The 2013 Australian Lead Nationals were held over the weekend, Matt ‘Golden Tonsils’ Adams called the action on the day and compiled this short report for VL.
‘They’ say ‘it’ always comes in threes, and last week it was Queensland’s turn! Rudd back as PM, the Marrons taking out game two in the State of Origin and this weekend Sam Bowman crushing at the La Sportiva 2013 Lead Nationals.
Sam stamped his authority from the get-go of the Men’s qualification round as the only climber to top both routes. In saying that, just as in the Labor caucus room and at Suncorp stadium, the result was no foregone conclusion and Sam was up against some great talent in the final.
Just squeezing into the finals in last spot was the experienced Andy Richardson, and once in the big game you could see this true competitor had gone up a gear as he powered hard through the lower section of the finals route and continued well into the roof. Alas a little where-am-I disorientation in the middle
of the horizontal proved his downfall. The fact Andy’s stunning attempt was the high water mark right up until the final competitor had the setters fretting they had turned out a dud route, then Sam stepped up, crushed, and set minds at ease to become a deserved 2013 champ.
Second place was an even more remarkable effort from Andy considering he had only signed up a day before the event ‘just to give it a go’! Young Victorian weapon Campbell Harrison was unlucky to not secure second position, instead his cracking performance assured him third place on the podium and announced his name as one to watch in the coming years.
As has so often been the case with the women, the 2013 title proved a battle between Sam Edwards and Monique Forestier, but this year two extra players, Lucy Stirling and Kumari Barry, threatened to trump them both and take out top honours.
The final didn’t disappoint fans with great performances from all climbers. Lucy set the standard early and made it high into the roof of the final route, a critical foot slip costing her valuable energy, from which she couldn’t recover, ending her comp. Sam showed great strength and climbed into the upper sections of the final, before a mishap saw her get caught up in the rope and stopped her push to the top. Reaching the end of the roof had put her level with Lucy, but was that enough? It went to count back and with only time separating them, Sam was in the lead.
Kumari, a new comer to the comp scene, immediately set the crowd alight with her energetic, free-flowing style. This strong powerhouse took out the NSW state title a couple of weeks back and as she climbed easily through sections that proved hard for most competitors it looked like she was going to repeat it on the national stage. Even in the roof that had burnt Sam and Lucy, Kumari bounced between the volumes to get established on the lip, quick thinking and an equally quick alteration and she at the top!
Only one climber remained, and from the crowd’s screams Monique knew Kumari had topped. Monique is no stranger to pressure, and though admitting the nerves of competition really do her head in, she is always up for a fight. Monique was a little tentative moving through the start of the route and up to the roof, but still looked in good shape to top out. On the second move into the roof, however, she didn’t look relaxed, had the pump had hit her? She didn’t give in and each powerscream was evidence that Monique was almost off on each move out to the lip of the roof. But she hung tough and passed Sam’s high point. Was she going to the top? No. Sadly the fatigue overwhelmed her, she fell short and had to hand over the National title to another.
Stay tuned for more detail to come on the 2013 Nationals – including how fared the young and the old – from the SCA.
To see Kamil’s full gallery of images visit his blog here.