I’ve just come back from a weekend competing in the first EYC of the season held in Soure, Portugal. The Team met at Luton to fly out to Lisbon on Thursday. We collected the hire vans and begun the 2-hour drive up to Figueira de Foz which was the town we were staying in. The hotel was ace and the rooms were very nice too. Me and Nath had a room with a view out onto the beach which was cool. On the rest day before the comp, we got up and went for a walk along the beach and found a climbing frame called a Power Station where you do loads of upper body exercises on bars and rings. That was great fun and then we headed to the supermarket to get all of our pre-comp healthy food to make sure we were ready to compete. The rest of the day we relaxed and did some stretching and yoga to get mobile for the next day.
On Saturday we all travelled to the competition venue. The competition wall was in a massive sports hall which was great for spectating (and it stayed pretty cool during the scorching heat outside!)
Warming up to climb was pretty challenging, more so than usual, because the wall kept shuddering, creaking and holds spun rather a lot! But after getting warm it was time for my 1 hour 30 of climbing on the 8 qualifying blocs, which were really hard! I hadn’t really seen many climbs in the UK set like this international circuit so quite a few of the moves were new to me. Considering that, I felt I did well getting up 2 of the climbs in 3 goes and achieving 5 bonuses in 6 attempts. One climb, in particular, was really difficult for me, a really bunched up black problem set in the boxy roof of an overhang and coming round an arête. I found it really awkward and didn’t even get the bonus on it. However, the 2 climbs I did top were great fun. A volumey climb which led in to pulling hard on some shouldery moves. A red slopey problem which I managed to get a cheeky knee bar on so I could move around the crux easier and then hold the crimps to reach the top hold. I came pretty close on some other blocs too which with a few more goes would have been sent. You can look at them in this YouTube video I made. It was a tough comp because of the queues and short 90 minute qualification time so I couldn’t get lots of attempts on each climb but I now know what to train in the run-up to the next EYC in L’Argentiere, France in July.