Thursday, 13 June 2013

European Youth Cup and Exams, not a good mix.

As they say preparation is key, in the last month I have had to trim my training to a minimum or beyond to concentrate on my studies, being a bit greedy I have just sat AS exams in 5 subjects (8 separate exams) and needed to commit significant effort to these.  In the final week of exams I had 4 papers to sit on 4 consecutive days, and on my first free day I travelled to Ratho for the first EYC of the year on the following day.  Trying to be realistic with myself I was hoping a top 20 place in a group of 37 entered in the Youth A.

Youth A and Juniors’ were to climb the same routes, and instead of Youth A climbing then Juniors the groups were shuffled together, and would be climbing on both routes at the same time.  This made for a group of 57 climbers, the way the day was run I was up half way through the running order on the 2nd route (old comp wall), and 57th up on the 1st route (articulated wall).  So my first qualifier was on the old comp wall, and was the more technically tricky of the two, not quite my favourite thing.  Things were going fine until my left hand popped as I made a move to the right, this gave me 22nd of the 37 in youth A. 

Photo: Sandy Carr

Then it was on to the articulated wall. I had a much better climb, passing the two volumes half way that had caused many to fall, I was just about to enter the final roof section when my lack of recent training took its toll, however I felt I had done reasonably well, being the last to climb the overall results were up pretty quickly, I was delighted to see I had 15th place overall and went out to celebrate in the hot Scottish sun!  Later I found I had been moved down to 18th, I don’t know why, and when looking at my route scores was a bit disappointed to see I had come 12th on the articulated wall as I felt I had done really well on that.  I felt I could have done better overall, and some better prep would have helped, but I had had to focus on the day job – AS exams, now I can get down to some serious climbing.

Photo: Nick Pope

It was great to catch up with the rest of the GB team, to watch some inspirational climbing in the finals and the exciting speed comp.

By Connor Byrne

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