I have wanted to attend the Climbing Works International Festival at Sheffield already for couple of years. This year, I finally got the opportunity to climb at this special event.
The competition itself is made by special 'open' qualifications format. Everyone can choose and climb 30 qualifications boulders within a 3.5 hours time limit with 3 attempts available for each. Results are calculated by achieved points. The top 20 female and 20 male climbers continue into the next round. The semifinal and final is made by classic IFSC competition system (4 problems, with isolation and 5min/4min+ time limit).
I really enjoyed the qualification format. The boulders were very nice, a lot of technical, slabby and overall interesting climbs (set by local setter including Percy Bishton and others)... Also climbing the problems together with other team mates was great and really fun! But still, there was a bit of pressure with only '3 tries'. It's really interesting how sometimes little restriction like this can create a big change in your climbing. First go, you put (or try to put) out your maximum. Ok, if it doesn't go or you slip, you still have another try... But then, only one chance is left. Now, you HAVE to do it! Otherwise, it's gone ... :( While it is stressful, I really like the point of system and have found it very valuable for competition and mental training. Definitely something to try and do more of :)
Next day it was time for semifinals and evening finals, and a switch back into 'classic' competition system. Warm up, prepare and set myself back into 'competition' mood, but for first time in this year - uhhhh :) I was excited, but kind of worried about keeping it all together. So, in the semi-finals I did not start really well, but managed to catch up in the later problems, and got into evening finals with 3 tops in 5 attempts. It was also really close for Katja Kadič and Domen Škofic, who both showed strong climbing and good performances, but because of some little mistakes and too many tries unfortunately just missed the finals.
Evening finals went pretty well for me. I was happy to compete again and to have a chance to fight for CWIF's crown of 2014 among other 5 strong girls and cool looking problems. At the end, I finished all 4 problems, just missed the win in last boulder while spending too many tries at first move. But still, I was satisfied with my performance and feelings during comp and climb.
Congratulations to everyone for their strong performance and 3rd CWIF's title to Shuana Coxsey and for 3rd place to another Mina, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk. In the mens category, the win went to Tito Caleyron with 4 flashes - congratulations!
After the comp, we did not head home, but stayed for another couple of days. We spent a day or two climbing outside on the local classics and great gritstone of the Peak District. I did not try anything very hard, but it was a very good experience and am definitely looking forward to come back soon and also try some harder stuff there.
Other days we spent at the Climbing Works gym, training together with other teams (Netherlands, UK, ...) on problems set especially for us. It was very pleasant experience and for sure, good training.
At this point, I would like to thank the gym, the route setters, coaches and all others involved for this great opportunity and climbing week! :)