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Top NZ, Australian Climbers Signed Up for Champs


Top New Zealand and Australian Climbers Signed Up for Oceania Sportclimbing Championships

The Oceania Sportclimbing Championships looks set to become an exciting event as New Zealand and Australia’s best climbers go head-to-head at BaseCamp Wanaka this weekend.

New Zealand’s highest-ranked female sportclimber Emma Hawke will test her skills against Australia’s best and world number 19, Samantha Berry (21). Hawke will also be looking to defend her title at the New Zealand national championships (also held at BaseCamp) against former NZ Rock Climbing Team member Kirsty Trotter.

In the Open male category, there are four strong contenders vying for the top New Zealand placing: Sefton Priestley, Paul Coggan, Max Farr and Andrew Trotter. Australia’s Thomas Farrell, a young, emerging talent on the rock climbing scene is entering the Open male category as well as the youth A category (under 18). He will be joined in the Open category by seasoned climber Mike Moore, who is also entering the Masters event.

The youth category has a strong representation from both Kiwi and Australian entrants. New Zealand’s Annika Fyfe, ranked 53 in this year’s World Youth Championships, will be up against Australia’s Esther Packard Hill in the youth A category. Packard Hill is ranked fourth in Australia (open) and is also entering in the Open event this weekend.

Top New Zealand under 18 male and current National Cup champion (open event), Matthew O’Connell will compete against Farrell in the youth A event. O’Connell is the youngest person in New Zealand to hold the title of National Cup champion, while Farrell is ranked 23rd on the world youth climbing scene.

Registration for the competition closed at the end of September. For the first time in a New Zealand sportclimbing competition, competitor numbers are at a record high, with more than 120 climbers from throughout New Zealand and Australia entering the New Zealand National Championships and the Oceania Championships.

Each country’s top seven female and male open-ranked climbers, selected by their respective sportclimbing federations, will compete for the Oceania Cup. The male and female winners of the cup gain access to compete in next year’s world championship event.


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