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Don’t miss Bloc Shop Open this weekend!

On Sept. 29 and 30, 2018, Montreal’s Bloc Shop will be hosting its 2nd annual Bloc Shop Open (BSO) bouldering competition.

Crowd at BSO 2017, photo by Nic Charron

This event is unique in Canada most notably for the stacked list of invited, international pro climbers and setters, coupled with big cash prizes (a total of $12,000 to be won in the pro climbing category).

Bloc Shop has earned itself a reputation for putting on great comps. There are already over 200 people registered in the citizen comp, and 80+ in the pro division. Click here to register

In addition to what will surely be spectacular climbing, there will be a foosball tournament, there will be music, and there will be break dancing. For an $800 cash prize, the “break battle” takes place on Saturday Sept. 29.

Last year’s winner, Melissa Le Nevé, wrote on social media: The Bloc Shop Open “was definitely one of the nicest comp[s] I have done so far! Very happy to win the master but special big up for the crowd, the setting and the organisation […] that was a blast!”

Le Nevé will be back to defend her title, as will the winner of the men’s pro division, Michael Mawem. Full results and videos from last year here.

Melissa Le Nevé, Photo by Nic Charron

Other invitees include popular world cup personalities, Alex Khazanov and Petra Klingler. Household name, Tonde Katiyo is setting, along with French legend Jacky Godoffe.

Josh Muller and Regan Kennedy are the owners of Bolder Climbing Community in Calgary, as well as accomplished competitors. Even though one doesn’t see them on the comp circuit these days, Muller and Kennedy are flying out for this event.

Muller said he’s going to the Bloc Shop Open “to show support for the initiative and type of event they are hosting. Big competitions like this help to build the sport, support athletes and raise the bar for other gyms. It’s a great professional development opportunity for me as gym owner and athlete. I’m excited to learn from some of the best.”

We talked to co-owner, Cloé Legault, about the idea for this competition.

Tell us about the event! What is the concept behind this high profile, big budget competition? The concept: Why not? Go crazy, lets have fun. At Bloc Shop, bringing competition climbing to the next level has always been one of our main goals.

We have hosted multiple sanctioned competitions in the past and will continue to do so but the Bloc Shop Open is our chance to organise a large event in our own fashion, without any restrictions. This event is our opportunity to share our passion with the community, challenge ourselves and bring some international flavour to our climbing scene.

Last year there were five invited climbers, this year there are 9. How did you decide which climbers to invite? For a start, we invited the two winners from last year’s edition. Also, we make an effort to invite athletes with various personalities, who we believe will put on a good show. BSO is a fun event and we want people to have fun participating and watching.

Basically, the setters and athletes we invite are the people we want to work with. Of course, we do have some restrictions. Not everyone is available with the WC circuit underway and we do have to respect our budget…

How many people do you expect to compete this year? Last year, we had 81 PROS and 250 CITIZENS. This year, we modified the schedule and the format to accommodate a higher level of registration. You can see the list of registered athletes here.

Do you find that fewer climbers want to compete in the pro category because they’re intimidated by the big names? We think it goes both ways. Some people appreciate the chance to climb alongside these big names.

Also, all athletes that do not qualify for the semi-final round may participate in the CITIZEN round on the Sunday. We believe there is room for everyone to get what they want out of the comp, regardless of the categories.

Can you give us some names of Canadians we might see who could put some pressure on the invited competitors? Anyone can make a mistake and anything can happen…

Finally, for those who can’t be there in person, how can they watch? Both the semi-final and final round will be live-streamed on Bloc Shop’s Youtube channel here.

We will also produce a highlight reel the week following the event. And we will have live social media coverage all weekend on FB and Instagram.

Thanks Cloé!

Watch this teaser to see the full invited guest list: