XXIII Rock Master will take place in Arco, Italy from 4-6 September
Organised by the Rock Master Association, this competition for the world's climbing champions will be preceeded by the IV edition of the Arco Rock Legends, which assigns the Salewa Rock Award and the La Sportiva Competition Award or, put in other words, the climbing Oscars. These are two world-class events which, this year as well, draws thousands of fans to the Climbing Stadium and Arco to take part in the most coveted vertical Trophy.
THE NEW SPORT CLIMBING GENERATION IN SEARCH OF VICTORY AT ROCK MASTER 2009 AND THE ARCO ROCK LEGENDS, THE SPORT CLIMBING OSCARS
The 23rd Rock Master, the classic sport climbing competition for the champions, will take place on Saturday 5 and
Sunday 6 September in Arco (Lake Garda, Trentino, Italy). The 4th Arco Rock Legends will prelude the event on Friday 4 September with the Salewa Rock Award and the La Sportiva Competition Award, the sport climbing Oscars.
ROCK MASTER TROPHY. This year the competition for champions holds a special challenge which is destined to go down in history. Will Adam Ondra, the 16 year old total climbing prodigy, amaze all in this Lead competition just as he has done so outdoors on rock? This is the question and the challenge of the XXIII Rock Master. The Harry Potter of climbing - as he has affectionately been called by the national and international media - only recently celebrated his senior debut with, need it be said, outstanding results. The Vice World Champion "accolade" and his newest victory in the Imst World Cup prove just this. But the road to Rock Master victory will not be easy for the young climber from the Czech Republic, on the contrary, it will be harder than ever before. Barring his way to consecration in the Wimbledon of climbing will be all the strongest in the world ranking, on fighting form like never before and by no means willing to hand him victory. Starting with Patxi Usobiaga from Spain's Basque country, the World Champion and king of Lead competitions. What is certain is that the duel between the unconquerable Basque ace and the terrible young climber promises to be unforgettable. It has to be said though that there are many who are planning to strike gold in Arco's great Climbing Stadium arena: a champion like Ramon Julian
Puigblanque from Spain's Catalonia (World Champion and three times winner in Arco) certainly won't miss the opportunity to win once again. And Joerg Verhoeven from Holland, the winner of the World Cup 2008, certainly won't rest on his laurels. Nor will veteran fighter Tomas Mrazek, the survivor of a thousand battles. And then there's
the other young Austrian phenomenon, David Lama. Many will hope for an Italian victory at the hands of Flavio Crespi who has now completely recovered from the injury which kept him away from the competition circuit for a year. But surprises can come from all 13 athletes in the running for the trophy, because this is what the Rock Master
is all about: a battle during which one cannot commit a single mistake, a fight which finishes at the last hold only, at the very top.
The same will be true in the Women's Lead, which promises to be an authentic race to the finish. The queen to beat will be Austrian and, not by chance, she is an extremely young gun at a mere 17 years of age: Johanna Ernst. Her unstoppable victory march began here, with her win of the Rock Master 2008 and since then she has won
everything there is to win, including the World Championship. It's logical that all will attempt to dethrone her, starting with her teammate Angela Eiter, the absolute dominator of the world competitions (and 4 times Rock Master winner) prior to the arrival of hurricane Ernst. Ace Slovenian climber Maja Vidmar has certainly planned her assault carefully, as has this year's revelation, Jain Kim from Korea. Caroline Ciavaldini and Charlotte Durif from France and the other two Slovenians, Mina Markovic and Natalija Gros will be no the less. They will join forces with Jenny Lavarda from Italy and the new Italian promise, 17 year old Alexandra Ladurner from Merano. For them, too, this stellar challenge against the best in the world is wide open.
SINT ROCK BOULDER CONTEST. The bouldering contest will be a star challenge as well, especially since competing in the the Sint Roc Boulder Contest are, quite simply, the very best in the world. The current leaders of the world ranking are the men to beat: Austrian Killan Fischhuber, Russian Rustam Gelmanov and Italian
Gabriele Moroni. They will be joined by the recently crowned World Champion Alexey Rubtsov and Lukas Preti from Italy. The bouldering roulette in Arco will also be played by ace Frenchman Jerome Meyer who, at 30 years of age, will defend the "old guard" by searcing for victory. The women will attempt to do just the same, starting with the
recently crowned World Champion Yulia Abramchuk from Russia, Anna Stohr from Austria and Akiro Noguchi from Japan. They will be joined by the 20 year old American revelation Alex Johnson and Sara Morandi, competing in front of her home crowd.
SPEED. The climbing sprint, or rather the parallel gala will see the fastest climbers in the world ascend like lightening. All will attempt to beat the amazing record set in China during the recent World Championships: 15 vertical meters in 6:64 for the men and 9:04 for the women. This is what calibre sprinters such as Sergey Synitsin,
Libor Hroza, Csaba Komondy and Jedrzej Komosinsky dream of, as do their collegues Anna Stenkovaya, Valentina Yurina and Ksenia Alexeeva. The Italian dreams are fuelled by Lucas Preti, the only athlete taking part in the double undertaking bouldering/speed, Michel Sirotti and Jessica Morandi.
ARCO ROCK LEGENDS, THE SPORT CLIMBING OSCARS. Rock Master will take place on Saturday 5 andSunday 6 September at the Arco Climbing Stadium but not before the fourth edition of Arco Rock Legends,scheduled for 21.00 on Friday 4 September at the Casino di Arco. The Salewa Rock Award (for single pitches at
the crag or bouldering) and the La Sportiva Competition Award (for the best competition climber) will be contended by an exceptional 5 climbers and 3 athletes, chosen by a select Jury comprised of 19 of the most authoritative specialised climbing magazines. The nominations for the Salewa Rock Award went to the untiring Dani
Andrada from Spain, the German ace Markus Bock, the legendary 16 year old from the Czech Republic Adam Ondra (winner of the prize in 2008), Chris Sharma from America and for all the King of climbing and to Maja Vidmar from Slovenia, winner of last season's La Sportiva Competition Award. The nominations for this prize have
gone to the Austrian dream team comprised of the young star Johanna Ernst and the "King" and "Queen" of bouldering, Kilian Fischhuber and Anna Stohr. As if to say, on the Arco Rock Legends stage, just like on the climbing Stadium wall, there will be only the best of the best. It comes as no surprise that the evening will be hosted as usual by Kay Rush and that the official World Championship logo will be introduced during the show. Scheduled to take place in Arco in 2011, the exceptional testimonial for this world-class event is Luisa Iovane, the Italian competition climber who represents the history of sport climbing and its competitions. The evening will be crowned by another world-class guest, Jerry Moffatt from England who represents a true climbing legend of the 1980's and '90's.