posted by dpm on 05/01/2013
The Dominion Riverrock festival (May 17-19) is a celebration of the outdoor lifestyle held each year on Brown's Island in Richmond, Virginia. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand-up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The three-day event is free for all spectators.
The bouldering competition takes place on one of the most unique climbing structures ever built. Referred to as "the Cage," the structure looks more like Thunderdome than a traditional comp wall. It's composed of a series of large volumes suspended from the ceiling of a metal skeleton making it possible for spectators to surround, and view the competitors, from all sides. Some of the country's best climbers show up to test their ability on the horizontal platform that requires a grab bag of crowd-pleasing movements like outrageous dynos, toe-hooks, and campus moves.
Big name climbers also turn out for the generous prize money: $1500 for a first place win in bouldering and $500 for a win in the speed comp. In addition, Riverrock is offering a $500 bonus for the climber that finishes in the highest combined ranking for both bouldering and speed climbing, the latter being a new event to take place this year.
2013 marks the third year of the festival and Sasha Digiulian will be returning to defend her crown, having won first place in both prior years, but a slew of strong women including Angie Payne and Isabelle Faus will be formidable challengers. Jimmy Webb will also be turning out to defend his first place win from 2012 when he edged out Paul Robinson, Daniel Woods, and Carlo Traversi.
If you're in the area, it's worth seeing as much of the event as possible like the back-flipping BMX'ers, airborne stunt dogs, and even freestyle kayakers that jet down a chute and launch off a ramp. But even non-climbers have said that the bouldering event is one of the most exciting. See below for more info and the schedule of climbing events.
Bouldering Competition Format:
The competition is comprised of 4 total rounds, consisting of one route each: Two qualifying rounds, a semifinal and a final. There will be 20 women and 20 men competing in both Q1 and Q2 starting on Friday at 6:30 and Saturday at noon, respectively. The top 15 male and female climbers will move on to the semifinals starting at 4:00 on Saturday. The top 10 climbers will compete in the single-route finals Saturday night starting at 7:30. The time limit for each round is 5 minutes.
The iso area will open approximately 90 minutes prior to each round and close 30 minutes prior to each round.
Speed Competition Format:
Competitors will start side by side within one of our two bouldering caves, competing on mirror-image routes to the top. Once the timer announces the start, the race is on. The competition will consist of two qualifying rounds, of one route each, with the top 10 fastest climbers moving on to Final Round 1*. The top 6 fastest from Finals 1 will compete in the fourth and final round: Finals Round 2 immediately following the previous round.
*Cumulative times from Q1 and Q2 will determine the 10 climbers that move on to Finals Round 1.