What an amazing weekend of climbing! G Force 2017 is all over and we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did!
It was fantastic to see the incredible standard of climbing over the weekend, as well as the massive support from the spectators.
G Force kicked off on Saturday, and with close to 200 entries, competitors were split into 2 sessions for the qualification round. As in previous years, the format was a monster 30-problem circuit, and with under 4 hours to complete the round, time pressure was on. After the morning session some very high scores had been returned, with Dominic Burns and Nathan Phillips tied on 290 points, having flashed every problem but one. Competition for a place in the men’s semi-final was fierce, with a score of 245 required to progress to the next round.
With 60 competitors in the female category, the biggest entry to date, competition was much tougher than in previous years. Victoria Watterson qualified first, comfortably ahead on 258 points, with Lucy Mitchell second on 238.
The team prizes were based on qualification results, and with a very strong line up, ‘Team Rocket’-Dominic Burns, Nathan Phillips, Daragh O’Connor and Emily Duggan took the overall team prize, while University of Ulster’s Jordanstown team ‘Penguins at Dawn’ picked up a new bouldering mat for their club!
Sunday Morning saw our semi-finalists gather for the penultimate round.
Young competitors Jasmin Murphy and Marcus Mc Dowell qualified in 20th position and were first to climb. Marcus put in a huge effort to achieve a top on problem 4, while Gravity’s own Zoe Canin gave us our first top in the female category. As the round progressed, we saw some great performances and some really unexpected changes in the ranking. Sean Hoare and Mark Scanlon stormed the semi-final, moving up the rank by 9 and 10 places respectively to take 5th and 6th places in the semi-final. Mark’s brother Ciaran Scanlon came in 4th, making us all wonder what Mrs Scanlon feeds them! Next up, Gravity boy Daragh O’Connor came in 3rd and with 4 tops each, Nathan and Dominic took the top spots heading into the final.
In the Female category, Victoria Watterson topped all 4 problems, followed by Lucy Mitchell and Trish Fox with 3 tops each. New to the Irish climbing scene, but no stranger to climbing comps, Korean climber Youna Kim qualified in 4th, Claire Comiskey in 5th and Sheila Nolan in 6th.
While the route-setters, Percy Bishton and Rob Napier, changed the problems for the final, the rain poured down and the BBQ got underway! Daragh O’Connor did some emergency tarp repairs to keep everyone’s sausages dry and somehow everyone got fed despite the somewhat inclement weather!
Then it was time to settle in for the main event…
Finalists lined up to inspect the problems and got ready to try really, really hard, while an enthusiastic crowd assembled to watch. First up the women tackled a technical problem on the far right end of the wall, which all the competitors topped. The men got stuck with some shouldery moves on the Flathold volumes…
Next up, F2 was a contortionist’s challenge on volumes, while M2 demanded some serious crimping and separated Nathan, Daragh and Dom from the rest of the field.
For F3, a bit of psyching up was required to make the jump, while the moves that followed favoured those who have been doing their one legged squats! Meanwhile on M3, it was all about the volumes and a tricky press up into the final hold. Dom made the first section look easy, but only Nathan latched the top hold.
Going into the final problem, there was still all to play for, with Nathan on 3 tops to Daragh and Dom’s 2 and Lucy and Victoria separated only on attempts! The men had a tough, balancey slab followed by a hard mantle which only Ciaran Scanlon managed to top, leaving Nathan in first place, thanks to his top on problem 3.
Lucy was very, very close to the finish of F4, but couldn’t quite get both hands to the top, leaving Victoria in first place.
The overall results were…
1 Victoria Watterson
2 Lucy Mitchell
3 Sheila Nolan
4 Claire Comiskey
5 Youna Kim
6 Trish Fox
1 Nathan Phillips
2 Dominic Burns
3 Daragh O'Connor
4 Ciarán Scanlon
5 Sean Hoare
6 Mark Scanlon
Once again, we’d love to thank everyone involved:
The route-setting team, Percy Bishton and Rob Napier, assisted by Gravity setters Terry, Angela & Ricky; our DJ for the finals, Greg (great tunes!); everyone who judged on Sunday, especially Marek & Natasha; all those who sponsored the event. Special thanks to our Main sponsor Battleoats and to all those who supported G Force; Beyond Hope and Metolius; E9 clothing; Beta Climbing designs and Lapis. It’s also hugely important to have the support of local businesses, so thanks again to John at Simply Mountains, Leman at Climbing Dojo, Rob and Veronica at My Therapy, Dave at Three Rock Books and Naomi at Elements Yoga, all of whom provided amazing spot prizes!
We’d also love to say a big thank you to all the Gravity staff who put in a tremendous effort to make G force a success!