior Female final was won in definitive fashion by defending champion Lucy Mitchell. Lucy climbed impeccably on the final, the only competitor in the competition to reach the top of their final route.  The tussle for remaining two podium places was very close between Caroline Harney-Ayton, Vicki Cleary and Victoria Watterson. Caroline and Vicki reached the exact same point on the route. Second place went to Caroline as she had ranked higher in the qualifying round.

In the Senior Male final Eddie Cooper moved up two places from his qualifying rank of fourth to take second place overall. Jono Redmond secured third place overall, climbing with pace and precision on the very powerful and dynamic route. It was however the very much on form Andrew Mawhinney that took the top place on the podium. Andrew looked very fit on the route and managed to hang on to set the high point of the climb. 

The competition ran very smoothly thanks to the huge amount of help from a great group of volunteers. Thanks to John Healy, Howard Heblethwaite, Ray Carter, Niamh Hebblethwaite, Steve Mc Mullan, Natasza Przybylski, Neil O Rourke, Anastasija Strizakova, Marianne Kelly, Matt Davis, Paddy Orr, Jason Aherne, Amy Orr , Matthew Smith, Filip Przybylksi and George Lassov. 

Huge thanks to Dave Ayton and the entire team at Awesome Walls Dublin for all their help in hosting the competition. Thanks also O’Driscoll & O’Neill Insurance for supporting the competition. Thanks again to Savage Outdoors for supplying the brilliant range of holds and volumes for the competition. Last but not least thanks to DMM for supplying the prizes. 

Brian Geissel took some amazing photos at the competition. You can view the range of photos on Brian website at the following link: Brian Geissel Photography

You can view some more photos on the Mountaineering Ireland - Competition Climbing Facebook page. Click on the following link: Mountaineering Ireland - Competition Climbing


Senior Male
1. Andrew Mawninney
2. Eddie Cooper
3. Jono Redmond

Senior Female
1. Lucy Mitchell
2. Caroline Harney-Ayton
3. Vicki Cleary

Masters Male
1. Eamon O Riain
2. Dave Hunt
3. Conor O Connor

Veterans Male
1. Gerry Fogg
2. Terence O Neill 
3. Calvin Torrans

For full results please click on the following link: 2015 Senior Irish Lead Climbing Championship - Results


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