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Central Saanich, BC – The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) National Youth and Open Speed Climbing Championships on Saturday April 9, 2016 at their world-class climbing facility in Central Saanich.

Evelyna Trottier (foreground) and Elena Moss (background) start their race up the speed wall at last year’s IFSC Speed World Cup. Trottier will be competing at this year’s Nationals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The event will feature the top speed climbers from across Canada and the world, all vying to scurry up The Boulders 15-metre, internationally certified speed wall, in the shortest time possible.

At the event last year, Czech climber Libor Hroza, who trains at The Boulders, set a new, unofficial world record by speeding up the wall in an astonishing 5.38 seconds on one of his runs, shattering the official world record time of 5.6 seconds. He hopes to do that again this year, but will face stiff competition from the likes of Canadian men’s record holder Robert Stewart-Patterson and 2015 Junior and Canadian Open champion Tristen Gosselin.

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At last season’s National’s, Czech climber Libor Hroza blazed up the wall in an astonishing 5.388 seconds (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the women’s side, 2015 Canadian Champion and Canadian Women’s record holder Alison Stewart-Patterson will be the favourite to repeat and will look to improve upon her record mark of 10.83 seconds set at The Boulders during the May 2015 Speed World Cup. She could face tough competition from the likes of Evelyna Trottier and Christy Spurrell, who finished second and third respectively to Stewart-Patterson at a recent CEC event at The Boulders, as well as 2015 Youth B Champion Sonja Johanson, who moves up into the Youth A and Open divisions this season.

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Canadian women’s speed record holder and 2015 Canadian champion Alison Stewart-Patterson will be favoured to defend her title this year (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“The Speed Nationals are a yearly highlight for us,” said Kimanda Jarzebiak, Director of Operations at The Boulders. “It is always entertaining to watch world class athletes like Libor Hroza and his on-going quest for a new world record, but it is also very gratifying to see the younger athletes that train with him attain their own personal bests and compete for gold in their own age groups.”

Athletes competing Saturday will be looking to secure spots at the World Championships in Paris in September and the World Youth Championships in China in November.

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The Boulders 15-metre, internationally certified speed climbing wall will be the site of the 2016 National Speed Climbing Championships on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The CEC Speed Nationals on Saturday begin with practice, qualifying and final rounds for the Youth C Girls age group from 3:15 to 4:00 pm. Practice runs for all other age groups (Youth C Boys, Youth B, Youth A and Open) run from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with qualifiers following immediately from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Quarter finals (top 8) then begin at 6:15 pm, with finals beginning at 6:40 pm and awards to follow immediately after.

The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

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 Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC)
Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) is federally incorporated as a National Sport Organization (NSO) with a mandate to regulate and promote the development of competition climbing in bouldering, difficulty and speed. Climbing Escalade Canada provides assistance to athletes, coaches, and event organizers at the national level. Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) is run by volunteers (climbers, coaches, gym owners, parents) from across the country. The CEC is the only sanctioning body for competition climbing in Canada recognized by the IFSC. Membership in the CEC is required when representing Canada at International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) sanctioned competitions. See http://www.climbingcanada.ca for more details