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Indoor Weekly: Watch RAB Climbing Festival 2018

Sean McColl at 2017 RAB CWIF

The RAB Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) returns on the weekend of March 10/11 with a selection of big talent from bouldering competing for the CWIF title. The event will be raising fund for Climbers Against Cancer.

Kokoro Fujii leads the names on the men’s competition going up against other big names such as past CWIF champion Jernej Kruder, two-time finalist Jan Hojer and Ty Landman.

Stasa Gejo heads up the women’s side of the draw alongside IFSC Top 10 boulderer Chloe Caulier.

Fujii won the recent Bouldering Japan Cup against a packed field of Japanese talent signalling his class in the field as well as three IFSC World Cup stage wins to his name.

Going up against Kokoro will be a strong visiting German team including powerhouse Jan Hojer. Hojer, currently a Sheffield resident has been regularly training at the Climbing Works making it home turf for him; will this give him an advantage?

Past CWIF champion Kruder returns to become the second two-time champion after Alex Megos.

Ty Landman leads the British interest this in the men’s final. A regular finalist at CWIF but can he go one further and finally take the top spot? He is joined by Beastmaker International Footless Festival champ Jim Pope, Matt Cousins, and Will Bosi.

Things are wide open in the women’s side of the draw opening the door for a new CWIF champion in 2018. Stasa Gejo takes the top billing and will be her first CWIF. The 20 year old Serbian took the top spot in the European Championships in Munich last year as well as the World Games making her a real contender for this years IFSC Bouldering World Cup.

British interest is led by reigning British bouldering champion and CWIF veteran Leah Crane and emerging talent such as Hannah Slaney who made Semi-Finals in the European championships last year, Rachel Carr who won the Beastmaker International Footless Festival this year and Holly Toothill who was the youngest finalist of the British Bouldering Championships last year.

As usual, the CWIF problems will be set by an elite crew led by IFSC Chief routesetter, Percy Bishton. He will also be joined by three more IFSC Chief routesetters (Jamie Cassidy & Laurent Laporte and owner of Squadra holds Reini Fichtinger) as well as a host of other routesetting talent including Jason Pickles, Rob Napier and Andy Long so be prepared for anything in the qualifiers and finals.

Outside of the main competition, the qualification format allows for everyday climbers to compete alongside their heroes and the fancy dress competition continues to become more outlandish each year in the evening session which also features the off-piste circuit which allows the route-setters ‘experimental’ side to come to fore. Check out the trailer for the competition below: https://www.facebook.com/climbingworks/videos/1855290044483527/

The Semi-Finals and Finals will be livestreamed on Sunday March 11 (at noon and 18:15 GMT respectively) below. Use #CWIF2018 and #GrippedMagazine for images.