The RokazBloc was this weekend. I was very impressed with the event the gym produced. It was very easy to have a good time, almost 100 climbers competed for 3 hours in a 'redpoint' format to qualify for a chance at Finals. In the end 8 climbers in each gender passed into the finals. I wasn't expecting much as I haven't been climbing at all in gym in the last month, let alone not much at all in the last year! Anyway, the focus was set on having a good time and it seemed to pay off. I qualified in 3rd place. After a break, a good Brazilian pizza, we headed back to the gym and I really didn't expect to see a huge change from the qualifiers.
RokazBloc Report from Jon Cardwell
Well, I was completely wrong! The Rokaz crew completely changed the gym, put on some loud music, turned the big lights off and switched to spot lights, the walls were completely stripped- save the finals problems (loaded with volumes and new holds) and the crowd was huge! I felt as if i was about to compete in a WC Final! The motivation immediately peaked and I started warming up.
The format was completely different and I must say that It could definitely be one of the coolest ideas I have seen for a competition. The idea is simple. Set 4 boulders and put 30 minutes on the clock, start the timer and sick 8 climbers on them. You can try the first two problems as much as you want, when you want, switching between both but when you decide to move on to the 3rd, problem one and two are finished.
Further, when you try the 4th, you cannot go back to problems one, two and three. It's all about strategy and the competition is fierce yet it brings out a relatable aspect of climbing, in the gym at least, The Session! We all have them, climbing in the gym with friends, creating beta, sharing beta, flashing, falling, etc... happy times! This time it was the finals of the competition. It really gives the route setters opportunity to set more difficult, diverse and unique problems that take more time than the usual 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off to complete. Thus, when someone completes a problem the crowd is psyched!
So, the finals were awesome! I actually managed to pull it off and ended up winning! It was a difficult competition and everyone climbed strong so I was definitely surprised! Climbers Rafael Passos and Jean Ouriques finsihed 2nd and 3rd. And for the ladies is was 1. Mariana Gomes 2. Patricia Antunes 3. Maria Vilas Boas.
In the end I was very impressed and had a great time. The event ran smoothly and the energy was high. There should be a video of the finals soon!
Now, after a rest day yesterday we are heading back up to the 'esperanza' project in Serra Da Piedade. I've been thinking about this boulder all weekend. Me and Felipe tried it on Friday and completed all the moves but one (which we got close to). It's one best boulders I've seen here in Brazil and to know that it's possible makes me even more psyched. This is THE reason I came to Brazil, to find something amazing like this. Off to the roof!!!