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Sean McColl at Climbing Works Comp 2019 This Weekend

The Rab CWIF returns this weekend (March 2 to 3) at Sheffield’s world-renowned climbing wall, The Climbing Works, signalling the start of the 2019 competition season in a year when many hope to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games where Sport Climbing will make its debut.

The UK’s biggest and best bouldering competition annually attracts some of the most famous faces in world climbing for its unique combination of hard climbing and having fun and this year is no different. The Rab CWIF 2019 will be bigger than ever before with 30 blocs in the grade range of Font 5+ to Font 7c housed across the main wall and The Climbing Works’ newest venue, Unit E, located on the same site in the building opposite.

Sam Whittaker, The Climbing Works’ Managing Director says: “As the world of competition climbing hots up with the Olympics a year away and more people than ever getting into climbing, we are expecting this year’s Rab CWIF to be bigger and rowdier than ever before! Always a good measure of contenders for the wider IFSC world competition season, place your bets, flex your guns and join in or watch our livestream online to find out who will be crowned winners of the Rab CWIF 2019.”

Last minute decisions means I’m going back to the CWIF in Sheffield at @climbingworks this weekend! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After missing dock masters due to passport/visa issues I’ve been in Europe for the past week and I generally will sample a couple of comps here and there to keep me on track. It’ll be a big weekend as it’s the same weekend as my own Canadian Boulder Nationals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Not that I’ve heard any dissension but I’d rather explain my decisions outright rather than people guess. I chose to skip Canadian Nationals ultimately because it didn’t fit perfectly with my training plan. My goal was to come train in Europe for a month, and with the visa issues, it was cut in half. Now that Canadian Nationals are only 4 weeks prior to the first World Cup of the season, it doesn’t mesh perfectly. I LOVE competing at my Nationals and I’m sad to miss it, especially because I know @bolderclimbing and everyone involved are going to put on a SHOW! Wishing everyone the best for this weekend, who’s your thoughts for new (or repeat) Canadian Champions? I’ll post my thoughts and predictions before semi finals for sure! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 by @thecircuitclimbing on my way to the 2016 CWIF victory 🏆 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @adidasterrex | @scarpana | @joerockheads | @verticalartclimbing | @flashedclimbing | @perfect_descent #verticalart #climbing #train #canada #instagood #picoftheday #photooftheday #athlete #igers #amazing #sports #fitspo #gymlife #power #fitfam #adventure #fitness #work #workhard #workout #strength #challenge #follow #ninja #gym #fun #cwif

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This year’s international line-up includes Serbian climber Staša Gejo and Russia’s Aleksei Rubtsov, both ranked 6th in the world; former CWIF competitor Rustam Gelmanov; Alex Khazanov of Israel who won his first World Cup round last year; Canadian Olympic hopeful and 4-time World Champion Sean Mccoll; Germany’s Jan Hojer, also bidding for a place at the Olympics and France’s former CWIF champion Melissa Le Neve.

Representing the best of British climbing are GB Climbing Squad members including UK Olympic prospects Molly Thompson-Smith, Will Bosi and Hannah Slaney; up-and-coming Welsh young gun Emily Phillips; CWIF 2018 finalist Aiden Roberts, finalist in the 2018 Bouldering World Championships, Nathan Phillips, Mr BIFF (Beastmaker International Footless Festival) 2019 Jim Pope and CWIF veteran Dave Barrans.

A precursor to the official IFSC season, the Rab CWIF presents climbing’s elite with an invaluable pre-season opportunity to test themselves on world-cup style boulder problems set by an illustrious routesetting team assembled by co-owner of The Climbing Works and Head of the IFSC Routesetter Commission, Percy Bishton. Leading this year’s CWIF routesetting team is IFSC routesetter Katja Vidmar, the first woman ever to be nominated in this role. Katja will be supported in setting CWIF by Rob Napier, Jamie Cassidy and Longy.

The Rab CWIF is one of the few competitions of any sport that allow members of the public to compete shoulder to shoulder with their climbing heroes. Saturday’s qualification round is open to all and will be set to separate out the very best climbers, whilst the evening session’s off-piste circuit and fancy dress competition bring the Climbing Works’ very unique brand of mayhem to the proceedings.

Returning for a fourth year as presenting sponsor of the CWIF are global outdoor clothing and equipment brand Rab. Founded in Sheffield, Rab’s is as synonymous with the climbing community as steel is to the city. Visitors to the CWIF will be able to find fantastic deals on Rab’s latest Rock Range at the Rab Shop located in the marquee at the entrance to The Climbing Works and for those willing to take on the challenge of CWIF, there is an extra incentive with Rab goodies up for grabs for anyone who can make it to the top of selected boulder problems to find the Rab Swag Tags.

Steve Hazlehurst, Rab Marketing Director says: “Rab began life in the attic of a small terraced house in Sheffield where Rab Carrington made his first sleeping bag, starting what would become a globally trading company committed to providing climbers with the highest quality clothing and equipment. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to reaffirm our association with the city and the local climbing community by supporting an event like the CWIF that nurtures both current and future generations of climbers.”


The semis will take place on Sun. March 3 and take part on the Rab Competition Wall with the top 20 men and top 20 women challenging themselves on four set problems. These problems will be judged independently. The six highest female and male scores will progress to the finals.


The big final will again take place on the Competition Wall with the whole wall being reset between the semis and finals. Here the top six from the semis will compete on four women’s and four men’s problems to decide The Rab CWIF 2019 overall champions.