This past weekend, Climber’s Rock in Burlington hosted its annual first-of-the-new-year, Tour de Bloc competition. Having established a reputation as a well-run, well-attended event, this year’s “Bloc Buster” had a great turnout. To spice things up and try something new, this year the format was changed to an elimination final, à la Adidas Rockstars.
Rather than the standard World Cup, “parade” style final with four problems, there are only three problems and after each round, the bottom two climbers are eliminated. Therefore, six climbers compete on the first problem; four climbers compete on the second problem, and two climbers compete for gold on the last problem (NB: not a side-by-side race as in Adidas Rockstars).
Another important difference to note is that because it was not an event sanctioned by the OCF or the CEC, Youth climbers were able to compete against Open competitors – a great opportunity for everyone to measure themselves against a larger competitive sample size. And, as it turned out, Youth climbers Indiana Chapman and Estelle Park both made it to finals, showing they can hold their own in the Open category.
It was a really exciting, fun competition to watch – and not just for those who were there. Thanks to the live-stream (with emcees Tyler Norton and Dustin Curtis), spectators were able to watch from their homes, all across Canada.
For the women, 2-time Bloc Buster winner Bronwen Karnis (5th) was surprisingly eliminated, along with Estelle Park (6th), after the first problem. Indiana Chapman (3rd) and Bea Evans (4th) were eliminated after problem two. The final showdown came down to Madison Fischer and Lia Wieckowski (who both flashed problem two). Wieckowski took home the gold but Fischer was about as close behind as you can be – getting to the same hold but not moving off of it as Wieckoswki did.
For the men, Erik Libbe (5th) and Shaun Hunter (6th) were eliminated after the first problem. Dylan Saffery (3rd) and Dylan Barks (4th) were cut after problem two due to a countback to semifinals, which left 2017 winner Zach Richardson and 2018 winner Lucas Uchida to battle it out on the last problem. In the end, Uchida held on to his title with an impressive flash.
1. Lucas Uchida / Lia Wieckowski
2. Zach Richardson / Madison Fischer
3. Dylan Saffery / Indiana Chapman
Full Results available at CompSeason.com
Follow @matt.chapman.17 for more awesome photos.