Competition climber on indoor boulder problem

NIBS Round Four Christchurch 2023

The fourth and final round of the National Indoor Bouldering Series for 2023 took place at Christchurch's Uprising Boulder Gym last weekend. 

With the absence of Becca Hounsell (who had the overall title sewn up after wins in Dunedin and Wellington and second place in Auckland) and Erica Gatland (injured) there were some new faces in the women's final, which was an exciting prospect. The final saw different women topping different boulders and getting high on problems—keeping the final round interesting right until the end. Amanda Speed was the eventual winner, she was  the only one to top the last problem, which she flashed with a 3.5 minute attempt. Second went to Riley Butler, with Tessa Van Den Beuken third.

In the men's final, Oskar Wolff already had the series victory after a second in Dunedin and wins at Wellington and Auckland. However, he'd never even made finals before at the notoriously competitive Christchurch round, so he turned up with his usual energy and determination. His main opposition in the final came from Mischa van Barneveld, who had won in Dunedin but not attended the other two rounds. However, Mischa has also been climbing up a storm at Castle Hill and arrived at the finals with no skin left on his fingertips after sessioning outdoor boulders in the days previous and even the morning of the comp. In the end, he finished second to Oskar. third went to local big gun Joe Dravitzki, with local legend Zac Orme finishing a popular fourth.

Full series results are listed below. It was fascinating to see this year the continuing trend of the men’s Masters category getting very competitive. It's great to see climbers in the 35+ category regularly making the Open finals and pushing the younger athletes.

This competition was also a learning experience for the local setting team (who do a fantastic job). International route setter Victor Fleutre ran a workshop in the week before the competition, focusing on coordination boulder problems. Fleutre was quite surprised at how strong the field was on traditional problems, compared to how comparatively unpracticed they were at the coordination type moves. This isn’t shocking news to any of us, but just a confirmation that the rest of the world is ahead in the newer style. The local setters had to reduce the difficulty of the coordination style problems a fair bit (particularly for the women) during forerunning. Nevertheless, the setting for the qualifying round had more comp-style boulders and so was closer to finals in style, so the finalists were climbers that could move on those types of boulders—something which is easier to make possible in the bigger gyms that have the space for those types of problems. The setters also managed to set some hard (black tag) climbs that the kids could also play on (mainly by using blockers so their little fingers could fit into slots grown-ups struggled with). This gave some of the talented smaller climbers a great chance to try harder problems, as they often are completely shut down at the harder level of qualifying problem, which must be set to get good separation amongst the adult athletes.

This year's NIBS was again a great success, with massive participation and great crowds for the finals rounds. Thanks to our sponsors The North Face, Uprising Industries, Bivouac Outdoor and La Sportiva for the wonderful prizes and to everyone that turned up to compete or watch.

Series Results

Open Female

1st Rebecca Hounsell – 286 points

2nd Erica Gatland – 234 points

3rd Azaria Briscoe – 210 points

Open Male

1st Oskar Wolff – 300 points

2nd Joseph Dravitzki – 198 points

3rd Rob Gajland – 192 points

Veterans Female

1st Emily Lane – 300 points

2nd Katie Saunders – 260 points

3rd Jenny Mcgrath – 160 points

Veteran Male

1st Zane Bray – 300 points

2nd Jon Sedon – 234 points

3rd Nick Flyvbjerg – 186 points

Masters Female

1st Vanessa Bray – 222 points

2nd Jasmin Jackson -178 points

3rd Hiromi Scott -150 points

Masters Male

1st Rob Gajland – 286 points

2nd Chris Lacoste – 272 points

3rd Sefton Priestley – 248 points

U18 Female

1st Rebecca Hounsell – 300 points

2nd Azaria Briscoe -246 points

3rd Sophia Cook – 214 points

U18 Male

1st Finlay Cate – 274 points

2nd Carsyn Welton – 223 points

3rd Spencer Menzies – 228 points

U16 Female

1st Xanthe Saunders – 258 points

2nd Katie Chinn – 204 points

3rd Alisa Schenk – 200 points

U16 Male

1st Wilfred Browne – 200 points

2nd Conrad Bolger – 184 points

3rd Jamie Birchler – 172 points

U14 Female

1st Monika Scott – 186 points

2nd Mila Piatek – 100 points

3rd Miriam Water – 100 points

U14 Male

1st Fletcher Mcgrath – 300 points

2nd Micah Tarr – 214 points

3rd Chase Burgess – 160 points

U12 Female

1st Bella Kennedy – 160 points

2nd Yume Fookes – 100 points

3rd Harriet Lester – 100 points

U12 Male

1st Tobin Priestley – 286 Points

2nd Huxley Bolger – 246 points

3rd Brooklyn Jackson-Gers – 238 points

U10 Female

1st Nina Fookes – 100 points

2nd Clara Reid – 100 points

3rd Hannah Ong – 100 points

U10 Male

1st Sebastian Priestley – 274 points

2nd Mikhail Dergilev – 200 points

3rd Yael Adiv Blanario – 86 points