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19-Apr-2007 Black Diamond La Sportiva Escalade Champs 07
Australia saw the return of the Escalade Championships over the Easter weekend in the Blue Mountains. For those who remember the last one in 99 this comp again it delivered the goods and the folk that had come to see the event received a specular show. Day one saw a sorting out of the competitors and some hard climbing. The women where pretty much even with Martina Harnische & Sophie Freeman topping out the qualifying route, and Sarah Matthews plus Helen Day a few moves from the top. The men it was a different story, Garth Miller stamped his authority on the event from the moment he pulled on. A tricky hard sequence down low spat all, but one off the wall, Garth Miller! A little disappointing for the crowd with all of the men getting stopped, and more of a shock that the current Oceania Champion, Tom Farrell, was knocked out! Day two and the finals was where the true competition gods shone. On the Women’s final the field faced a route with big physical moves, which slowly tired the climbers. The seasoned competition climbers like Martina Harnische & Sarah Mathews was obvious and they finished 1st and 2nd, Martina just finishing a few holds in front of Sarah. Coming in 3rd and no surprise was the local, Helen Day. Not a comp climber, but a talent on the rock she used her collection of technique which helped her onto the podium. The Men’s final was what the crowd was there for! The match up of the best climbers in the country, Chris Webb had withdrawn due to illness, but the others where fighting fit and ready to go head to head. They faced another tough number, but this time the field got smart and worked out the sequence. Vince Day climbed well, and finished in 2nd. James Kassey looked a little under prepared, but still came in 3rd, and it was no revelation that the current Escalade champion, Garth Miller did it easy and took out back-to-back tittles…. It capped off a great weekend, hopefully we will see Escalade on the calendar in 09.

1st Martina Harnische
2nd Sarah Mathews
3rd Helen Day

1st Garth Miller
2nd Vince Day
3rd James Kassay



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