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Monday, May 16, 2005

Fun weekend.

Both girls took first place in their respective categories, and Stephen took fourth. So all three of them go through to the Divisional competition, which will be on June 11 in Richmond.

The format of this competition was on-sight, which means that the climbers have to stay in isolation (or "iso") so that they can't study the routes, or watch other climbers attempt them, or get any information from spectators. They're allowed out for five minutes at the start of the competition to preview their routes, and then they go back into iso until it's their turn to climb. When they're called, they sit with their backs to the wall until it's time to tie in, then they climb the first route, get one minute to rest (facing away from the wall), climb their second route, get four minutes to rest (again, not looking at the route), and then climb their final route. They get one shot at each of their three routes, and if they fall off at the first hold - well, that's too bad, they don't get a second chance. Distinctly more stressful than the format for the earlier competitions, where (although falls detract from your final score) you can attempt each route up to five times, and you can watch other climbers in action and learn from their mistakes. Both girls went on to climb a fourth route as a tie-breaker - lots of adrenaline there!

Some pictures :

Sophie waiting to climb
Looking nervous
Soph tying in
Sophie climbing
Stephen in action
Emily waiting
Ems on the wall
Kids in iso
Kids hanging out up top, waiting for results

Today we slept in - the hotel was an hour away form the gym, so we'd had to get up early on Saturday to be at the gym by 8 - and then explored Fort Lauderdale a little. Fort Lauderdale is so much prettier than I'd realised; for some reason I'd thought it would be a bit tacky and Daytona-like, but it's lovely. Sophie desperately wanted to swim so we went to the beach for a bit before finding a restaurant for lunch and heading home. Here's Soph in the water. It's so easy to make her happy. Steve and Em, however, were totally unenthusiastic about the whole beach idea; I think this picture just screams "teenager". We let them pick the lunch venue though, so that cheered them up. That, and the hotel, which was definitely a cut above our normal accomodation. Those two have a real taste for luxury; unfortunately for them our taste generally runs to the frugal. However I will admit to having enjoyed the mini-bar; we decided that since we had got such a good deal on both the rooms, we could indulge a little. Things always taste better when they come in adorable teeny-tiny bottles.

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