By Aubrey Wingo
Nothing could bring more excitement to Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Longwood, FL than the ABS 13 Competition on October 1st, 2011. Greeted with the first cool weather of the season, with doors wide open, Aiguille welcomed its competitors first thing in the morning to pick up their sponsor goodies and comp shirts, designed by Guillermo Casanova (http://guillermo-casanova.com/), and to start previewing their future sends of the day. Scorecards in hand, climbers from the youngest in the Youth-D division of USA Climbing to our Masters competitors (45+), scurried around frantically planning out their strategies and reading the beta of 50 brand new boulder problems set by national route setter, Mark Mercer as well as David Carmona, Aubrey Wingo, Eugene Hoberg, Jackson Clemmer and Jesse Falcon.
Rules were announced and the climbing began along with musical motivation from our DJ, JSHIH. The walls were littered with color from hold designers E-Grips, Rock Candy, Project and many more, some brand new out of the box for our climbers to test for the first time. The gym was also filled with many who were not climbing; supportive parents from Team Aiguille and other gyms cheering on their kids, volunteer spotters from the Aiguille member family and Aiguille staff members making sure the comp ran smoothly. There were flashes and falls, sends and sore tips; overall, a fantastic show of athletic performance, good sportsmanship, and well-executed competition.
Jim Norton, the regional representative for USA Climbing hastily tallied the scores while the tired competitors conversed about their day and munched on pizza provided by the Rollins Rock Climbing Club. The raffle was about to begin and everyone bundled close to our announcers RyAnn Lugo and Kayla Baker with ticket or even many tickets in hand hoping to be the lucky winner of a prize; maybe even a pair of Mad Rock Climbing shoes! When the raffle box was empty, the winners were announced, receiving their very own ABS USA Climbing ribbon and prize packs from our wonderful sponsors. Top awards received their own Bluewater climbing rope, Mad Rock Climbing shoes, Gramicci shirts, Climb On! gift set or even a free month membership at Aiguille. Every one of our winners are now also proud owners of their very own La Sportiva Coozie and Yowie by Outdoor Technology as well as many other great prizes.
This event could not be put on if it wasn’t for our sponsors, entertainment, and volunteers. Special thanks goes to our sponsors: Mad Rock Climbing, La Sportiva, Gramicci, Outdoor Technology, Mile High Mountaineering, Climb On!, Bluewater, C.A.M.P., Red Chili, Rollins Climbing Club, USA Climbing, JSHIH, and all our volunteer spotters.
Winners will be announced soon on Aiguille Rock Climbing Center’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/aiguilleclimbing) and USA Climbing’s website (www.usaclimbing.org).