Scottish Youth Bouldering Championship 2012

The Climbing Academy Glasgow (TCA)

25th May 2012

Report by Kevin Howett & Avril Gall

118 children from Scotland, England and Ireland attended the SYBC at the Climbing Academy in Glasgow on Saturday 25th May despite being one of the hottest days in Scotland for some time.

The SYBC has been running for 4 years as a Scottish only championship, but for the first time this year it was open to all children in all age categories. So, it was great to see a good selection of 17 children from England, particularly from the north east, but also from Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and London and

a strong Irish team made it over with 16 children attending from Belfast, Dublin and further afield.

Many of the parents were roped into judging and spotting and the event coordinator and chief judge was MCofS Area Youth Coordinator Scott Forsyth, assisted by our other AYC’s, John Donaldson, Avril Gall and Donna Ryan. Avril and John also input the scores.

The format was very new, with 6 age groups based on IFSC categories as follows:

Youth E (8-9), Youth D (10-11), Youth C (12-13), Youth B (14-15), Youth A (16-17) and Junior (18-19); and a new scoring system, one that may be used in a developing GB Youth Bouldering Series! With so much of the event brand new this year we expected a few stumbles and must thank all the parents and children for their patience and understanding when delays and mistakes happened.We will be taking what we have learned and tweaking things so that our next Scottish Open Championship event (Scottish Youth Climbing and Speed Championships on the 16th September at EICA) will benefit.

ReAch coach Neil McGeachy and aspirant setter Stuart Burns (working at EICA) sett 20 qualifying problems ranging in difficulty from VB to V7, whilst TCA staff Alan Cassidy and Rob Sutton assisted by Garry Vincent sett 18 Finals’ problems ranging from V2 to V8.

The three hour Qualifying round saw each category of children attempting a selection of 15 of the 20 problems, with scoring based on the total number of ‘Tops’, the total number of ‘Attempts’, the number of ‘Bonus Holds’ held and the total number of ‘Bonus Attempts’. This led to a Final with a varying number of places (4 or 6) dependent on the number of entries in each particular category although the Junior Girls were a place short having only garnered 3 entrants. This meant we had 59 children fighting it out on the series of problems across the competition area of the TCA walls beside the café.

Each category (boys and girls) had to attempt 3 specific problems with only 4 minutes on each one with a rest between on change-over. At any one time there were 5 climbers in action, which made for a really exciting final. Rob Sutton of TCA did a fantastic job as compare and obviously has an optional career opportunity in TV, perhaps taking over from ‘Brucie’ on Dancing with the Stars!

The visiting climbers certainly gave the local Scots a fight and took away many of the podium places, but it was inspirational to see the level of climbing from elsewhere.


Here is a round up:

In the youngest group (Youth E): Ben Freireich (Prestwick) won the boys with fellow Scots in 2nd (Louis Langland - Inverness) and 3rd (Leo Harland Sendra - Edinburgh); whilst Caitlin Wombwell from County Durham took 1st and Madelyn Calvert from County Down, Northern Ireland took 2nd with Katie Moor from (Haddington) 3rd.

In Youth D: Scottish superstar Rory Whyte (Airdrie) was beaten into 2nd place by Nathan Whaleythe Westway in London and Scot Connor Moore (Haddington) took 3rd; in the girls Joanne Pimblett from Liverpool took 1st place from our own Rhiannon Freireich (Prestwick) and Abbie Rivett from Sheffield beat scots’ Emma Davidson (Livingston) and Holly Davis (Edinburgh) to 3rd.

In Youth C: Jack Graham from Tyne & Wear took the 1st place way ahead of the others with an impressive flashed final round to match his qualifying. Carson Carnduff from Northern Ireland took 2nd place and Sam Harland Sendra from Edinburgh 3rd ; this was the biggest girls’ age group and the problems in the final were tough. Rebecca Whaley (London) was a clear winner topping out on 2 problems whilst Rebecca Kinghorn (Cruden Bay) and Kirsten Taylor (Edinburgh) were separated by bonus points, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In Youth B: This was probably the strongest category of the event with six climbers currently climbing very well. In the end it was hard to separate the top four and GB Team member and Scot William Bosi (Edinburgh) had to go to a super final against Dominic Burns and Jamie Rankin, both from Belfast, and Luke Murphy from Hebden Bridge, on the Youth A problems. In the end Dominic took the 1st to a screaming crowd displaying the strength and technique that gave him a sixth place in a round of the European Youth Bouldering Cup last year. William secured a top to give him 2nd and the others joint 3rd. In the girls contest Sidonie Graham (Seaton Deleval) took 1st knocking reigning Champion Eilidh Vas Payne (Stirling) to 2nd and 3rd place went to Emily Eadie from Inverness who was 6th last year!

In Youth A: It was a resounding 1st for Scott Keir from Banchory whilst Dylan Mackenzie from Inverness (climbing in a onesy Pikachu suit – these furry suits were a feature of the day from the Scots competitors!) just pipped Joe Swales from York to 2nd; this was the strongest Scottish girls category and it was an all Scotland final, with Rachel Carr (Edinburgh) taking the honours ahead of Eleanor Hopkins (Kippen) (2nd) and Rebekah Drummond (Brechin) 3rd).

In the oldest - Junior – category: Joshua Farrell from Leeds topped out on 2 problems beating Alasdair Johnstone from Glencoe into 2nd and last year’s Scottish Champion, Calum Forsyth (Ratho) took 3rd; the girls competition was a battle between England, Ireland and Scotland, with Lucy Mitchell from Ireland but currently studying in Leeds, Rachel Cooper from Belfast and Zoe Coulter (a new face on the Scottish competition scene) from Alva finishing in that order.

Scottish Champions:

Not only were we finding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place climbers in each category, but also the Scottish Champions were recognised and received a separate trophy. They are:


Youth E (8-9)

Ben Freireich

Katie Moore

Youth D (10-11)

Rory Whyte

Rhiannon Freireich

Youth C (12-13)

Sam Harland Sendra

Rebecca Kinghorn

Youth B (14-15)

William Bosi

Eilidh Vass Payne

Youth A (16-17)

Scott Keir

Rachel Carr

Junior (18-19)

Alasdair Johnstone

Zoe Coulter

Sandy Carr acted as ‘official’ competition photographer and has posted all his pictures on Picasa for the children to see.

Thanks are due to the many parents who helped volunteer on the day, the AYC’s for their efforts setting it all up and administering the day’s schedule, to the staff at TCA for all their hard work and making us so welcome, and to the route-setters for producing some exquisite problems. We must thank the prize sponsors TISO (for Boards), TCA (for chalk balls), ReAch (for beany hats & various other offerings) and JM Holds (for climbing holds). Finally, continuing thanks to the MCofS’s Youth Development sponsors, the Interactive Design Institute (idi), without whose help we could not have held the competition.

We hope to see you all again next year.