News 2013

Title: European Youth Championships - Bouldering
Date: 28/05/2013
System Date: 28/05/2013

Lucy Mitchell reports on the European Youth Championships for Bouldering.

For the majority of people the weekend of the 25thth and 26thth of May was just a normal weekend, but for three of Ireland’s best boulders, Irish team members Dominic Burns, Jamie Rankin, Daragh O’Connor and Mountaineering Ireland Team Coach Eddie Cooper, it was a bit more than just ordinary.

Their weekend in the shadow of the Eiger, consisted attending and competing in the first ever, European Youth Boulder Championships. Held in Grindelwald Switzerland, the championship accommodated just short of 250 competitors from a ‘mere’ 25 different nations! 

Despite taking part in previous European competitions, this weekends experience was new for all three boys as for the first time they set out to compete in the older and even more challenging Youth A category! Not one of them let us down.

They weren’t just climbing with the best in Europe; they were competing with them and giving them a good run for their money. Great performances from all three show that without a shadow of a doubt they deserve to be there. 

The IFSC competition scoring system for bouldering can be a little deceiving. It can often look as though the competitor couldn’t even get off the ground when they may have touched the final hold on many of the problems! This can be very frustrating for the competitors but in this circumstance ‘1 top’ beats any number of ‘bonuses’. 

I think it’s fair to say that even though the results this weekend were brilliant they don’t really give the full picture of just how well the guys climbed. The amazing and reassuring thing is their absolute persistence! 

I don’t think you can ask for a better response to the comp …  Its all sweet, got me psyched to get ridiculously strong!!” Jamie Rankin. And with the collective insight of the guys, “a bit more power and stamina is the key” …  What will stop them?

A special mention does need to be given to Dominic Burns aka Dom, as he’s better know though out Ireland and Europe. On Saturday he competed against the best, and he beat the best! 

Qualifying for the final in first place! Dom was the only competitor in Youth A to top all eight of the qualification problems. Problems which many of us wouldn’t be able to get off the ground on never mind complete first attempt. Dominic who was ranked No.1 in Europe in 2012, in Youth B bouldering, again showed why he is one of the very best.

Unfortunately like I said on this occasion the results didn’t do any of them justice. The final problems were superb and despite not suiting Dominic’s style, he fought hard and topped 2 out of 3 problems (with, as always fingertips bleeding) and gave a super smile to the camera after flashing his final problem in style … what a pro!

His qualification to the final was no fluke; he has never failed to make a European Bouldering final! There will be many more to come, so no need to worry! It was in Grindelwald last year that Dominic became the first Irish team member to stand on a European podium: On the top step in first place! 

A huge mention needs to be made to all the team who train and try harder than you can imagine. To Eddie who supports and encourages day in and day out! To Surf Mountain and The North Face for all their support and to Gravity and Awesome Walls, who give the team the opportunity to train their hearts out! Thanks!