Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
April 22, 2015, Central Saanich, BC (ISN) – The top sport climbers in British Columbia will be heading to The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich this weekend for the 2015 Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Provincial Difficulty and Speed Championships, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, 2015.
The USA’s Delaney Miller will be one of a number of international athletes on hand this weekend to compete in the 2015 SCBC Provincial Climbing Championships at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Provincials mark the culmination of the SCBC 2014-2015 competitive climbing season, which saw a number of local competitions in the Bouldering, Difficulty and Speed disciplines take place across the Province and the completion of the Bouldering Provincials in North Vancouver in late January.
The SCBC Provincials will feature the best climbers in the Province competing in a range of SCBC sanctioned categories including 11 and Under, 12/13, Youth B, Youth A, Junior, Masters and Open. There will also be competition in a number of non-sanctioned categories for all ages and abilities.
There will also be a strong international flavour at the SCBC Provincials this season, as a number of prominent athletes from other countries are currently training at The Boulders and will participate in the event. These include:
• Delaney Miller (USA) – 2015 Women’s U.S. National Champion in Lead;
• Libor Hroza (CZE) – Former world record holder in Speed, Ranked second in the world, expected to re-gain world record this season;
• Farnaz Esmailzade (IRA) – Member of Iranian National Speed Climbing Team
“We are excited to once again be hosting the SCBC Difficulty and Speed Provincial Championships, especially this year as it marks the second of four major events we are hosting in 2015, including the IFSC World Climbing Camp that was held in February and the upcoming Canadian Speed and Difficulty Nationals and IFSC Speed World Cup that will be held May 16-18,” said Jarzebiak. “The interest from the international climbing community for all four events has been great and we are thrilled that we will have a number of international athletes competing this weekend alongside our strong contingent of BC climbers.”
Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae will be on hand this weekend to try and defend his 2014 Provincial title in the men’s Open division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Speaking of which, of particular interest at the provincials will be competition in the Speed discipline, where climbers attempt to scale a 15-metre vertical wall in the quickest time. It is quite possible that a new Canadian record will be set by Robert Stewart-Patterson, the current Men’s Canadian record holder. In addition, Czech speed climber Hroza could eclipse the current world record in the discipline, which is 5.60 seconds.
Also of note in speed will be father and daughter tandem Jeremy and Elena Moss. Jeremy will be competing in the Master’s Speed division, while Elena, the 2014 Provincial and National Champion in Female Youth B, will look to repeat her title for 2015.
On the difficulty side, climbers to watch will include Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae who, after a successful first season on the World Cup circuit, will be back to defend his 2014 Men’s Provincial title in the Open division. Look for 2014 Provincial silver medalist Ryder Hoy and 2014 bronze medalists Jesse Taplin and Kyle Murdoch to also vie for the 2015 title. 2014 Junior silver medalist Matthew Wellington will also be a climber to watch for the men, along with up-and-coming youth climbers Brennan and Aiden Doyle.
Former speed world record holder Libor Hroza of the Czech Republic will be looking to regain his world record time this weekend when he competes at the SCBC Speed Provincials (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
On the female side, climbers to watch include Stephanie Chow (Youth C) and Sophie Buitendyk (Youth B), both of whom have multiple first place finishes this year in local competitions. Tula Sherkat is also expected to be a strong contender in the Youth D category.
The SCBC Provincials begin with qualifying rounds in all Difficulty categories except Open from 9:30 am to 12 Noon on Saturday April 25th. Qualifying rounds in the Open division will run from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Speed practice rounds for Youth C, D and Recreational run from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm on Saturday, while practice rounds for Youth B, Open and Experienced run from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Qualifying runs in all Speed divisions run from 4:30 pm to approximately 6:30 pm.
On Sunday April 26th, the finals in Difficulty for all divisions runs from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Speed finals will follow from 12 Noon to approximately 1:00 pm, with the Awards Ceremony scheduled for 1:30 pm.
The Boulders Climbing Gym is located at 1627 Stelly’s Cross Road in Central Saanich on Vancouver Island, attached to Stelly’s Secondary School. It is approximately a 30 minute drive from downtown Victoria. For further details please visit www.climbtheboulders.com or call 250-544-0310.
About The Boulders Climbing Gym
The Boulders Climbing Gym is a not-for-profit society, with the mandate of making climbing accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or ability to pay. With over 13,000 square feet (1,208 square metres) of climbing space, The Boulders Climbing Gym is a community facility and a unique social enterprise, providing adaptive recreation and rehabilitation programs, youth recreational and competitive programs, as well as facilitating a climbing academy at Stelly’s Secondary School. All instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. See www.climbtheboulders.com for more details.
About Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC)
The Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) was established in 2012 to be the Provincial Sport Organization for competition climbing in British Columbia and to foster and promote the growth of competition climbing throughout the Province. Learn more at www.sportclimbingbc.ca.
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