Who to watch? The contenders of the BBCs 2017

There’s a bunch of wads turning up at the British Bouldering Championships 2017, but who’s favourite to win? Will Matt Cousins retain his crown? Can anyone best Shauna Coxsey in a bouldering competition? Let’s find out.

The champs of the BBCs 2016

Shauna Coxsey

Age: 24
From: Runcorn

The Queen of Bouldering: Shauna Coxsey has won the IFSC Boulder World Cup Championship for two years running, and has been the British Bouldering Champion five times before. Can she do it again this year?

WATCH: Shauna become IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion for the second time in Mumbai, India

Matt Cousins

Age: 28
From: London

Last year’s British Bouldering Champion. Since Matt’s victory, he’s been competing in the IFSC Boulder World Cup series and training hard to reclaim his crown. But can he retain his title this year with such a strong field to contend with? Find out who he’ll be up against below.

WATCH: Matt’s championship-winning dyno on the final problem of the BBCs 2016

The men looking to take Matt’s crown

Tyler Landman

Age: 26
From: London

British Bouldering Champion in 2015, Tyler couldn’t make the event last year to defend his title, which passed to Matt Cousins. But this year, he’s back, and hungry to win. Will he take the top spot again?

Dave Barrans

Age: 35
From: Otley

Multiple-time British Champion, a small mistake on the first bloc of the final cost him the title in 2016, but you can be sure it won’t happen again this year! Can he regain his crown against this incredible line-up?

Nathan Phillips

Age: 23
From: Holmfirth

Runner-up in 2017, Nathan has been busy training, competing, and is clearly in exceptional form as he just became the first person to flash font 8B on British soil. Can he improve on last year? 

WATCH: Nathan Phillips cruise the qualifiers at the BBCs 2016

William Bosi

Age: 18
From: Edinburgh

He may have climbed 9a, but can he convert that steely finger strength to bouldering and take it to the old guard? As he recently came second in the Junior British Bouldering Championships, we’re definitely not counting him out.

Orrin Coley

Age: 21
From: Leicester

He took third place last year and, since then, Orrin has been busy repeating hard test-pieces and finishing off long-standing projects at his local crag Forest Rock, Leicestershire. Can Orrin climb his way up the podium this year?

Aidan Roberts

Age: 18
From: Penrith

Climbing only for a handful of years, Aidan burst onto the scene with quick ascents of many hard problems. He became the 2015 European Youth Bouldering Champion, but spent most of last year injured with a broken ankle; can he hold his own with the big guns?

Jim Pope

Age: 18
From: London

Strong junior competitor, winner of the Junior British Bouldering Championships 2017 and current senior British Lead Climbing Champion. Can he beat the rest to do the double?

WATCH: Jim Pope win the Junior BBCs 2017 on BMC TV

Alex Waterhouse

Age: 20
From: Devon

Currently studying hard, and training hard, in the USA, Alex proved he’s on top form when he reached the finals of the US Bouldering National Championships this year. He’s decided to come home for a shot at the British title, so he could be a dark horse for the final!

Billy Ridal

Age: 20
From: Selston, Nottinghamshire

Finalist in last year’s BBCs, two times BUCS National Champion, and an overall strong youth having placed fourth in both the British Bouldering and British Lead Championships 2016. Billy has climbed the big five in Fontainbleau and tens of boulders in the eighth grade or higher, but will he be able to make the final again?

The women contenders chasing Shauna

Leah Crane

Age: 28
From: Nottingham

Former two-time British Bouldering Champion, Leah has been touring the world with Shauna on the IFSC World Cup circuit, making two semi-finals and showing big gains. Will she put all that training to good use and make the podium again this year?

Tara Hayes

Age: 19
From: Brixworth, currently studying in Sheffield

Five-time Junior British Bouldering Champion who was runner-up last year in the BBCs and the World Youth Championships. Tara’s still as keen as these psyched youngsters come, but could she really challenge Shauna for the top spot?

WATCH: Tara win the Junior BBCs 2016 on BMC TV

Charlotte Garden

Age: 23
From: Stockport

Once a stalwart of the competition scene, Charlotte spent the last few years travelling around some of the world’s premier climbing destinations, honing her skills on rock. She’s now back in the UK, looking strong, and keen to translate her outdoor expertise back to plastic. Can this dark horse challenge again?

Molly Thompson-Smith

Age: 19
From: London

Current Senior Lead Climbing Champion and amazing boulderer as well, Molly has been training hard since returning from her gap year trip in Asia. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on this year and should feature high in the rankings.

WATCH: Molly in The Portrait of a Champion on BMC TV

Gracie Martin

Age: 19
From: Alfreton

Miss BIFF 2017 and finalist in last year’s British Bouldering Championships, Gracie has continued her incredibly dedicated training regime and hopes to make the final again to move higher up the rankings. Will she do it?


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WATCH: Shauna Coxsey: This Girl Can Win on BMC TV