Have you ever climbed on beautiful beaches, palm trees peppering the shore, cool water to swim in whenever you desire. Just this past week I was in Singapore to compete in the Youth World Championships and it was held on Siloso Beach! It was an awesome comp minus some minor interferences of rain and what not. This was my second world championship, so I had a better idea of what to expect this time, although Scotland and Singapore where two completely different competitions. Scotland was very structured where as Singapore was one of the most laid back comps I have ever been to.
Every time it rained the comp was shut down and we had to wait for it to stop plus they had to dry the holds. I was surprised that even with the rain, which it did every day, the comp ran fairly smoothly. Each session was completed on the day it was supposed to, except speed.
This comp was one of the most even playing fields for the U.S.A. because the wall was brand new wall and it got the Euros out of their home turf. However they are still strong and crushed at the comp. Another plus, for me at least, was the humidity. Singapore is the most humid place I have ever been to, but I am from Houston and its gets pretty humid down here too, so it did not affect my climbing too much.
I was super stoked once the first qualifier came around. It looked hard and scary, but doable. The scary factor was do to the fact that I had never seen any of these holds before and this wall was completely alien to me. They had these cool features that looked like giant inner-tubes cut in half and stuck to the wall. Those things looks sketchy because I couldn't tell how good they were. When I started climbing I realized the inner-tubes a quite good. I ended up getting around the half way mark which put me in 23rd for the first route. This route was ok. It had weird feet, but cool moves.
The second qualifier was even better. It also had a wicked cool volume with a natural thing in one side. This route was spitting people of the bottom left and right. Luckily Sean Bailey went before and I got to watch him. He totally crushed the route, so it gave me a boost of confidence. When I got on it I was in the zone. Every move was powerful, so you had to give every move your all. Shane Messer gave me some beta on one move that spit a lot of people off which helped a lot, but right after that I had to clip. I went out to clip and nearly blew off. I was pretty tired by this point, so I decided to go for holds. I stuck the next move which surprised me. Then a big move to a pinch spit me off. With that run I was in 9th place which I was psyched on. That was the best I had done in an international comp so far. It started raining right after I climbed too, lucky me!
Once the rain let up the South African team started a long jump competition. Everyone lined up along the sides while some people jumped. It even made it on the live feed. After I did my record breaking jump I became one of the photographers. It was awesome to so many people stay psyched even with the rain issues. Then after that died away the South Africans started a game of cricket which, for the record, is awesome. I had no idea what I was doing, but it is a wicked game. If you haven't realized yet the South African team is awesome and I got one of their jerseys!
Once results made it out I was shocked to see I was 16th! That was the best I have done by far in a international comp and I qualified for semi-finals. The next day I made it down to isolation at 9:00am only for it to start raining for the next 100 hours or so. I went and hung out at the resort hotel on the beach. After forever climbing started back up around 3ish. A nice delay ay. I had a great hacky-sack warm up with Josh Levin and Alex Fritz before climbing. The semi-final route looked super hard and it defiantly was. I got a solid six holds up before I was spit off the wall. Quality wise it was on the lower end of comp routes I have done. I thought it might just be me, but nobody else seemed to like it either. High point was half way up which is not great for a comp. I ended up getting the low point and moved down to 27th, but you should just remember that I was 16th after qualifiers, haha!
I stayed to watch finals and those routes looked some awesome rock climbs. Sean Bailey was in 8th so he went first. He ended up in 5th which is awesome! Can you believe that this was his first Worlds? Sebastian Halenke destroyed the route by finishing 10 holds higher than the second place guy. Crazy German climbers.
Even with the rain delays this was an awesome comp! I was psyched to compete in it. Can't wait till next year! Canada here I come.