Oceania championship

Route Setters Get Wall Ready for Oceania Sportclimbing Championships

Four specialist route setters are currently working round the clock to prepare several difficult climbing paths for competitors at this weekend’s Oceania Sportclimbing Championships.

Lead by former national climbing champion Jodi Apiata, of Christchurch, the group of experienced climbers have to design and build 20 climbs for all the categories during the three-day event, held at BaseCamp Wanaka on October 6-8.

By doing this, they must climb the bare, 10m-high wall from the bottom, securing different-sized artificial holds to the very top of the wall, which finishes with a five-metre over-hang. They are kept safe by auto-belay devices.

The idea is to have a consistent degree of difficulty so that different competitors start to fall off at different stages. It’s really challenging because you are trying to make these climbs fun, but at the same time, hard enough for the competitors, Apiata, who has 18 years of climbing experience, said.

The route setters will plot climbs up to 17m long on the wall. After each route is mapped out, they are approved by the fore-runner, who ensures the safety and difficulty of each climb. During the competition, the route setters have 20 minutes between each category to set up another route.

Competitors are kept in an isolation room during the competition so they cannot see the routes until they climb the wall.

More than 120 climbers from throughout New Zealand and Australia have entered the New Zealand National Championships and the Oceania Championships. The competition features lead climbing, where a competitor’s placing is determined by the height they reach on a route of not less than 12 metres, and speed climbing, where the time taken to ascend a route determines a competitor’s placing on a route of no less than eight metres.

For further press information, please contact:
Celia Williams the eveNZ consultancy
E: T: 03 443 2700

Oceania Sportclimbing Championships Streamed Live to the Web

For the first time in an Australasian sportclimbing competition, footage of competitors will be streamed live to the web at this weekend’s Oceania Sportclimbing Championships.

People all around the world will have access to live coverage of the three-day event, from October 6-8 at BaseCamp Wanaka, by visiting the New Zealand Sportclimbing Federation website,

Footage of more than 120 climbers scaling the 10m-high wall with a five-metre overhang, and the falls that they take, will be captured on two cameras at the event. There will be a live feed from the cameras through to Wellington company CityLink, who will stream it to the internet.

Footage of sportclimbing events is occasionally streamed to the web in the northern hemishphere, but this is the first time for it to occur in the southern hemisphere, NZSF president James Maguire said.

We are really excited about having live coverage of the Oceania Sportclimbing Championships accessible from the internet. Not only will climbing enthusiasts, and family and friends of competitors be able to watch the event, it also opens it up to a mainstream audience, Maguire said.

For further press information, please contact:
Celia Williams  the eveNZ consultancy
E: T: 03 443 2700

Australian Climbers Take Male and Female Oceania Titles at Basecamp Wanaka

Australian sportclimbers Thomas Farrell and Sarah Matthews earned the prestigious title of Oceania champions during the tense final at BaseCamp Wanaka tonight.

New Zealand climbers Sefton Priestley and Zachary Orme came close behind Farrell in the men’s finals, while Hawke’s Bay’s Emma Hawke took third place in the women’s event.

Seven of each country’s top male and female climbers, selected to compete by their respective sportclimbing federations, used every ounce of their strength, flexibility, endurance and composure to get to the highest point on the technical climbing wall during the prestigious lead-climbing competition.

About 400 people turned out to watch the final, and the atmosphere was intense as the crowd cheered on competitors gripping every hold.

Farrell (17) climbed a few holds short of the top and displayed impressive form during the 15m-long climb which involved a long traverse through an over-hanging roof. Priestley and Orme finished a few holds behind Farrell but still put on a great show.

Matthews (31) beat the competition favourite and fellow team-mate Samantha Berry (29) in the women’s final. Berry has won the Oceania title for the last two years.

Matthews had a strong climb that finished about five holds before the final quick-draw on the over-hanging ceiling. Berry finished her climb one quick-draw behind Matthews.

The winners of the Oceania titles have gained automatic entry into next year’s world championships, held in Spain.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Emma Hawke won her fourth national sportclimbing title during the New Zealand National Championships today  despite almost being unable to compete after a shoulder injury during qualifying on Friday night.

Hawke (30) said she didn’t climb as well as she could have because of her injury, but she was still happy to keep her title as New Zealand’s highest-ranked female sportclimber.

Berry beat Hawke in the national Open finals, but was not eligible for the title because she is not a New Zealand resident.

Berry, who is ranked 19th in the world, said the climbs have been challenging: It was quite technical  you had to think a lot. The wall is fantastic; it was really good for spectators because they are so close to the climbers.

Orme, from Wellington, also became New Zealand’s Open sportclimbing champion today. Orme has been the national champion for his age group for the last four years, and was pleased with his win today. I didn’t expect to get first, so I’m quite happy.

Australia’s Thomas Farrell (17) also beat all the Kiwi males competing in today’s open final, but, like Berry, was unable to take the title.

The country to take home the Oceania Cup will be decided tomorrow. The finals for the youth A, B, C, D, juniors and masters categories will also take place, as well as the speed climbing finals.


Oceania finals male:
1.Thomas Farrell (AUS)
2.Sefton Priestley (NZ)
3.Zachary Orme (NZ)

Oceania finals female:
1.Sarah Matthews (AUS)
2.Samantha Berry (AUS)
3.Emma Hawke (NZ)

NZ Open finals male:
1.Zachary Orme
2.Andrew Trotter
3.Ivan Luketina

NZ Open finals female:
1.Emma Hawke
2.Helen Sinclair
3.Amy Holland

For further press information, please contact:
Celia Williams the eveNZ consultancy
E: T: 03 443 2700

Sportclimbing and Wanaka Put on the Map Thanks to Oceania Sportclimbing Championships

Increased interest in sportclimbing and Wanaka as a climbing capital has emerged thanks to last weekend’s Oceania Sportclimbing Championships, held at BaseCamp Wanaka.

The three-day event involving more than 120 competitors from Australia and New Zealand has lifted the profile of the sport nationwide, New Zealand Sportclimbing Federation president James Maguire said.

The event was a great success. I’ve already had people contacting me wanting to get involved with the sport, and a couple of people are wanting to set up more new climbing facilities in New Zealand. We think the competition has helped boost climber numbers even more than before.

BaseCamp Wanaka director Toby Johnston said the sport was rapidly becoming more and more popular amongst children and young adults, and the new indoor climbing facility would help lift the standard of promising athletes to an international level, as well as make people more aware of the various genres within climbing in general.

Just as Wanaka has world-class snow sport development facilities that make us internationally recognised, the same may happen for our sportclimbing athletes. Over time, people from this region ought to be able to compete at the same level as European sportclimbers. It’s fantastic that the Oceania winners are off to compete in the World Cup event in Spain next year.

I’d also like to thank all the people who helped make this a great event and the hundreds of people who came along to watch it really shows that sportclimbing and climbing in general are gaining in popularity, Johnston said.

BaseCamp Wanaka is still undergoing construction. The grand opening will take place on November 18-19.

Expedition Chamalang S

Expeditia Chamlang S
7316 m in Kathmandu
08. Sept. 2006

Unclimbed 7000m peack
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