BRAWL ON THE WALL 2022 Summary
On the 26th and 27th we held our first ever major climbing competition “Brawl on the Wall” with help from our incredible sponsors over at Tenzing.
The weekend begun with an open qualification round where the athletes had to battle 25 boulders and achieve the highest possible score they could! The top 20 scoring athletes would secure a place in the semi-finals the following day, earning them a chance to prove themselves worthy of finals.
As they day was getting started the athletes were psyched and the energy in the gym was high, with many of the Font’s regulars showing their faces which was great to see! Amongst some of the more high-profile climbing athletes were Jim Pope, Max Milne, Aidan Dunne and Louis Parkinson just to name a few. Team Tenzing were on hand throughout the entire day supplying much needed caffeine and energy for all the competitors. After a super strong display of climbing by all the athletes, the final fun round of the qualification begun.
The 3rd and final round of the qualifications was a more fun-oriented round which included many games and challenges such as a team rope race, speed traverse and a hanging bar T-shirt challenge. This was a fantastic way to end the day seeing everyone getting stuck into the fun games and seeing the community get involved with the comp.
After a tough qualification round everyone got some well-deserved rest in preparation for day 2, semi-finals and finals. The top athletes in each category entered the isolation zone in the morning and begun warming up whilst the setting team were busy setting the semi-finals boulders.The day kicked off with a strong crowd cheering on the semi-finalists supported by one of London’s best climbing DJs, Shiggi Pakter. Each competitor had to tackle 4 boulders, only having 5-minutes per climb and a 5-minute rest in-between each boulder.
The men’s second boulder was a technical, slopey and shouldery traverse on orange holds and two BAD volumes that was a particular highlight to watch. Toby Roberts battled his way to the zone and looked as though he was going to top the boulder before suddenly slipping!
The women were faced with a powerful, burly and slopey overhanging climb which required technical heel hooks in order to wrestle their way to the top. Eugenie Lee and Erin McNeice cruised the boulder with ease and in the end, both managed to secure a spot in the finals!
The crowd and athletes were treated to a break in the middle of the day allowing them to refuel and rest. Finals kicked off with an electrifying atmosphere supported by the crowd and DJ. The commentators Matt Valerie-Christie and Alec Harper were on the mic providing their climbing wisdom and witty humour, helping to keep the psyche high and the crowd energetic.
For the men’s final boulders, they faced a series of climbs that would require a combination of strength, flexibility and dynamic power. They were challenged with a brutally pinchy climb on bad holds with a technically challenging top section, a dynamic coordination jump with a terrifying knee bar finish, a strenuous full body press into a dynamic and punchy top and a complex slab with tiny feet and brutal last move!
The women were challenged with an intricate slab problem, a technical slopey compression climb with a sketchy finish, a dynamic jump across volumes and a subtle, difficult to read boulder on large volumes with small hand holds.
With this being the first major climbing competition that The Font has hosted we couldn’t have asked for anything better. A huge thank you goes to all those that came along and participated and a massive congratulations to our two 1st place winners, Toby Roberts for the men’s and Erin McNiece for the women’s category. Finally, a huge shout out to our entire team who helped make this event happen. From the routesetters who put in a hard weeks worth of graft, to our front of house and management team. Without these guys, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off this incredible event and their hard work throughout the run-up was invaluable so thank you!
This was just a brief snapshot of the event and there is no way I can really describe it in a way that does it justice. I guess you’ll just have to come down to the next one and find out for yourselves!